Cash boost helps Chichester and Bognor Regis families

Play manager Emily Medway, with left, George Harris, 14, Sam Wilkins, ten and Sophie Harding,16.C111063-1
Play manager Emily Medway, with left, George Harris, 14, Sam Wilkins, ten and Sophie Harding,16.C111063-1

A charity which offers support for disabled children and their families has been given a huge funding boost.

The Parents and Carers Support Organisation which hosts play activities and outings for families from Chichester and Bognor Regis was given £31,770 as part of the Transition Fund.

Manager at the charity, which is based at The Venue, in Spur Road, Chichester, Val Evans said it will make a big difference in a time when grants are hard to come by.

“We feel very lucky to have received it,” she said. “For a charity of our size, there is an amazing amount of back office work.

“We want to get to a point where the money we get is being spent on the children, rather than on admin.

“We offer opportunities for disabled children and their siblings to provide short term breaks for them and their families.”

The Transition Fund is designed to help those charities most vulnerable to public spending cuts. It gave 79 different charities a total of £7.7m across the south east.

PACSO supports parents and carers of children aged five to 18 who have a disability. They organise weekly after school clubs, Saturday clubs, and play days in the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

There are more than 100 members registered, who each pay an annual membership fee of £25, and last year all activities were free, but because of cuts in funding there will be a small fee for some activities in the forthcoming year.

Another organisation to benefit from the government grant is Outset Youth Action, which received £100,000.

The Pulborough-based charity offers youth services for the whole county, and acts as a volunteering agency for young people aged 13 to 25.

Outset encourages and supports a wide range of young people to volunteer for the benefit of their local community, irrespective of their personal situation.

Outset volunteers do not need to have had previous volunteering experience – just a commitment to helping others and making a difference in their community.

Outset chief executive Sally Sikora said: “We are thrilled to have received this life-line from the Transition Fund.

“We have experienced catastrophic funding cuts this year from central government which has had a direct effect on our capacity to uphold services to the neediest of young people in West Sussex.

“With the support of the Transition Fund we can continue to provide a service across the whole county of West Sussex and now have the capacity to develop our partnerships across all sectors in order to sustain our work into the future.”