DINGLEY officially unveiled its new home in Shaw last week, marked with a visit from the charity's patron, Lady Catherine Stevenson.It marks the end of a six-year mission to find a new base for the charity, which provides care for West Berkshire...
DINGLEY officially unveiled its new home in Shaw last week, marked with a visit from the charity's patron, Lady Catherine Stevenson.
It marks the end of a six-year mission to find a new base for the charity, which provides care for West Berkshire children with specialist needs, with it having to leave Newbury Racecourse due to the major redevelopment there.
Knowing the development was in the pipeline, it had previously embarked on a five-year fundraising mission and raised £90,000 to see a log-cabin style building erected on land at the Mencap centre Enborne Road.
However, due to the site’s former use as a landfill site, the project has proven more expensive than predicted and the charity has been forced to begin the search for an alternative site.
The Newbury branch of the Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centre, for children aged 0 to five, officially opened from its new home at Shaw Social Club, Poplar Place, on Monday, February 23.
A costly refurbishment was undertaken to provide a sensory room, disabled toilet facilities, a parents room and landscaped garden space at the site.
Dingley chairman, Dave Ormrod, said: "After over three years of searching, one abandoned new build project and a very extensive refurbishment of an ex-nursery building, the Dingley West Berkshire Centre finally moved into its new home in Shaw during half term, and opened its doors to our supported children and their families.
"Grants and donations from charitable trusts, local businesses and generous individuals, plus our own fundraising efforts and public funding have enabled us to create wonderful inside and outside spaces that the children will enjoy and treasure for many years to come.
"I would like to thank the owners and trustees of Shaw Social Club for giving us the opportunity to utilise the building within their grounds, and the numerous volunteers who have put the final touches to the extensive refurbishment undertaken.
"We plan to hold a number of events in the near future to celebrate various aspects of this project, so watch this space."
Parent Lisa Richardson, who has a child which attends the Dingley centre, said: "It is wonderful that the children eventually have a place of their own.
"It makes all the hard work and effort that everyone has put in well worth it just to see the children happy and smiling."
The charity had been temporarily based at the Phoenix Resource Centre, Newtown Road, after plans to build at the Mencap centre, Enborne Road, fell through in 2013.
Funding for the centre was provided by West Berkshire Council, Englefield Charitable Trust, Greenham Common Trust, Bayer, Wolfson Foundation, Wooden Spoon, Peter Baker Foundation, Vodafone, Rank Foundation, Lloyds Bank Community Foundation and Berkshire Masons.