Under threat: KIDS Hackney Playground in Clapton. Photograph: KIDS

A leading UK charity has launched an appeal for £100,000 to save its specialist playground for disabled children in Upper Clapton.

The Hackney Playground, run by KIDS, has been a “safe haven” for local families since it opened in 2002.

But the space is now at risk of closure due to a lack of funding, and KIDS yesterday launched a fundraising drive to help keep it open.

Meena Bora, whose her eight-year-old son Shaan is autistic, said: “I don’t know what we would do without KIDS Hackney Playground because it’s just me and my son – we don’t have any other family support.

“Coming to the playground means he has a second family that looks after him and loves him. It’s like a safe haven for us.”

KIDS’ London Regional Director, Katherine Shaw, said: “KIDS Hackney Playground has been a lifeline for hundreds of families with disabled children in the local area.

“We desperately need your help to ensure that the disabled children of Hackney continue to have a safe and secure space to explore and enjoy outdoor activities.”

According to the charity, one in every five Hackney children has a disability and, since this is the only playground of its kind in the area, securing its future is “vital”.

KIDS receives funding for the playground from Hackney Council and other partners, but says it “simply doesn’t cover the running costs”.

A £10 donation will pay for one hour’s support from specialist staff, £20 will contribute towards equipment and regular maintenance, and £50 will fund an intensive one-on-one session with a play worker.

For more information about the appeal, or to make a donation, you can visit www.kids.org.uk/savehackney or call 020 73593635 (option 4)

You can also donate right now by texting “HACK17 £10” to 70070

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