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Charity funding plea

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A Dales charity is making a desperate appeal for donations in the wake of county-wide cuts to learning disability support.

Rowsley charity, First Movement, conducted a survey of its users recently and was alarmed to discover that nearly half were finding it “increasingly difficult” to access council services.

Peter Shelton, strategic executive of First Movement, said: “There has been growing pressure for places on our projects for some time now. And while we are continuing to offer a full service at a minimum cost, there are many more people who would like to use our facilities than we have places for.”

He said that a £9m reduction Derbyshire County Council’s Adult Care budget will mean that, from April, many adults with learning difficulties will struggle to access services which are vital to their development.

“We want to help this growing need and we have exciting and engaging products to help,but to extend our programme to offer even more opportunities we desperately need donations from the public.”

First Movement has been providing creative activities to people with learning difficulties in the Derbyshire Dales since 1998 and moved into it’s purpose built Rowsley centre in 2008.

With the money raised, the charity hopes to recruit more staff, purchase more equipment and provide more transport.

Peter said: “All money donated will have a direct impact on what services we can offer – so every penny will really help.”

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “In all the efficiencies we have made so far we have specifically attempted to protect frontline and preventative services for people with learning disabilities and older and vulnerable people.

“We would be interested to find out more about this survey so we can look at the areas where people say they are struggling to access services and try to address the issues.”

He added that if people had concerns about the service, they should contact the authority straight away.

To donate to the charity, send cheques to ‘First Movement’ at the Level Centre, Rowsley DE4 2EL. For more information visit www.first-movement.org.uk or call 01629 734848.

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