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Newton Aycliffe disabled club receives welcome boost
A DISABLED club that was on the brink of closure due to dwindling membership has been given a much-needed boost.
In August, Paul Ryder, who suffers from cerebral palsy, told The Northern Echo his Newton Aycliffe-based disabled club, Jumping Jacks, could be forced to fold if membership did not pick up.
The club had recently moved back to the town following a temporary spell in Chilton and Mr Ryder, 36, and his partner, Lisa Gregory, had struggled to regain the numbers they initially attracted.
Mr Ryder, however, refused to give up and his passion caught the attention of Quality Carers UK Ltd – a Middlesbrough-based company that provides care within care homes, respite centres, schools, hospitals and individual’s homes across the North-East.
Managing director Sian Parker-Harrison, who has a daughter with cerebral palsy, said: “We heard about what Paul was trying to do and when we met him we were overwhelmed by his inspiration, motivation and drive.
“We want to do all we can to back him and make Jumping Jacks a success.”
As well as setting up a website and Facebook page, the company, which is providing its time and expertise for free, has pledged to provide volunteers and publicise the club to its disabled clients across the North-East.
Mr Ryder, who lives in Newton Aycliffe with Ms Gregory, set up Jumping Jacks in 2011 to provide a place for disabled adults to relax, make new friends and enjoy activities, such as pool, bingo, discos and themed-nights.
“All I want to do is put a smile on people’s faces,” he said. “When I was growing up I found it hard to meet people and make friends.”
Initially, the club was very popular and the father-of-one is confident the new team can recapture this success.
“I felt overwhelmed when Sian called,” he said. “The volunteers had been telling me to give up. They said it would never work as there are too many other disabled clubs. Sian believes in Jumping Jacks.”
The club will be re-launched at 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 6, at St Clare’s Church in Newton Aycliffe.
To find out more contact Mr Ryder on 07725-721601 or Ms Gregory on 07720-877071.
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