Last Updated: 02 December 2010
Created: 02 December 2010
Justin Tomlinson MP & Liz Hurley at the Hop, Skip & Jump, Parliamentary Reception
Actress and model Elizabeth Hurley has given her backing to the development of a new centre for disabled children in Swindon.
She joined guests in the House of Commons for a presentation about the Hop Skip and Jump charity’s planned development at Lydiard Park, which was given planning permission in January.
The actress is the president of the charity, and appealed for people to donate so that the project can go ahead as soon as possible.
She said: “The ladies who organise Hop Skip and Jump asked me to get involved. They told me that one in 15 families in the UK have a child with special needs.
“When they told me that my knee jerk reaction was to say I don’t believe that.
“Then I did a bit of thinking and a couple of handfuls of my very best friends have children with special needs. One has an autistic son, one has a daughter with Down’s syndrome. Another has a daughter the same age as my son and she has special needs and will never be able to look after herself. That made me realise how lucky I am. I have one son and he doesn’t have any disabilities and he is a bit of a handful sometimes.”
Elizabeth, who lives at Barnsley in the Cotswolds, is hoping to come to Swindon to help the charity raise the £985,000 needed to build the centre, which will take about six months to complete.
They have raised £147,000 so far and she and the group are planning fundraisers which could include camel racing and village fetes.
The Hop Skip and Jump development will include specialist treatment rooms, sensory rooms, large play areas, and a wide variety of support facilities for families and carers.
“We aim to build a whole load more of them and that’s why we’re here today, so we can help more and more children across the country,” she said.
Hop Skip and Jump was established in 1982 and operates two centres in Cheltenham and Bristol.
South Swindon MP, Robert Buckland, who was at the presentation, has a daughter with special needs. He said he expects to use the new centre in Swindon when it has been completed.
“It’s not just about the children and young people themselves, it’s about their families. It will be a wonderful facility and I will do everything I can to support it.”
North Swindon MP, Justin Tomlinson, "I was delighted to support this excellent Parliamentary reception. Swindon would benefit so much from this proposed site, and I will continue to support the excellent fundraising work of the volunteers."
To donate to the appeal visit www.hopskipandjumpswindon.org
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