Parents in plea to save school

PUBLISHED: 16:54 20 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:44 27 October 2009

Smiles could turn to tears if money is not found

Smiles could turn to tears if money is not found

FEARFUL parents of autistic children have described a decision to close a special pre-school as 'disastrous'. Times Territory mothers and fathers are helpless to the closure of a special service provided at Tracks, Lodge Farm Annexe in Stevenage, due to l

FEARFUL parents of autistic children have described a decision to close a special pre-school as "disastrous".

Times Territory mothers and fathers are helpless to the closure of a special service provided at Tracks, Lodge Farm Annexe in Stevenage, due to lack of funds.

For the last five years, the charity-run centre has nurtured the special needs of two- to five-year-olds with autism.

However, the centre, which needs a minimum of £5,000 to stay open, will have to close on Friday if the money is not found.

Hatfield parent and trustee at the centre, Sam Taylor, pleaded with local businesses and benefactors to save the service she described as "utterly invaluable".

The Green Croft resident, whose son Alban has autism and relies on the service, said: "It would be disaster if we close and I don't want to think about it.

"There are only three of its kind in the country and to travel from Welwyn Hatfield is a drop in the ocean.

"It's so vital for the kids' progression that we stay open.

"We need someone to come in and save us."

Sophie Rees, from Dalewood, WGC, said her son Lewis has "benefited so much" from the centre.

She said: "Finding this place was like catching a falling star and to think that it is going to be taken away is like losing a winning lottery ticket."

Melissa Surridge, who lives in Daniells, WGC, with autistic son Matthew, described the pre-school as "so fantastic for my son's development".

Parents of former pupils of the centre have also spoken up against the imminent closure.

Paul Simmonds, from Heronswood Road, WGC, who used to bring his son Ollie to the school, said: "I feel very passionately about the place and I am very distressed to find that Tracks is now to close.

"I sincerely hope that some ongoing funding can be found."

To offer a lifeline to the centre you can email tracks123@tiscali.co.uk


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