Children’s charity gets new premises

Children from Unique Kidz and Co at a recent balloon launch.
Children from Unique Kidz and Co at a recent balloon launch.

Multi award-winning disabled children’s charity Unique Kidz and Co has been given the go-ahead for a new centre of excellence at Lancaster Leisure Park.

The new purpose-built centre will be a dream come true for the charity, its staff and all the families it supports.

It will allow Unique Kidz and Co to expand their out of school and holiday childcare provision and offer exciting new services to meet the needs of disabled children and their families in north Lancashire and south Cumbria.

The centre will also offer an inclusive nursery for all 0-5 year olds, a fantastic sensory room and a fabulous outdoor playground, along with meeting rooms for parents and family groups and training facilities.

Unique Kidz and Co currently offers its services from the Loyne School in Lancaster, but demand has grown rapidly since the charity was formed in 2009 with more than 140 children now attending and it’s now out-grown the facilities on offer at the school.

The new centre will allow more children and families in the area to benefit from its services, giving disabled children an opportunity to socialise and play after school and in the holidays, and parents an opportunity to pursue work and training opportunities, or even have a much needed break.

Denise Armer, co-founder of Unique Kidz and Co, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have been given the go-ahead.

“We know from experience that there is a lack of facilities and opportunities in Lancashire for disabled children and their families and that demand is very high and we hope that with the new centre we will be able to meet this demand.”

Fellow co-founder Jane Halpin said: “The new centre has been designed to meet the charity’s requirements exactly and we are very excited about the opportunities this will enable us to provide.

“Ultimately our aim to become a national charity offering the highest quality childcare and social opportunities to disabled children and their families across the UK and this is our first step to achieving this.”

Barbara Bradbury, deputy head at The Loyne Specialist School, said: “Unique Kidz and Co are providing a much needed resource to disabled children and their families.

“We have worked with Unique Kidz and Co from the very beginning and it is exciting that this organisation has the vision and new plans to offer an even wider range of activities, support and opportunities for local disabled children and their families.”

Allan Blackburn, the owner of Lancaster Leisure Park, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Unique Kidz and Co to the park.

“They are a wonderful charity who supply a specialised care that is available nowhere else in the North West.

“Let us not forget that this will create up to 20 new jobs and a formidable amount of happy disabled children and parents. What could be better than that?”

The charity is launching a major fundraising campaign to raise the £200,000 now needed to equip and furnish the new centre which is planned to open in early 2014.

The support of businesses and the community will be vital to raising the funds needed to do this.

For more information about corporate sponsorship or community fundraising for Unique Kidz and Co visit www.uniquekidzandco.org.uk, email info@uniquekidzandco.org.uk or call 01524 874047.