A STRUGGLING play centre is reeling from a cash windfall from generous families who are donating money from their council tax rebate.
So far about £300 has been handed over to Pitshanger Community Play Centre after its manager Marion Doheny asked families to donate at least £5 from their £50 council tax rebate due at the end of the month.
The 15-year-old play centre in Pitshanger Park, Ealing looks after children from birth to five with a host of activities as well as providing a lifeline for isolated mums. It took over its running
from Ealing Council in 1995 and relies on grants, donations and fundraising.
Mrs Doheny said: "We have got less grant money because more people are applying for them and in this climate we have been struggling more. I got the idea to ask for the money after reading about the rebate and asked people to donate at least £5."It was money that wasn't expected and would make all the difference to us. We had a really good response and I was surprised at people's generosity. Some people have given the whole lot. In two weeks we got £300. I am absolutely delighted."
Vicky Winter, chairwoman of the play centre's committee, said: "We have been struggling in this recession and don't want the centre to close. The local community certainly doesn't. It's a great lifeline for mothers on their own. It can be really lonely being a new mum. We were very surprised at the response."
Anyone would like to make a donation can send a cheque made out to Pitshanger Community Play Centre, to Marion Doheny, 24a Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, W5 1QY.