RYEDALE Special Families (RSF) has celebrated its first milestone in a fundraising campaign towards much-needed new premises with a £73,750 donation.

The money was raised at the Yorkshire Charity Clay Days, held at Duncombe Park, near Helmsley, in May.

RSF, founded 20 years ago, provides support to more than 550 Ryedale families with children or young people with disabilities.

Lisa Keenan, chief officer, said the charity’s current premises in Old Malton were small with difficult access for those with limited mobility.

She said: “We can’t even install a stairlift as the stairs are too narrow, and access to the building is through a haulage yard, so it is far from ideal for young people with disabilities.”

She said that the donation from the Yorkshire Charity Clay Days meant that the first fundraising milestone of £100,000 has been reached, enabling RSF to start the search for suitable new premises.

“We are over the moon to have received such a significant donation and want to thank all those who contributed to the Yorkshire Charity Clay Days. It signifies the start of a whole new era for RSF and means we can really get the ball rolling on finding a new home.”

Chris Blundell, co-chairman of the Yorkshire Charity Clay Days, said: “It is immensely rewarding to be able to make such a difference to RSF – I’m sure I speak for all those who contributed to this amazing total. Having seen the shortcomings of their current premises first-hand, I am incredibly excited to see the initial architect’s drawings for new premises which can be tailor-made to their requirements.”

James Cundall, who is on the committee for the Yorkshire Charity Clay Days, said: “As a parent of a disabled child and a keen supporter and beneficiary of the wonderful work that RSF does, I am delighted to have been able to introduce them to Chris Blundell and facilitate this boost to their fundraising through the incredible generosity of the Yorkshire Charity Clay Day participants. It marks a very exciting step forward for all the RSF families, both present and future.”

The Yorkshire Charity Clay Days 2019 will take place on May 13 and 14. For more information, phone Shirley McConville on 01845 537984 or email pa@mountstjohn.co.uk