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Sheppey's Inner Wheel club backs three Island children's centres in Minster, Leysdown and Rushenden

By Emma Grove

Members of the Island branch of an international women’s organisation are launching a fundraising bid for children’s centres.

The Inner Wheel Club of the Isle of Sheppey is taking part in the Wheels Project which is to celebrate the formation of the society 90 years ago.

All groups in the country are being encouraged to provide something ‘wheeled’ for the benefit of a charity or worthy cause in their area.

Lynn O'Meara and Chloe Wise collecting for the Wheels Project at Morrisons, Neats Court
Lynn O'Meara and Chloe Wise collecting for the Wheels Project at Morrisons, Neats Court

Women on the Island have decided to support three of the four SureStart children’s centres here – Lilypad in Minster; Beaches in Leysdown; and Ladybird in Rushenden.

They have organised a series of activities to raise money for a day trip in the summer for youngsters who go to all three centres after teaming up with mums who run a group to support the venues.

Collections at Morrisons Neats Court and Come Dine With Me lunches have already raised almost £500 and there are a number of other things planned to boost funds including a coffee morning, afternoon tea, jumble sale, quiz night and Easter egg hunt.

There will also be a sponsored walk and it is hoped as many mums as possible with ‘wheels’ such as pushchairs and prams will get involved.

Inner Wheel, which on Sheppey has 22 members, is part of the international Rotary family and sees women working together to make a difference and improve lives.

The club president Valerie Hayes has also chosen St John Ambulance as her charity and the group has raised more than £1,000 with a fair, ball and collection, making Christmas boxes for charity and much more.

Member Sue Travers said: “Choosing SureStart was a consensus among the group. We spoke to Denise Bonney, who oversees the centres, and it appealed to us. They are trying to help themselves so it’s obviously worthy of helping them.

“We are hoping Islanders will join in with the members to support us and the mums.”

To donate to the project, go to www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/wheelsproject or search Inner Wheel Club of the Isle of Sheppey on Facebook to find out more.

Chloe Wise and Wendy Bevis are members of the Queenborough and Rushenden Project.

It was launched about 18 months ago and is made up of a group of five mums who want to support the Island’s children’s centres.

When they first started they were aiming to help the Ladybird centre in Rushenden but have now decided they want to assist all three of them as they offer such a vital service, but have suffered a cut in funding from Kent County Council.

Their aim is to provide activities and day trips for the youngsters who use the centres – like going to the cinema, theatre or zoo.

They are hoping more mums from across Sheppey will join them with their fundraising efforts.

A quiz night to boost funds will take place on Saturday, April 5, from 7.30pm at the residents’ community lounge, Manor Court, off Manor Close, Rushenden.

It costs £3 on the door and anyone is welcome to turn up and join a team.

There will also be a fun day at the Ladybird centre with arts, crafts and other activities.

That will take place on Tuesday, April 15, from 10am to 2pm and there will stalls, a tombola and a mobile farm.

To find out more or to join the project, email queenboroughandrushendenpr oject@outlook.com or phone Mrs Bevis on 07593639837.

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