The chief executive of the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity said he is ‘extremely disappointed’ after a funding bid was rejected by BBC Children in Need.
The nationwide fundraising drive has supported the Five Oaks charity, which supports children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, for the last six years.
However, staff and families at DVLCC’s Ingfield Manor School ‘cannot understand’ why Children in Need has decided to withdraw funding, according to chief executive Steven Lane.
He said: “I am extremely disappointed with this decision as it contradicts previous decisions to award us with a grant.
“The staff and families at our school are extremely upset and cannot understand why a school that supports children under five years with cerebral palsy is ineligible for funding from one of the largest charitable foundations in the country.
“I have expressed my disappointment and that of our board of trustees and Dame Vera directly to BBC Children in Need’s chief executive, David Ramsden, who was unable to offer any words of support.”
For the past 15 years, the DVLCC has supported more than 600 children with cerebral palsy, as well as their families.
Mr Lane said the charity was featured on a special broadcast of Children in Need in November 2014, during the years of support.
In May, the DVLCC applied for further funding - but the application was considered ‘ineligible’, Mr Lane said, and was turned down.
He said: “Children in Need have supported us for six years and have covered the salaries of some of our teaching staff.
“This has left the charity with a shortfall in its income which is the reason for launching our appeal to celebrate Dame Vera’s 99th birthday in March.
“Please support our children in need.”
The charity hopes to raise £99,000 through the Vera 99 appeal.
The DVLCC did not disclose how much the charity has received in donations from Children in Need.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “Unfortunately, we often have to turn down applications from projects doing excellent work with children and young people across the UK because we simply don’t have enough money to fund all projects that apply to us for funding. We have to make difficult decisions.
“We hold a number of grant rounds across the year and projects are always able to apply to us again for future funding.”
Anyone wishing to back the Vera 99 appeal can visit the charity’s website or contact the fundraising department on 01403 780444.
To support the appeal, the charity is auctioning an original signed picture of Dame Vera Lynn titled ‘Angel of Britain’ by Lindsey Bex.
Bids are now being accepted at the starting price of £2,500 for the unique piece of art.
To submit a bid, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and contact details.
Bidding will close at 5pm on Monday March 15, and the person with the winning bid will be notified by email.
If the reserve price of £2,500 is not met the picture will not be sold.
Lindsey Bex’s pictures are predominately in black and white and she uses the pointillism technique, using thousands of dots.
You can view more of Lindsey’s work on her website https://sites.google.com/site/theartoflabex
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