A Chesterfield charity which supports children with learning difficulties or disabilities and their families is set to celebrate 30 years of helping young people across the town.
Fairplay was set up in 1992 by a group of parents who wanted accessible activities for their disabled children. The group set up a club where their children could attend during school holidays.
The demand for the group was overwhelming and the group developed into an organisation with paid staff. The organisation has grown ever since, developing youth services as well as children’s and expanding into areas throughout North Derbyshire.
In 2009 Fairplay was successful in receiving funding to build its first centre in Chesterfield. The centre has been purpose built to ensure that all children and young people are able to access the facilities on offer. The centre was officially opened in July 2010 and features an activity hall, outdoor play area, sensory room, kitchen, and changing places toilet.
With the opening of the new centre Fairplay has been able to expand its services and now offers services to young people up to aged 30 as well as a new pre-school parent support group for parents with children under 5. Fairplay continues to grow and develop in response to the needs of local families and currently supports over 400 families across the area.
HR officer, Nikki Lowe commented: “We feel we have made an absolutely amazing achievement in reaching 30 years! The last couple of years have been tough due to the uncertainties faced because of the pandemic but we can say with pride that even through lockdown we have managed to remain open, meaning our much needed services have continued to run for those families in need.
“Fairplay would like to thank all of the individuals and business who, over the last 30 years, have fundraised for us. Every donation really does help make a difference, and allows us to continue with our much needed work and services for children & young people with additional needs or disabilities.
“We would also like to thank all our volunteers for their continued help and support, as we wouldn’t be able to run sessions without them.”
To mark the occasion, the charity will be taking on it’s biggest fundraising effort to date. CEO Heather Fawbert, and HR Officer Nikki Lowe will be taking on the challenge of walking ‘30k in a day’. The 18.5 mile sponsored walk will take place on Friday 19th August around the beautiful spot of Buttermere in the Lake District.
Although Heather and Nikki will be fortunate enough to take in some stunning scenery, this grueling walk will include hiking up and reaching the summit of 7 mountains! They will be tackling: Red Pike, White Pike, Pillar, Hay Stacks, Seat, High Crag and High Stile – they’ll reach a whopping 892metres (that’s 2,927 feet!) elevation at the highest point.
In addition, the team will be involving the young people who attend Fairplay by hosting a sponsored walk around Linacre at the end of June – with the aim of walking 30K in a day as a collective team. The charity is also campaigning to recruit 30 new volunteers and will be holding an information day on Wednesday 1st June. Anyone interested should contact Tom Boden.
Nikki added: “People can support us in many different ways, whether it is volunteering or by donating money. Any donation made for our 30th year fundraising events will be greatly appreciated and goes a long way in supporting our children & young people and continues our valued work in the community.
“If you are a business and would like to sponsor our walk we’d love to hear from you – or even better, we have limited availability to join us on our sponsored walk so why not get involved, put on your hiking boots and take in the views of Buttermere whilst raising money for our charity? All we ask for anyone wanting to join us is that you pledge to raise a minimum of £500 – accommodation is booked and travel to and from the venue can be sorted for you so it’s just a case of contacting us if you are interested.”
Fairplay supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.