A community-run children’s centre saved from closure has been boosted with a donation of more than £7,700 from the mayor of Thame’s charity fund.
Cllr Linda Emery, who handed over the chains of office this week, presented a cheque for £7,747 to Amy Spicer, centre leader, and John Hulett, chair of trustees, at the new Red Kite Family Centre, in Southern Road, during the Thame Town Council meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Hulett said: “We were really pleased when the mayor decided to choose the Red Kite Centre as one of her two charities to support. It’s a tribute to the tireless effort that she has given to supporting us through the year that her charity appeal has been able to raise so much money for us. A big thank you to Linda and everyone who has contributed by attending one of her many charity events.”
Following a year of preparation and fundraising by a community working group, the new centre held a launch event on Wednesday, April 26.
Amongst the many invited guests were Cllr Emery, who performed the official opening, and many others who have given support to the campaign to keep the centre running after Oxfordshire County Council cut its funding and left it facing closure.
Mr Hulett said he was delighted that the funds had been raised to keep the centre open, at least for the coming year and hopefully beyond that.
He said: “There were two key reasons for wanting to keep this centre open. Firstly, the support and activities that it offers to all parents and 0-4year-olds can only really work if they are based in the local community, here in Thame, and also in Chinnor.
Secondly, Amy Spicer as leader of the former children’s centre, is so highly respected and trusted for the work she and her team have done supporting these young families in the past that we were determined to make sure it could continue.”
Amy introduced her new staff team to everyone and the mayor unveiled the new family centre sign and paid tribute to all the hard work that had gone into launching the community initiative.
About 70 families and their children attended the opening event where children were also thrilled to meet a giant Gecko and teddy bear organised for the centre by the regional Co-op team.
Full details of the centre programme can be found on their website at www.redkitefamilycentre.org and Facebook. You can call 01844 261163 or email