Merseyway Stockport, the town centre’s shopping centre, has selected Independent Options Children and Family Centre as its Charity of the Year.
Independent Options in Hazel Grove provides inclusive play opportunities in a safe and welcoming environment for local children with learning disabilities and additional needs aged between 0-13 years.
The charity was selected by Merseyway from 40 entries as part of its ongoing commitment to the local community and those families within it.
Independent Options Children and Family Centre offers a wide range of groups, play sessions and SEN training courses where children can learn and play and parents can access a wide range of information and support. The centre tailors both the support and the groups to the children’s individual needs and ensures the numbers of those attending the groups are kept low to ensure each child gets the attention they deserve. The groups are all family based, with parents and carers joining their children for sessions. The Children and Family Centre is unique to the Stockport area with its strong ethos of reverse inclusion which means they welcome all children, including siblings and friends.
Along with an indoor space which features lots of toys, games and crafts as well as a dedicated sensory room, the centre also has a large fully secure garden with lots of outdoor toys, games, and play equipment and runs a number of groups and activities including an after school club, weekend boredom busters, Sing & Sign and Sensory & Messy Play for 0 to 4 year olds, parent coffee mornings and school holiday clubs.
Over the next 12 months Merseyway will be running a variety of events and initiatives to help raise vital funds to support the centre, including collections at the Merseyway Maze which the shopping centre is hosting from 4th – 17th August.
Brendan Webb, Centre Manager at Merseyway Stockport said:
“Independent Options Children and Family Centre provides a vital resource for local children with learning disabilities and additional needs and crucially their families too. The centre really is one of a kind and we were incredibly moved by their work and dedication.
“As a shopping centre with local families at its heart we’re delighted to be supporting a charity that makes a real difference to the community and one that with our support can grow its profile to benefit even more local families. Over the next 12 months we’re planning lots of events and initiatives to fundraise and will be encouraging our retailers and shoppers to get behind us to help us raise as much as we can.”
Julia Maunder, Centre Manager at Independent Options Children and Family Centre said:
“We are very honoured to have been chosen as Merseyway Shopping Centre’s charity of the year. The Children and Family Centre is a truly wonderful place where children and their families can access support in a warm, safe and welcoming environment and without help from people like Merseyway we would not be able to continue providing such an important resource which means so much to so many of the families who come here.”