New doors open as Hatfield charity Potential Kids finds three new sites
PUBLISHED: 11:11 21 January 2019
When one door closed, others opened for young people with autism and ADHD in Welwyn Hatfield and their families.
Volunteer-run charity Potential Kids, which had been searching for a new base for weeks, will reopen its popular social groups and activity sessions - and launch two new groups - at three new sites in Hatfield in February.
Potential Kids was unable to remain at its previous home in Beaconsfield Court in Hatfield after the building was sold and finished moving out on Wednesday.
From next month, PK Stay and Play sessions and Potential Girls group will be based at the Breaks Manor, the Potential Kicks and inclusive multi-sports sessions have a new home at Roe Hill Hall, while new groups Potential Tech and Potential Boys are set to be launched at Hatfield outlet centre The Galleria.
Potential Kids director Susanna Mateu said: “The response has been absolutely crazy... everyone’s been really, really happy for us. “The families are delighted to have all these things coming up now, but also the community, at every stage the community has always backed us and been behind us.”
Almost 1,200 people signed a petition on website Change.org to help Potential Kids relocate.
The organisation had difficulty finding sites that were suitable and accessible with sufficient space and storage.
Susanna said: “We knew we wouldn’t be able to find a site like where we had, we had a huge amount of space in there, but we had to make the best of it.
“It seems it’s going to work with three places now, and we’re really, really excited about the future, so hopefully everyone will be behind us again.”
Since opening in March last year, Potential Kids has grown rapidly with more than 1,500 families involved in their groups, including for girls, parents and carers, and people with tic disorders and Tourette’s Syndrome.
Susanna said: “We have the potential to grow more, we have these venues and can do lots of things now, it is just a matter of finding the funding to run every one.”
She thanked Hatfield Town Council leader Lenny Brandon, Galleria, Breaks Manor, Welwyn Hatfield Community and Voluntary Services chief officer Carmen Dillon and the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council for their support.