A £2,000 pledge in memory of Eric saves playscheme

A DONATION of £2,000 made in memory of a Salford Jewish man means that dozens of children can now enjoy a playscheme which had been cancelled.

Local community group Rainbow Surprise had been running the playscheme, for mainly Muslim youngsters, in Crumpsall for nearly three years.

But Young Manchester’s Youth and Play Fund de-prioritised Crumpsall for playschemes and declined to fund it — despite it having in previous years an average attendance of 50 children a day and, on some days, having to turn children away.

And Tracey Yardley came to the rescue — in memory of her father, Dr Eric Marks, who died in May.

The 52-year-old decided to pledge the money after speaking to her friend, Jonny Wineberg, who is heavily involved in interfaith work.

Mrs Yardley, of Salford, said: “I wanted to give money to that kind of work.

“Jonny told me that there was a real need for Rainbow Surprise to have this money because they don’t now receive funding.

“When I found out about what Rainbow Surprise does, I was drawn to it as a cause to support. I hope that others may follow suit.

“Two thousand pounds is not such a huge amount. They can run a whole play-scheme for that figure.”

Retired dentist Dr Marks did a lot of charity work during his life, especially for the Manchester Freemasons Zion Menorah Lodge.

He also served as a magistrate in Bury.

“The reality is that Crumpsall has been poorly served by youth and play-funders for many years and the decision to de-prioritise was based on poor needs analysis,” Mr Wineberg, director of the community campaign #WeStandTogether, said.

“Half of Crumpsall is in the most deprived 10 per cent of areas. There are many families below the poverty line.”

Mrs Yardley feels it is important to be charitable towards non-Jewish people, too.

She said: “It feels nice that there is a Jewish person supporting this charity and, hopefully, it will build more relationships between Jewish and Muslim people.”

Mr Wineberg echoed her views.

He added: “It is fabulous when communities work together.

“Tracey has recognised the importance of doing something for children and having the opportunity to bring people together.”

Rainbow Surprise chairman Shakar Hussain said: “Tracey has made it possible for the children of Crumpsall to enjoy two weeks of play and have a chance to have some days out.

“These children would not have had anything like this to enjoy this summer if it was not possible for our charity to provide the playscheme.”

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