A north-east soft play centre for youngsters with additional needs has made an urgent plea for funding.
Charity BECS (Because Everyone Counts) runs the facility at Burghmuir Circle in Inverurie.
The centre has been open for 10 weeks and Becky Mennie, 32, founder of BECS, has appealed for help.
It took two years of fundraising for BECS and sourcing specialised play equipment to get the centre ready for opening.
Creating the facility took longer than planned and the centre was paying rent on its premises for 14 months before it finally opened.
Becky said to keep BECS going, the group needs to find a way of paying a year’s rent – which is £36,000.
She said: “Unfortunately nobody has come forward to fill the funding gap.
“We’re looking for a company to sponsor a year’s worth of our rent, which is £3,000 a month, so that we save up money without incurring major overhead costs.
“Our facility is the first one in Scotland and it’s somewhere which promotes inclusivity and a place where additional needs are accepted. This is somewhere brand new, inclusive and unlike anywhere else.”
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A fundraising page will be set up to help generate as much cash as possible for the centre over the next few weeks.
Becky added: “Worst case scenario, we may have to close and source another unit to rent that is cheaper if we can’t find someone to help us out with the funding.
“Every child has a right to play, but there are still barriers which are preventing them doing that.
“We’re using reverse inclusion here, which means we are putting children with additional needs first.
“In the month of October we had 810 kids through the door and in a period of 15 days we had just shy of 400 kids through the door – so there is definitely a demand for it.
“My godson has cerebral palsy and he loves the centre.
“I’m doing it because I really care about kids with additional support needs, there is no other reason.
“There are families out there who are isolated, they can’t just sit down and have a cup of coffee at a play centre because their child needs to be somewhere quiet.”