ROAD safety campaigners have received an overwhelming response from local businesses for sponsorship.
Brighouse Road Safety Committee was told that it’s funding from Calderdale Council to buy helium balloons for Brighouse Charity Gala on June 30 and other prominent events in the town had been cut.
The group was outraged at the decision to cut the funding at such short notice because it provided a vital resource to engage with children.
Chairwoman Ann Rutherford said: “By giving one helium balloon to a child we have got the opportunity to give them a pep talk about road safety and if that saves just one person’s life then it is worth the cost.”
But a variety of local businesses have now rallied round the group and provided them with enough cash to buy the helium balloons.
Mrs Rutherford said: “It has been phenomenal. I just can’t believe it. We got a fantastic response from everybody. We expected people to knock us back because it is hard for everybody in the economic times but it is amazing how much support we have had.”
The group has received support from Artisan Fireplaces, Prego’s, ROKT climbing gym, Carr Green and Crowtrees Community Action Group and a few personal donations.
“Calderdale Council just left it so late to cut the funding. If we had had some advanced warning we could have applied for some grants,” said Mrs Rutherford.
A box of goodies have been provided by Calderdale Council which include teddy bears, colouring books, pencil holders, notebooks and leaflets.
“We just can’t thank people enough for their support because they have saved the day,” she said. “The balloons have been ordered and they will be delivered as usual.”
The road safety watchdog has also applied for two extra grants to allow them to continue spreading the road safety message. “Even if we save one person from being killed in an accident by educating them about road safety, we are doing our job,” said Mrs Rutherford.
Mrs Rutherford and vice-chair Pat Oates attended Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday night to raise their concerns. The council will continue to pay expenses for postage and room rental at the Assembly Rooms.