Grant gives children free entry to museum

THOUSANDS of youngsters are to get free entry to Eureka! the National Children’s Museum.

SureStart Centres in Calderdale will be able to offer an estimated £44,000 worth of free visits to the attraction in Halifax because of work by the Community Foundation for Calderdale.

Families who might not otherwise be able to visit the museum will have the chance to get free admission, made possible following a grant from the Noel John Greenwood Fund – one of many private, individual and corporate funds managed by the Foundation.

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The SureStart Passes programme will be available from this month until July. It follows a highly successful 12-month pilot that ran in 2009.

The 17 SureStart Centres in the borough have received two passes each. Both will admit as many as five people for a single visit.

The £3,000 grant will cover some of the core costs involved in running the Museum for the anticipated 3,000 additional visitors who will benefit from the scheme.

Steve Duncan, chief executive officer for the Community Foundation for Calderdale, said: “Eureka! is a great educational resource for the region and I know that our grant will have a big impact on the lives of families living in Calderdale.”

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Feedback from case workers and families involved in the 2009 trial was said to be “overwhelmingly positive,” demonstrating that the project benefits children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the museum.

Community worker Caz Hugh-Dennis said: ‘During the Christmas holidays in 2009 I gave a family I support the Eureka! Pass to use for a day trip. The family have five-year-old twins who both suffer from developmental delay.

“The mother took the girls with their support worker.

“She told me that the girls had a fantastic day and that she was really impressed, especially with the New Year celebration activities taking place on the day when she went, as the girls don’t often get to go to parties.”