Update from the Red Kite Centre

Local charity Sharing Life Trust has been leading a working group to try and save the Red Kite Children’s Centre from the planned closure by Oxfordshire County Council at the end of March 2017.

Just before Christmas the decision was taken that, with the promises we had received for funding, Sharing Life Trust could afford to plan for running the centre for 1 year. It is still their plan and hope to continue for at least three years but there is much work to do to secure the centre’s future.

Having decided to go ahead the following actions have already been taken:

  • The centre (and the charity) will be known as the ‘Red Kite Family Centre’. Its core purpose will be exactly the same as at present – providing support for pre-school children and their parents in Thame and Chinnor.
  • The Red Kite Family Centre is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) as of 25 January 2017. The charity has four trustees:  Mary Stiles, Sarah Roberts, Rosie Pearce and John Hulett. Mary is a town councillor and has championed the centre’s work and chaired its advisory board for many years. Sarah has been a parent user and has 10 year’s experience as a manager in the NHS, Rosie is a nutritionist who has been a long standing volunteer at the centre and John, a retired headteacher, is a trustee of Sharing Life Trust which has been leading the campaign to keep the centre running.
  • The aim is for the current centre programme to continue, with some new activities arranged in response to survey feedback from parents.
  • Health Visitors and the other health professionals will continue to use the centre in Thame and Chinnor for their sessions.
  • The position over future staffing arrangements is currently being decided and we will give an update on this within the next few weeks.
  • The Centre has been named as Co-op’s charity of the year from 1 February 2017.

Funding update
Of the approximately £70,000 needed to run the centre in year 1 about £45,000 has so far been promised, including £10k from Thame Town Council, and we are waiting to hear the result of our application for further grants. The Centre has also been one of the Thame Mayor’s chosen charities for this year and are grateful for all the generous support given by the local community. Many have registered an interest using our website link and we will be writing to them all shortly.

Sharing Life are delighted that the centre’s future is looking much brighter for the growing numbers of families with babies and young children in Thame and Chinnor. We still need to raise a lot more funds. If you would like to help with a one-off donation or regular gift please go to the Sharing Life Trust website (www.sharinglifetrust.org) and press the link button for the Red Kite Family Centre.

The Red Kite Family Centre trustees would like to thank everyone for their support.

Registered charity number: 1171250