Support bid for disabled students’ lifeline club

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A cash-strapped club that provides vital support for students with disabilities has launched a £20,000 crowdfunding campaign.

Ashcraig Former Pupils’ Club – which caters for several East Dunbartonshire students – has struggled to meet heavy funding costs, and urgently needs support to keep going.

It is currently unable to meet, meaning members are facing “an anxious and upsetting time”.

Club chairwoman Lesley Ingram said: “My oldest son Craig attended Ashcraig School in Glasgow (now called Ashton School), which provided education for students with physical disabilities and/or visual impairment.

“I became involved in various aspects of school life, and once Craig had left school I became chairperson of Ashcraig Former Pupils Club.

“We meet for two hours on a Tuesday evening during term time, and the membership is Glasgow-wide, with ages ranging from early 20’s to mid-30’s

“About half of our members use wheelchairs and the rest are ambulant but still with a physical disability. “Several also have a visual impairment and/or learning difficulty.”

She added: “Since 2013 we have also held a two-week summer camp for members.

“We employ seven staff, all of whom are Disclosure checked, and run a variety of programmes to

ensure that the time spent at the club is enjoyable.

“We employ sports coaches to allow our members who are interested to take part in a variety of sports, such as football, curling and tennis – and all members, whether in a wheelchair or not, can take part.”

Club sessions have also featured invited speakers, drama courses, art-based projects, music, and more – and there are outside social occasions too.

Lesley said: “We do a lot of fundraising ourselves. Every two years we hold a Grand Raffle in December and

we have completed sponsored walks, football cards, bag packing etc.

“Our club is more than just a youth club.

“We provide respite for a few hours per week for the relatives looking after these young people, andensure that members can meet up with friends when it is difficult at other times.

“For some of our members it is a social lifeline.”

But she adds that now the club has turned to crowdfunding, as with annual costs running at around £50,000 it has been increasingly difficult to make ends meet over the last seven years.

Lesley said: “We are currently awaiting the outcome of applications but are at present unable to meet.

“This means social isolation for some members, which in turn means a reduction in support for their carers.”

Anyone wishing to get involved with the campaign to get the club back on a sound footing can find out more at

www.justgiving/crowdfunding/Ashcraig.