A GENEROUS New Forest businessman has donated £100,000 to a charity supporting young people with multiple learning and physical disabilities.
The Rose Road Association provides overnight respite care for anyone aged up to 25 which provides a much-needed lifeline for their families.
The huge donation has come from Beaulieu-based Paul Nicholas who first got involved with the charity when he helped out after some of its vehicles were vandalised last Christmas.
He subsequently visited Rose Road’s Bradbury Centre in Aldermoor Road, Southampton, where the young people can stay to build new friendships, try out new activities and mix with their peers.
There is a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool, community-based activities and a fully-equipped multi-sensory room and soft play room on site.
Until Mr Nicholas’s donation the charity has not been able to afford to staff nurses and was facing the possibility of having to ask some of the families with more complex needs to stop using the service.
The extra funding will pay for nursing support for up to a year, such as for 14-year-old Tabby. She is one of the regulars at the Bradbury Centre which helps her live life to the full despite her quadriplegic cerebral palsy, severe epilepsy and profound visual impairment.
Mr Nicholas said: “Supporting Rose Road in this way enables me to help improve the lives of children like Tabby and her family.
“The nursing provision we are supporting will enable many of them to continue to benefit from Rose Road’s care. I would urge anyone that is able to help, to get involved and support Rose Road, it’s an incredibly rewarding charity to be part of.”
Many of the children, some of whom hail from the New Forest, have complex medical needs and the centre gives parents the chance for a break or for emergency care during times of stress or bereavement.
Mr Gallant said of Rose Road and its supporters: “Without your help, I honestly believe our family would not have been able to cope.
“It’s incredibly stressful living as we do, on a knife’s edge, and thanks to you we haven’t fallen off. Thank you for your support. You don’t know what you all mean to us.”
Rose Road chief executive Juno Hollyhock, added: “We are absolutely thrilled at this incredibly generous gift from Paul.
“We are a small charity fighting hard for the rights of our families to have the care and support that they need and it breaks our hearts to think that we may have to turn anyone away.
“To know that we have a year to review our pricing structure with our commissioners and to engage in some proactive fundraising efforts to secure this nursing support into the future means the world to us and to our families.”