£500k boost for Cumbrian special needs children

MORE than £500,000 has been earmarked to improve and support the lifestyle needs of hundreds of disabled and special needs children across Cumbria.

Projects to benefit from the cash from the Aiming High for Disabled Children funding include £52,500 for The Elms short-break facility at Workington and £160,000 for a new respite centre at Carlisle.

Funding will also be available for buying and fitting play equipment (£100,000) and £51,500 to help access equipment through the Parents Learning to Change Steering Group.

Julia Morrison, corporate director, Children’s Services, Cumbria County Council, said: “We’ve said all along that it is a priority of ours to improve the choices for our vulnerable young people despite the challenging economic realities.

“These funding opportunities for Cumbria address both overnight short break provision and allowing future financial decisions to be taken by parents themselves.”

Coun Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council cabinet member responsible for children’s social care, said: “We have tried to ensure that funding has been targeted for projects across the county including the Elms in Workington.

“We are totally committed to working with parents, young people and stakeholder groups to listen to what they want and then implement those requests.”

Aiming High for Disabled Children is a nationwide programme for transforming disabled children’s services which includes improving information on services such as short breaks, improving co-ordination of services, increasing parents’ involvement, improving transition to adulthood, improving access to child care for disabled children and access to essential equipment.