Big smiles for West Berkshire charity as it wins lottery funding

Swings and Smiles charity Credit: ITV Meridian

A charity in Berkshire that helps children with special needs has received a grant worth more than a third of a million pounds. Organisers say the Big Lottery funding will enable Swings and Smiles to continue running its Phoenix Resource Centre for the foreseeable future. More than 250 families have registered with the charity since it opened in June 2014. The centre has a purpose built soft play area, art room and sensory room and aims to provide an environment where children and young people with special needs and their family or carers can play together without the pressures often experienced in wider community settings.

The Phoenix Resource Centre Credit: ITV news

The lottery funding is a significant boost for the charity's fundraising efforts and will contribute towards its running costs. The charity is also looking to find its own dedicated site in the future.

Sian Cook, Founder of Swings & Smiles said "I can't describe the pleasure we have seeing families visit us on a regular basis and watching the children and their parents benefit from their time with us. This is what I set out to achieve in 2007 and it is wonderful to see it come to fruition and to know we are helping to enrich their lives. Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund we now know we are able to continue to offer this essential service for years to come. Their endorsement gives us tremendous credibility and provides us with a secure platform on which to build for the future."