Desperate search for a new ‘home’ for children’s respite centre

Staff and youngsters at the  Hop, Skip and Jump centre
Staff and youngsters at the Hop, Skip and Jump centre

A desperate search for a new home has been launched by a children’s respite centre which was opened by Samantha Cameron just 18 months ago.

The wife of former prime minister David Cameron opened the Hop, Skip & Jump centre in Swan Walk, Horsham, in July 2015.

But now redevelopment plans for Swan Walk mean that the respite centre - which helps to care for more than 100 children in need - must move out and find a new base.

Hop, Skip and Jump spokeswoman CJ Mortimer said: “Without a suitable location being available many families will lose a much-needed place of safety, support, and respite.”

The centre needs to make way for a new multiplex cinema, shops and cafes that are being planned as part of Swan Walk’s redevelopment.

CJ added: “Hop, Skip & Jump Foundation has been supporting special needs families for over 30 years and takes great pride in being the only immediate, flexible respite provision in the country.

“They want nothing more then to bring that level of care to Horsham and West Sussex on a permanent, full time basis. But they cannot do it in their current home.

“Hop, Skip & Jump Foundation offers a holistic approach – centres provide both a play-orientated and creative outlet for children and adults, but also offer a comprehensive support service for their families and carers.

“Sometimes a break can be everything – to know that your loved one is being looked after in a safe, secure environment with plenty of support, encouragement and opportunity makes all the difference.

“At Hop, Skip & Jump, we strive to make that difference.

“To offer this high-level support, a suitable space needs to be found that can house the appropriate equipment and space.

“The ideal Hop, Skip & Jump Horsham centre would have space for large indoor and outdoor play areas, changing places and hoist, a sensory room, fully equipped kitchen, soft play area, computer equipment and vidoe games, a quiet room, music room, art room and overnight accommodation.”