Background and History

The Wingate Special Children’s Trust is an independent charity devoted to enriching the lives of children and young people with all levels of physical and learning disability or who are disadvantaged. Based at the Wingate Centre, Wrenbury, Nantwich, Cheshire, our site comprises a 22-bedroom specialised accommodation facility and a 7,000 square foot, fully fitted gymnasium.

This combination of facilities is unique and complementary as gymnastics are particularly helpful to people with disabilities as they teach discipline, and spatial and kinaesthetic awareness. They also build up strength, improve social skills and develop self-esteem through achievement, encouragement and recognition.

Established in 1988 by parents of children with a range of disabilities who had learned to appreciate the benefits of gymnastics for their children, the Trust has evolved into a national centre attracting special needs schools, voluntary organisations and self help groups from all over the country as well as local groups catering for the needs of disabled people.

Our 22-bedroom short break residential centre can accommodate up to 50 special needs children and carers at any one time. With the extensive range of equipment that we now have on site, the Centre is able to cater for children with multiple and profound disabilities as well as those who demonstrate challenging behaviour.

In addition to providing these children with full board accommodation, we are able to arrange on request, a wide range of educational and recreational visits and activities, including therapy sessions in our gymnasium or multi-sensory room and disability-friendly outdoor play areas.

Whatever their disability or life expectancy may be, our aim is to ensure that our students benefit from their experiences at the Centre.

As well as our residential accommodation, we also offer our facilities to many local pre-school, primary, special needs schools and adult day centres for the disabled. We also offer local mainstream children and children with disabilities recreational gymnastics classes in the evenings and at weekends, with the emphasis on inclusion.

To maintain the Centre and to subsidise our student’s activities, we have to raise £300,000 each year. We are able to generate some of this through training fees and hire charges, but the remainder is found from our own fund raising activities and the generous support of trusts, companies, local businesses, voluntary organisations and individuals.

In addition to meeting revenue costs, we also endeavour to maintain a programme of capital expenditure to improve the premises and facilities, thereby ensuring we continue meeting the health, safety, educational and recreational needs of the many hundreds of children with disabilities who use the Centre each year.

On behalf of the Trustees, staff and children, thank you for your interest.