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Lifeline for at risk centre
An “amazing” children’s centre which is facing closure has been thrown a lifeline.
West Sussex County Council has stepped in to try to keep the Camelia Botnar Children’s Centre in Goring open.
The centre cares for pre-school children, especially those with special needs or long-term medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or cystic fibrosis.
It was in financial dire straits earlier this year – facing closure if it could not raise the required £250,000 a year and leaving the future of the 20 carers and 70 families who use it uncertain.
The council has offered the centre funding to help it survive in the short term and will be exploring options to ensure it stays open in the long term.
Philip Bush, chairman of the centre’s trustees, said: “This is a welcome collaborative venture between West Sussex County Council and the Camelia Botnar Children’s Centre. “The injection of funding will hopefully act as a platform for both organisations to work closely together to provide a more comprehensive and cost effective early years’ educational service for children with special and additional needs.”
The centre, staffed by a highly trained nursery team, has three main rooms with an adjoining outdoor play area and sensory rooms, which have light, sound and touch stimulation.
Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for children, said: “There is no disputing that the centre provides an amazing service which so many families in the county rely on.
“We are grateful for the contribution the centre has made to the community for so many years.
“We have decided to grant the centre some funding in the short-term to allow it to stay open. “We hope that we can now look to the future and explore options which might allow the centre to stay open in the longer-term.”
If you would like to donate to the centre in Wellesley Avenue, visit the website at camelia-botnar-childrens-centre.org.