A group providing a lifeline for parents with a range of disabilities from blindness to MS and cerebral palsy is seeking funding to keep going.

Didcot Power Station manager Richard Tuffill, left, presents a cheque to Andy Pounce, of the Oxfordshire Parents with Disabilities Network

Oxfordshire Parents with Disabilities Network began in 1997 as a self-help group and offers a helpline, information and support for families -- often with young children -- who might otherwise feel isolated.

Three years ago, the group which is a registered charity, won £180,000 Lottery funding to extend its services and open an office on Southmead Industrial Park, Didcot, with two paid staff -- development worker Andy Pounce and part-time administrator Toni Pay.

The charity, which is among only five similar groups in the country, now regularly helps 150 families in Oxfordshire including home visits.

Some of the families meet regularly as a support group at Didcot Family Centre and at Sure Start Family Centre, Rose Hill, Oxford.

Mr Pounce said funding -- especially help with transport costs -- was a constant problem as parents with disabilities often needed taxis and transport which was wheelchair accessible.

"With the Lottery grant due to run out next year, we need to raise at least a further £180,000 to continue our work," he said. "We want to increase our work in the county and start more local groups where parents can meet each other.

"But without new funding, we will not be able to keep going."

Some of the transport costs go towards group visits, including a Christmas shopping trip to the Chilton Garden Centre where Richard Tufill, finance and procurement manager at Didcot's A and B Power Stations, handed over a Christmas present to the Didcot group -- a cheque for £800.

Mr Tufill said: "We like the money to be targeted for a specific purpose and we appreciate the difficulties and considerable expense involved in providing transport for disabled parents."

The cash was among a series of grants by RW Innogy.