Charity stepping up bid to raise cash for centre

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A CHARITY is stepping up its efforts to raise the remaining £270,000 it needs to turn a run-down building into a fully-kitted-out centre for disabled children.

Pathways 4 All is already more than a third of the way towards its £420,000 target, having raised more than £150,000.

The Benton centre, given to the charity by North Tyneside Council, was in poor condition, but its windows have already been replaced and its roof has been repaired.

Now the charity’s founder, Lynn McManus, is hoping to find the rest of the money needed before all its current funds are spent.

“We’re trying to get the items needed as cheap as we can from the first batch of funds,” she said.

“We just need to ensure we keep getting the money in.”

The facility – planned to cater for disabled youngsters and young adults aged up to the age of 25 – will include a sports hall, creche, soft-play area, IT suite, craft and cookery areas, café, rooms to relax in and specialist washroom facilities.

The refurbishment work is being carried out by Robertson North East.

Martin Westgate, business development manager at Robertson, said: “We’re doing a lot of the work just for cost to help save money.

“We started on site at the beginning of May and have spent £15,000 on tidying up the roof and replacing the windows.

“We’re also getting involved in the fundraising side of things.”

Lynn is planning a range of fundraising activities including a non-uniform day at schools in the borough on Friday, June 29.

Following the death of the charity’s chairman, Tim Lamb, earlier this year, former Newcastle United owner Sir John Hall has taken on the role of patron.

Fellow patron Denise Welch, the Loose Women host and former Coronation Street actress, is due to visit the play area alongside the forthcoming Tim Lamb Centre at the Rising Sun Country Park in Benton tomorrow afternoon, along with ex-EastEnder Kacey Ainsworth, one of her current co-stars in Steel Magnolias at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.