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 near Nantwich, Cheshire, our site comprises a 23-bedroom specialised accommodation facility and a 7,000 square foot, fully-fitted gymnasium. This combination of facilities is unique and complementary as gymnastics is particularly helpful to people with disabilities as it helps develop core physical, cognitive and emotional skills and develops 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 since evolved into a national centre attracting visitors from special and mainstream schools, voluntary organisations and support groups both locally and nationally.

Our 23-bedroom short break residential centre can accommodate up to 48 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. At the Wingate Centre, everyone is able to enjoy a holiday with their friends.

We offer full-board accommodation and 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 accessible outdoor play areas.

In addition to our short breaks service, we also offer our services to many local pre-schools, primary and secondary schools and adult day centres. We also offer local children of all abilities recreational gymnastics classes in the evenings and at weekends, with the emphasis on inclusion.

To maintain the Centre and to subsidise our 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 fundraising 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 and young adults who use the Centre each year.

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