SPARKLE: Hundreds join drive for Assembly funds
HUNDREDS of people have signed up to the campaign to persuade the Assembly to provide £5.9 million for the South Gwent Children's Centre project - inspired by one of the children who stands to benefit.
After the story of two-year-old Newport girl Myleisha Hussain's battle for life was featured in the Argus last month, her grandmother Kerry Jackson began asking people to sign the letter about the centre to health minister Edwina Hart that we have been producing.
The response has been such that we now have more than 650 signed copies of that letter, to be forwarded to Mrs Hart, who is chairman of the Assembly's Capital Investment Board, which scrutinises bids on major NHS projects in Wales, and which will make the decision on funding for the centre.
Mrs Jackson, whose daughter Layla is Myleisha's mum, said friends and family have helped distribute copies of the letter at offices, including Lloyds TSB in Newport, and at a couple of churches.
"Myleisha is a real fighter and she and other children deserve to get the expert help they need in modern surroundings," she said.
The centre, at High Cross, Newport, will provide a world class environment designed to meet the therapeutic needs of more than 1,200 disabled youngsters from Newport, Torfaen and south Monmouthshire.
Its 'under-one-roof' ethos is designed to replace the current situation, with disabled youngsters and their parents often having to visit clinics - such as that at Eveswell in Newport - that are cramped, inflexible and generally unsuitable for delivering the quality of healthcare expected in the 21st Century.
Around £370,000 has been raised for the project by the Sparkle Appeal since it was launched almost four years ago, but Assembly funding would enable the project to become a reality.
A decision was due to be made on funding last month, but was postponed. An alternative date has yet to be arranged.