Delight for Fareham community group as stolen buggy is replaced

A COMMUNITY group has been able to replace a stolen off-road buggy after receiving a £2,250 donation.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 10:48 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:16 pm
The new buggy which was donated to the Fright Night Club by the Fareham Pub after it was stolen last year. Credit: Friday Night Club

The Friday Night Club, a Fareham-based club which provides activities for people with learning disabilities, was handed the money last year by the Fareham Pub.

The donation has been used to buy a new buggy and trailer, replacing one which was stolen in October.

Members returned from a day out to find the vehicle and its security devices had been taken.

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Project co-founder Geoff Knipe said: ‘That was something we really needed to replace, we do those activities every week.

‘Obviously everyone was very excited when we got the buggy, we had been waiting for it for a long time.’

The money was raised by Martin Munns and Dianne Munns, landlord and landlady of the pub, with the help of customers.

Last week the group visited the pub, in Trinity Street, Fareham, with the buggy to show off their new purchase to regulars.

The group are also hoping to raise money to fund a new activities centre.

Most activities, including archery and quad-biking, currently take place at the Marwell Outdoor Activity Centre in Owslebury, near Winchester.

Geoff, 64, said: ‘That is our long-term aim.

‘We are pretty stable financially but I want there to be a legacy.

‘What we are looking for is a couple of acres, which ultimately would help us to grow.’

The group provides activities for about 90 people every week, with a team of 12 volunteers helping out.

It was started about six years ago as a Friday night disco, but has expanded to include activities on most days of the week.

Geoff said: The whole thing is about creating opportunities for adults with learning disabilities, which gives them social interaction and the chance to make new friends.

‘This week we had members put on a lunch for 34 people.

‘That shows what they can offer to the community and how they can make sure to value themselves.

‘With the general election round the corner and cuts to social care, it’s important that groups like ourselves are there for people.’

Apart from ongoing fundraising, Geoff is on the lookout for a suitable site to build the centre and additional facilities.

The group is also open to sharing the centre with other projects and charities.