PARENTS are to start-up their own centre for children with cerebral palsy.
Last week, staff at The Lee Sykes Centre, a private charity in Birkenhead, were told by founder Syd Sykes the centre would close later this month.
The move comes after an investigation by the Charity Commission into how funds are raised, fafter concerns were raised by members of the public.
But the parents of the 60 children at the centre have joined together to form their own charity "Stick and Step" to continue the centre's work.
The Lee Sykes Centre is the only one in the region with teachers from the world-renowned Peto Institute in Budapest, who use conductive therapy to help children with mobility and co-ordination.
The group wants to re-employ the five Hungarian teachers and other staff from the centre in Corporation Road, Birkenhead.
At a meeting on Monday night, parent s decided to form the breakaway group based on the "Stick and Step" club which was held on a Saturday morning for children with cerebral palsy in the same building as The Lees Sykes Centre.
Rob Palmer, whose son Ellis goes to The Lee Sykes Centre, said it was essential children getting the conductive therapy continue to receive the treatment.
Mr Palmer, 38, a sports commentator with the Sky Sport channel, who lives in Noctorum, Wirral, said: "We were all at a total loss when we were informed by the staff the centre is to close its doors.
"Many families had come to rely on the centre because of the excellent treatment the children receive. It's a big part of the children's lives.
"But the important thing now is to make sure the children continue with the conductive therapy as soon as possible because the success of the therapy rests on continuity. Missing just a few sessions can affect a child's progress." The investigation by the Charities Commission is the second in the charity's history.
In 1998, concerns were raised about competition tickets being sold unlawfully for the charity.
The centre was started by Syd Sykes in 1997.
Parents have already raised £7,000 for the "Stick and Step" group.
The parent group is appointing new trustees and have yet to find a suitable venue.
Claire Edwards whose son Anthony, aged 20 months attends the Lee Sykes Centre, helped raise the money through a fundraising evening at a nearby club.
Mrs Edwards, 32, an industrial chemist who lives in Broadgreen, Liverpool, said parents were determined to launch a new centre for their children.
She said: "Anthony's condition improved dramatically after he began conductive therapy at the centre when he was nine months old."
"The progress our children have made will not be in vain because we are determined to make sure they continue to get the treatment they deserve."