Appeals to save Leicestershire school for disabled children

The school needs to raise £100,000 by Christmas to survive until the end of the year. Credit: ITV Central

Health and fitness expert Rosemary Conley is appealing for help to stop a school for disabled children in Leicestershire closing its doors. The star of "Dancing On Ice" is patron of the charity STEPS which teaches around 50 youngsters at its centre in Shepshed.**


The school is facing a serious funding crisis after a slump in donations during the recession. **

*It needs to raise £100,000 by Christmas to survive until the end of the year. *

*More immediately, the charity only has enough money to pay its staff's wages for another month. *

*Ms Conley told ITV Central: *


"We're not getting the funding we've had from charitable trusts that we might normally have had because so many other charities are after them. It's really hard. We've suddenly realised that we have this massive shortfall to get us to the end of the year. But of course, it's not just to the end of the year - we've got to go on from there."**

The school uses teaching methods pioneered at the world-famous Peto Institute in Hungary. **

*Parents who use the centre say their children have made enormous progress. *

*Nicky Lynch takes her three year old son Jude to STEPS. *

*He was left severely disabled after being born 15 weeks premature. *


Ms Lynch with her three-year-old son Jude Credit: ITV Central

"To look at his medical records, you wouldn't think it was the same child. He's done amazingly well. He absolutely loves it. It would be an absolute tragedy if this place was to go."**

**STEPS was set up 17 years ago. It started off life in a dilapidated old schoolhouse on Loughborough Road.

In 2007, ITV Central joined forces with the charity, Ms Conley and local companies to pull off a £250,000 refurbishment of the building in just two weeks.**