A CHARITY which is a lifeline for mid Cheshire children with additional needs and their families is set to restart its 'stay and play' sessions.

Northwich charity Tiny Steps ran the sessions from Sir John Deane’s Leisure Centre before they were halted due to coronavirus restrictions.

A recent decision from the college not to reopen its leisure facilities for now caused another obstacle for the charity.

But now Tiny Steps is due to bring the popular 'stay and play' sessions back in two new venues – Urban Air, in Winsford, and CoCo's Playbarn, in Frodsham.

"It's been a difficult time for all our families during lockdown with Covid and the restrictions that have been place," said co-founder Laura Clifton.

"This has been compounded with the additional pressures and difficulties our families face.

"We have all missed our ‘stay and play’ sessions and, where possible, we have tried to keep upbeat about returning soon – however, it is with sadness we have been unable to return to Sir John Deane’s Leisure Centre.

"We have been very grateful to the centre for the partnership we created and the lovely staff, who we will miss. We now have to look for alternatives – wherever they may be available – and we are still looking for our forever home."

Tiny Steps was set up by parents Martin and Laura Clifton in 2003 following the birth of their first daughter as they struggled to find suitable, safe and meaningful activities for a family with a child with additional needs.

After years of fundraising, the charity launched 'stay and play' sessions last April at Lostock Gralam Community Centre, before moving to Sir John Deane's when it needed more space.

In May this year, Tiny Steps was awarded a grant of £2,500 from Hartford Wealth Management through the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation to fund sessions for the year.

Michelle Phelps, co-founder of Hartford Wealth Management, said: “We are thrilled to see that Tiny Steps are able to restart some of their activities for the families in our community who rely on their support.

"We support the decision of Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College not to re-open the leisure centre provision at this time, and we are sincerely grateful for the engagement of CoCo’s PlayBarn and Urban Air in supporting and understanding the additional needs of our families.”

The first session will be at CoCo's Playbarn on Saturday, October 17, while future dates will follow both there and at Urban Air.

For more information visit tiny-steps.co.uk