Peter Pan Centre’s family support programme set to double following near £250k National Lottery win

A community family support service, provided for children with special educational needs by the Peter Pan Centre, is looking to double its offer to families in North Staffordshire thanks to a successful bid for National Lottery funding.  

The near £250,000 lottery win will allow the Newcastle-under-Lyme based Peter Pan Centre to expand its specialist Stay and Play groups to venues in Tunstall and Longton, Stoke-on-Trent for the first time.  

It will involve launching a new range of social activities and training sessions for families and to employ a new specialist family support practitioner.  

Stay and Play offers specially designed sessions for children under-5 and currently runs in venues in Newcastle and Burslem.  

“It’s fantastic news as it will double our provision and help us to reach children in more areas of North Staffordshire, said Catherine Cook, Chief Executive.  

“Our Stay and Play groups will soon benefit 120 children and their parent carers, with each session run by a specialist practitioner and a parent volunteer.”  

The Peter Pan Centre has been awarded £248,530 to support both its existing nursery provision and to expand its community-based support to families over three years. 

Catherine said the award would be a major boost for parents as there’s a chronic shortfall of nursery provision for children with special educational needs. 

She explained: “Some members of the public will probably assume there is additional funding available for specialist nurseries serving children with special needs but that simply isn’t the case. The Peter Pan Centre is a charity and we are almost entirely reliant on donations and fundraising. 

“The entire early years sector is struggling right now and demand here and across the country always outstrips the spaces available.” 

Founded in 1969 as a playgroup for children with disabilities, the Peter Pan Centre has grown to provide services across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. 

The Peter Pan Centre has a purpose-built fully accessible building in Hoon Avenue, Wolstanton. Facilities at the centre include two playrooms, a sensory room with an interactive floor projector, a parents room and a recently refurbished outside play area. 

The staff are a team of Early Years education specialists with vast experience in supporting children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability). 

Peter Pan has a programme of fundraising events throughout the year and is always keen to forge partnerships with companies who want to support a local charity.