SLM Toyota Uckfield has secured a grant of £1,800 for the Children’s Respite Trust which is opening a day centre in town.
The money will go towards upgrading the kitchen area of a building which was derelict for five years but has now been renovated and is being equipped ready for phased opening, beginning in July, with drop-in sessions.
SLM Toyota appealed for suggestions of Uckfield charities they could help when applying for a grant from the Toyota Fund for a Better Tomorrow.
They were delighted with about 20 ideas put forward, all worthy causes, but then manager Mark Stevens, and marketing manager Mel Ball had a tricky time drawing up a short list and making the final choice.
After visiting the Children’s Respite Trust premises, accessed off Grange Road, on Friday Mel was satisfied they had made a good choice.
She was pleased the money would help the Children’s Respite Trust open its day centre.
She and SLM Group director Jason Barlow were there to present the £1,800 cheque to trust chief executive Gavin Fisher.
Gavin showed them the open plan ground floor which will accommodate a soft play area with sensory section, quiet lounge, messy play corner for arts and crafts, dining area and kitchen.
Upstairs will be sectioned off to provide an office, an area for parents to gather, and a games room.
The Children’s Respite Trust currently works within the community going into people’s homes to provide support for families and disabled children.
The centre in Uckfield will enable it to hold drop-in sessions where parents can bring in their children to enjoy playing in the downstairs space, while they have a break upstairs chatting with other parents.
Later when the centre becomes more established up to six children at a time, and up to 54 in total, will be able to attend sessions a couple of times a week on a regular basis.
The sessions will give parents much needed time to get chores done, spend time with other children in the family or even, as one mum told the trust, have a shower on her own.
The children will either be referred for places or families will self-refer. Each child will be assessed by the trust to understand their needs.
Gavin said he was grateful to SLM Toyota Uckfield for their support and pleased to hear they would like to continue involvement in the project, either through staff helping practically when the kitchen comes to be installed, or through helping to publicise the work being done there by carrying regular updates on their website with pictures to show progress.