My son Charlie is 15 and attends a fantastic youth club called 'Incredible Tuesdays' in Yeovil, Somerset, for young people aged 13-25 with autism and other special needs.
A few weeks ago the parents were told that Somerset County Council's youth budget was being slashed by a staggering 75 per cent and Incredible Tuesdays was among those youth clubs being targeted. The parents got together for a meeting and have decided to fight to save the club.
Since then I have written to our local MP, David Laws, asking for his help in our fight and he has invited me to meet with him next Friday (16 December) to discuss how we can move forward with his support. I have also written to the town clerk of Yeovil Town Council and he has responded and agreed to put it on the council's agenda for discussion on 3 January. He has also forwarded copies of our correspondence to the chief executive of Somerset County Council and three of our local county councillors. I will also be attending the town council meeting along with some of the other parents and we will be asking for them to consider helping to fund the club in some form and securing its future.
The County Council is currently in consultation over its youth budget and decisions are expected to be made by the end of January. So at the moment I feel as if we are on the precipice of really achieving something and hopefully keeping this vital service open, which is a lifeline for this very vulnerable group of children and the parents who are very grateful for a few hours respite.
Fingers crossed that things will go our way, but we will not give up lightly!