Community group ‘Stand up’ are hoping to raise over £1000 from their summer fair to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The money raised will help fund the costs of after-school activities, parent support network and days out for the children.
Chair of ‘Stand Up’, Helen Barter, said: ‘Today it would be great to raise £1000. That is what we are aiming for because it would guarantee our existence for the next six months.’
The summer fair included a bouncy castle, music band and visit from the fire service. Pompey in the Community also attended to provide the children with a football coaching session.
People across the wider community came out to support the event with a range of stalls selling home baked cakes and sweets.
The group was set up 12 months ago by six parents, all of whom have children with SEND.
Ms Barter, whose own daughter has severe autism, said: ‘We have to fund everything ourselves and so these events are vital. Today is our first official fun day which will enable us to continue to run our Friday and holiday sessions.’
In addition to providing a place for the children to interact it also provides a support network for parents.
Zoe Dear, who has an 11-year-old son with SEND, said: ‘This is a real support for me. As a parent it provides somewhere for you to go where you can speak to people in the same situation. If you don’t have a group like this then you can begin to feel isolated.’
‘The group is not just for the children. When the parents come along you can see them begin to relax as they know their child is going to be okay here,’ said Ms Barter.
‘My son loves it. Without this group there really would be nowhere else for him to go,’ added Ms Dear.
The group caters for a wide spectrum of needs including asperger syndrome, anxiety and cerebral palsey.
More than 200 people attended the event and Ms Barter hopes it is the start of a larger project to support SEND children.
‘Today is just the start. The dream is to one day raise enough money to open our own support centre,’ explained Ms Barter.