Appeal for £20,000 to keep disability project going

Stroud News and Journal: Members of the Gateway Active group held a fundraising afternoon at The Hut in Stroud to try and raise the £20,000 needed to keep the project going (2886460) Members of the Gateway Active group held a fundraising afternoon at The Hut in Stroud to try and raise the £20,000 needed to keep the project going (2886460)

A GROUP which helps individuals with learning difficulties become more active has launched a campaign to raise £20,000 to save their project.

Members of the Gateway Active project in Stroud, which aims to improve the wellbeing for people with a learning disability, are appealing for financial help now that their funding has been cut.

There are currently 13 Gateway Active centres around the country, all of which are run through the charity Mencap and funded by the People’s Health Trust since the project was established in 2012.

As of April next year the trust will no longer be able to provide funding and now the Stroud group are frantically trying to raise £20,000 to keep the project going for another year.

Charlotte Jones, the project manager for Stroud, said although £20,000 is the initial target they would really like to raise £60,000 in order to give themselves three years of security.

“We have been applying for various grants and organising different fundraising events such as cake sales, raffles and a tombola and so far we have had a good response from people but we are still so far from our target,” said Charlotte.

The main aspect of the project is to take part in the Gateway award which aims to encourage individuals with learning disabilities to gain new skills, become more independent, make friends and to become active in the community.

There are three levels of the award – bronze, silver and gold – and participants receive a certificate upon completion of each stage.

“If we are not able to raise the money to keep the project going then many people will not get the opportunity to complete the final stage of the award,” said Charlotte.

“After all that hard work and the progress these individuals have made it will be such a shame for them not to be able to complete the final chapter.

“We are appealing to anyone who can help us raise the money we need to continue.

“This project has positively changed the quality of people’s lives and for it to end now would be really devastating for everyone who is involved in the Gateway Active programme.”

To donate to the project email Charlotte on gatewayactive@stroudmencap.co.uk.

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