£400k needed for charity’s new centre

Pathways4All founder, Lynn McManus (Back) pictured with (L-R) Bethan Gibbs (nine), Hannah Carty (nine) and Demi Eaton (eight).
Pathways4All founder, Lynn McManus (Back) pictured with (L-R) Bethan Gibbs (nine), Hannah Carty (nine) and Demi Eaton (eight).

A CHARITY providing social activities for disabled children is appealing for funds it needs to complete work on its new home.

Pathways 4 All currently caters for more than 200 youngsters with disabilities or special needs and is hoping to help many more after finishing its transformation of an area at the Rising Sun Country Park in Benton into a play centre.

Work is already complete on the conversion of scrubland into a sensory garden, but the charity needs to find around £400,000 to pay for extensive renovation and refurbishment work on a building there to create an indoor play area too.

Lynn McManus, the charity’s founder, said: “Our dream is to provide a welcoming, inclusive place with the right facilities for disabled children of all needs and abilities.

“Apart from a few little details, the sensory garden is more or less completed. It’s full of touchy-feely things that the kids can play with, and we’re really, really pleased with it.

“But we basically need to start from scratch with the building.

“We already have some of the equipment we want to install, but our worry at the minute is whether we can raise enough money for the work to be done.

“It’s a daunting task, but our families are crying out for a place to call their own that is built specifically around disability and where they can take some time out and socialise.”

The centre will provide facilities – including a sports hall, crèche, soft-play area, IT suite, craft and cookery, café and specialist washroom facilities – for young people up to the age of 25.

Lynn added: “We want this to be a seven-days-a-week, 52-weeks-a-year facility for disabled children and their families throughout the north east, not just North Tyneside.”

Demi Eaton, eight, is among the regular users of the new outdoor play area, and her mum Donna said: “This space is going to make a huge difference. Demi already loves the swings in the garden and, once the building is complete, it will mean we won’t have to chop and change between different locations for different activities.”

To offer support, contact Lynn McManus at lynn4pathways@gmail.com or on (0191) 280 8613.