Positive Moves, a local organisation providing essential services to children and families in Irlam and Cadishead, was devastated to learn recently that Salford City Council has slashed their funding to run groups for children with special needs groups and all sessions ended on Tuesday 24th September.
The children and families affected are heartbroken by the news. Emma Metcalfe from Irlam whose son Adam age 11 suffers from Autism told M44 News, “Adam has been attending Positive Moves for 4 years and his communication and social skills have developed beyond all recognition he just loves going to the group.” Sharon Kelly who son and daughter joined the group around five years ago added, “It gives children with difficulties the chance to become part of the community, make friends locally and learn great social skills.”
Positive Moves has been providing twice-weekly activity sessions at Cadishead Hall for up to 80 children and their siblings since 2006. In a pioneering initiative non-disabled children have been trained to mentor and support their disabled peers in a bid to break down prejudice and promote integration.
Lihan Hayes from Cadishead whose son Bobby suffers from Autism and ADHD and daughter Clara who has learning difficulties have been attending the Positive Moves Group for six months said, “The kids have loved the group and have made massive improvements and changes is a short time. The group provides a fantastic opportunity in a safe environment and I just don’t know what we are going to do now.”
Brenda Norcott added, “My granddaughter Ruby has only been coming her for two weeks and what a difference it has made. Ruby is dyslexic and undergoing tests for Autism. She has come on leaps and bounds in such a short time. The group also gave mum Emma Norcott four hours of respite time every week the value of which cannot be measured.” Great Gran Sybil Norcott added, “Ruby is like a different child even after such a short time at Positive Moves she has learnt more in two weeks then she ever has at school this group must be funded for the sake of the children and the parents.”
Councillor John Merry, Assistant Mayor for Children’s Services at Salford City Council, said: “The contract Salford City Council had with Positive Moves recently came to an end. We invited them to tender again but unfortunately their application did not meet the strict criteria we are bound by. We are now working to ensure that families and young people in Irlam and Cadishead can continue to receive the vital support they need.”