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The Learning Library to host charity night to boost coffers
A CHARITY that loans specialist items to people with learning difficulties will hold its first major fundraising event since it was set up more than two decades ago.
The Learning Library hopes to bolster its coffers- which like many charities have fallen on harder times than in recent years- with an evening of entertainment and an auction next week.
One of the biggest financial gaps it needs to plug follows the loss of a £24,000-a-year service agreement with Durham County Council, which equates to about a fifth of its annual funding.
Manager Sheila Harris said: “We usually hold a couple of small fundraisers a year but because our members all have disabilities it is quite difficult for them to come to things.
“We try not to put all our eggs in one basket with funding so though we’ve lost some local authority funding and some grants have ended, which could force some charities to fold, we won’t.
“But we are finding funding much harder to come by now so really want to raise money ourselves, it is the first big event for us so we really hope people come along, have a good night and support us.”
The charity was established in Spennymoor, County Durham, in 1986, and has continually grown to meet demand. It now has branches in Wheatley Hill and Durham and about 800 members.
Mrs Harris said: “We help around two thirds children, a third adults, and are very careful to be age appropriate.
“We offer toys and equipment that will aid learning through play, stimulate and interest, help physical development, enable a disabled child to play with siblings and build confidence.
“We have very specialist, often expensive equipment which families may not be able to access otherwise and can try before deciding to spend their own money on.”
The fundraising event at Spennymoor Town Hall, on Friday, September 20, will feature singer Ian Fraser and guest speaker George Courtney.
An auction of more than 20 lots will include overnight stays, signed sports memorabilia, tickets for sporting events and family attractions and gym membership.
Tickets available at Spennymoor Town Hall reception, Spennymoor Town FC on match days or The Learning Library on North Street, Spennymoor, on 01388-420267.
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