Lifeline gives hope for the future of children’s centre

Craig Scott with sister Gabby
Craig Scott with sister Gabby

CAMELIA Botnar Children’s Centre will remain open until at least December.

The Goring charity, which cares for pre-school children with a range of special needs and long-term medical conditions, has been given a lifeline by West Sussex County Council.

Despite launching a campaign to save the centre earlier this year, no benefactor came forward and the centre was expecting to close next month.

It is safe- for now, but till needs to find a permanent income stream.

Philip Bush, chairman of the centre’s trustees, said: “This is a welcome collaborative venture. The injection of funding will hopefully act as a platform for both organisations to work closely together to provide a more comprehensive and cost-effective early years’ educational service for children with special and additional needs.”

West Sussex County Council cabinet member for children – start of life, Peter Evans, said: “There is no disputing that the centre provides an amazing service which so many families in the county rely on.

“We are grateful for the contribution the centre has made to the community for so many years.

“We have decided to grant the centre some funding in the short-term to allow it to stay open. We hope that we can now look to the future and explore options which might allow the centre to stay open in the longer-term.”

Donations can be made at

Meanwhile, teenager Craig Scott has organised a live music event on Sunday, July 20, to raise money for the charity.

The 16-year-old, of Trinity Way, Littlehampton, is familiar with the work of the centre as his younger sister Gabby, two, attends the nursery.

Craig said: “Gabby has cerebral palsy and goes to the centre for around nine hours every week.

“They have helped her so much and the centre is very important to all that use it because they support not only the children that use it but families if they need it too.

“The equipment that is used there is amazing, people from Brighton area come down because there is no other centre in West Sussex that matches up to it.”

The event will take place at the Smugglers Return from 12.30pm until 8pm and will feature Liquid Logic, Babiko, Bad Billy Band, Pier Pressure, Synthony 101 and Fallen Interval.

Craig said: “I am hoping to raise around £800 and we will also be holding a raffle which we hope companies will make donations to.

“It is really important that everyone does their bit to help the centre and I am really excited about this event.”

Entry is free.