Mid Suffolk HOPS charity could be forced to close if it cannot find new premises soon
A charity which has supported severely disabled youngsters for 40 years faces closure if it cannot find a new home.
Mid Suffolk HOPS provides specialist holiday day care and Saturday clubs, with many of the 70 families it helps depending on its support.
However the charity, which was established in 1978, has been given notice to leave its current base by September 29, 2019. Despite an extensive three-year search, it has been unable to find alternative premises.
Jackie Markell, HOPS co-ordinator, said: “It has got to the stage now we really think we will have to close because we cannot find anywhere.
“We are willing to pay rent, but we need to find somewhere suitable for the children.”
In an ideal world any potential property would have running water, inside and outside space, disabled changing/washing facilities or the potential to install them, space for indoor areas including a ball pool, sensory room, soft play equipment and art activities, and be in the
mid Suffolk/A140 corridor area.
“We are open to whatever anybody might have to offer,” said Jackie. “Time is definitely running out. We could be looking to fold at the end of the summer holidays if we don’t find somewhere very soon.”
HOPS offers holiday play schemes and Saturday clubs for youngsters aged four-17 with severe disabilities, giving parents an opportunity to have a break without worry.
“We are there to give them a special place with other young people and somewhere safe for them to play. We take everybody as an individual and give their families a break,” said Jackie.
HOPS, which is currently based in Thorndon, was set up by parents who wanted to keep the continuity going so that when their children returned to school after the holidays they ‘didn’t have to start from scratch again’.
It has 70 teenage volunteers from schools across the region.
If you know of any potential premises, contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07857 618161.