Children’s charity makes permanent home in Morecambe
A Morecambe charity that supports children and young adults with disabilities and special educational needs will be able to help even more people after purchasing the building it operates from.
Unique Kidz & Co has purchased the former YCC building on Woodhill Lane, Morecambe, which it has been leasing since 2015 from Lancashire County Council. In addition, it has purchased Acre Moss Field, 1.7 acres of land adjacent to the property.
The charity operates a wide range of services, including an afterschool and holiday club, daytime support services for young adults, and children’s play groups. Having ownership of the property will enable it to expand its services and offers greater scope for outdoor activities.
Hannah Hughes from the commercial property team at Lancaster-based law firm Harrison Drury advised the charity on legal matters regarding the purchase. Building surveyor Ed Etchells, from Fisher Wrathall, also based in Lancaster, provided the pre-acquisition survey on the property.
Jane Halpin, co-founder and trustee of Unique Kidz & Co, said: “All the support we have received, and everything we have done over the past 12 years has been leading up to this point. The property was owned by Lancashire County Council and when it was put up for sale, we acted quickly to make an offer to purchase it.
“Not only have we been able to buy the building but purchasing the piece of land next door will enable us to expand our services and help even more families. Having the security of permanent premises also means we can apply for larger grants to support our cause.”
As well as hosting a wide range of activity programmes for disabled children, the charity also provides daytime support for young adults aged up to 30, to help parents and carers remain in employment. It also recently opened a toy library for families to borrow toys and interactive games to take home and use during lockdown.
Hannah said: “I know some of the journey Unique Kidz & Co has experienced to date and the obstacles they have faced and indeed overcome, so being instructed to assist Jane and Denise in securing this property and providing the charity with their own home has been a pleasure. Owning the property enables them do even more to help and support local children, adults and families. Not only is Unique Kidz & Co a valued client, it was recently our chosen charity for the Lancaster office, so it’s great to see them going from strength to strength.”
Building surveyor Ed Etchells added: “We were thrilled to help this important charity in Morecambe by ensuring that purchasing the building and land was a viable proposition for Jane and Denise. They now have the peace of mind and security to make long term plans for the charity which helps many families and young people in the area.”
Unique Kidz & Co was founded in 2009 by Jane Halpin and Denise Armer, two mums with children with disabilities. The charity currently supports between 80-90 families and welcomes any family who feels they want or need support and can travel to the Morecambe location.
The charity plans to celebrate its permanent home with its children, young adults and families over the summer.