Staff and users of Cardiff-based charity Touch Trust have marched in protest against Cardiff Council’s proposed slashing of their funding.
The musical march on Cardiff County Hall saw protesters singing and dancing to show their opposition to the draft budget by the council, which will see the Trust lose £15,000 of funding.
The charity which provides creative movement programmes for children and adults with learning disabilities, puts the money towards the rental costs of its purpose-built suite at the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC).
The Touch Trust is one of 14 organisations that will lose 100% of their council grant if the sweeping cuts are approved at the end of the month.
The charity’s founder, Dilys Price, pleaded with Cardiff Council to continue their funding, adding that the charity would not need it in a few years.
She said: “£15,000 may not seem like much but without it we are not going to be able to fulfil our promises.
“If they could just wait a year and we can get larger. We’ve come from nothing, a few more years and we’ll be able to absorb the £15,000 given to us by Cardiff Council.”
Helen French and her daughter Marianne turned up to show their support for the Trust, which has helped the 22 year-old communicate with her family and carers.
Marianne has severe learning difficulties and epilepsy and works with a Touch Trust therapist four times a week.
Helen said that she’d be lost without the charity as provisions for young adults in Marianne’s situation are few and far between.
“Without the Trust, Marianne would have never progressed,” said Mrs French. “Once she left school there was nothing for her. The Touch Trust gives her one-on-one sessions. She wouldn’t talk before but since her sessions she makes eye contact, sing tones.
“She gets enjoyment out of it. I want her to have more sessions, because they really make a difference.”
As well as providing therapy sessions from their WMC home, the Trust operates across Wales, running workshops and training staff at special schools.