Campaigners have praised the opening of a new £1.75m short-break centre for disabled children in Kirk Hallam this week.
The Getaway, which is in Dallimore Road, is a purpose-built building, designed to give children with all kinds of disabilities the chance to meet friends, socialise and have fun in a safe environment.
Ilkeston’s Dawn Campion, a regular campaigner for disabled people in the town, welcomed the move.
“It’s a fantastic idea,” she said.
“It’s not just the children who will attend the centre that this is going to help – it’s also their mums and dads, carers, brothers and sisters, too.
“If there are 10 kids staying, it’s really helping 100 people have a break.”
It boasts six en-suite bedrooms and specialist equipment to ensure the children have a safe and enjoyable stay.
And there is also an outdoor play area with a swing and climbing frame, which is accessible for wheelchairs.
Dawn added: “The fact that it’s quite a small centre is great too – the kids might feel overpowered by a big group and will find it easier to chat and find things in common with each other.”
Derbyshire County Council, which funded the project, said it is for the use of disabled children, aged from 10 to 18, from all over the county.
Cabinet member for young people Cllr Barry Lewis, who performed the opening ceremony, said: “The Getaway marks a new chapter in the lives of disabled young people.
“It has been designed specifically to provide a safe, stimulating environment for young people to thrive while they spend time away from their families.”
The building also boasts eco-credentials with under-floor heating, photovoltaic panels on the roof to provide electricity and solar panels toprovide hot water.
Contact Derbyshire County Council to find out more.