Kids’ charity is looking for a new home

Unique Kidz and Co founders and trustees Jane Halpin (left) and Denise Armer.
Unique Kidz and Co founders and trustees Jane Halpin (left) and Denise Armer.

Award-winning disabled children’s charity Unique Kidz and Co is looking for a new home after plans to move into a building at Lancaster Leisure Park fell through.

A change of circumstances means the charity’s dream for a new purpose-built centre of excellence is now in limbo.

Local businesses and the community had been raising money through a fundraising campaign, Kit it out for the Kidz, towards the £75,000 needed to equip the centre with the essential equipment it needed to open.

A statement from Unique Kidz and Co said: “Both parties worked hard to make the project happen at Lancaster Leisure Park but with complications at the beginning of the build and the delayed completion date it was mutually agreed by all concerned that the charity would not move into the building.

“All monies raised by supporters for the Kit it out for the Kidz Campaign is ring fenced and will be kept to furnish and equip a new building when one is found.

“The charity is actively looking in the Lancaster and Morecambe areas and hopes to identify new premises as soon as possible.

“For the time being it will continue to offer its holiday and after school clubs from the Loyne School.”

Allan Blackburn, who owns Lancaster Leisure Park, said: “It was a good intention but unfortunately it wasn’t the right thing at the right time.

“I am sure it won’t be long before something else comes along for the site, because it’s a lovely location.

“At the present time we are just getting over the disappointment and we will move on in time.”

Unique Kidz and Co was founded in 2009 by Jane Halpin from Bolton-le-Sands and Denise Armer from Warton.

Both are parents with disabled children.

The charity has grown rapidly and now supports more than 140 children in the area as one of very few providers of specialist holiday and after school childcare for disabled children in north Lancashire and south Cumbria.