£400k windfall secures future of Leeds kids' charity

Celebration: Youngsters in Guiseley welcome the charitys windfall.
Celebration: Youngsters in Guiseley welcome the charitys windfall.
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The boss of a Leeds charity which works with disabled children has spoken of her joy after a receiving a surprise cash donation of over £400,000.

The boss of a Leeds charity which works with disabled children has spoken of her joy after a receiving a surprise cash donation of over £400,000.

Christine Parapria, chairwoman of the Aireborough Supported Activities Scheme, said the money has essentially secured their future in the short term and allowed them to employ another member of staff.

The 25-year-old charity –which she said has been “run on a shoestring” for many years – provides short breaks during school holidays for children with disabilities aged five to 18.

Christine said she received a phone call to from the Rene Horton and Joan Parkin Charitable Trust – a Yorkshire-based trust which was being wound up. She said: “This turned out to be just over £400,000. We are extremely grateful to have been chosen to receive this as the current situation for many small charities including ourselves is dire in terms of being able to access funding. Some charities have had to close and make staff redundant.

“For us this donation means that our future is secure in the short term, and we have been able to appoint an assistant project manager.”

Harry Horton, of Adel, was one of the original benefactors of the Trust along with Joan Parkin, who was from Scarborough. It was set up in 1993 via an insurance policy when Mr Horton died and had the objective of helping brain damaged and epileptic children to have a better life.

Jack Crawshaw, Mr Horton’s nephew, said the Trustees decided last year to wind up the organisation due to their age and a difficulty in finding new Trustees. Aireborough got a 65 per cent share of the Trust’s assets and three other charities also benefitted.

Mr Crawshaw said: “The distribution has now been made and we trust that the four charities that have benefited will continue to provide their excellent services to residents of Yorkshire who qualify for many years into the future.”

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