A HAMPSHIRE charity has celebrated ten years of helping to improve the lives of disabled youngsters and their families at its current home.

The Rose Road Association moved to the £5m Bradbury Centre a decade ago, when it was opened by the Earl of Wessex after fundraisers successfully raised the money needed to build the state-of-the-art building.

Families who have been supported by the vital service, which offers overnight breaks to children with disabilities, enjoyed a special party at the centre in Aldermoor Road to mark the milestone.

Speakers included Rose Road Association chief executive Heather Aspinall and director of business development Neil Wilson.

Among the guests was inspirational yachtsman Geoff Holt, the first disabled person to sail unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Rose Road Association was established in 1952 following an appeal letter in the Daily Echo for parents of children with cerebral palsy to form a support group in Southampton.

In 1996 the charity decided to build a new centre and launched an appeal with Matty the Mole as mascot. The £5m fundraising target was met in 2002 and construction for the new centre at Aldermoor began.

The opening was delayed by nine months after a devastating fire swept through the building in March 2003 but staff finally move into the Bradbury Centre just before Christmas that year.

Now the Rose Road Association provides services for more than 350 young people, with short breaks, play schemes and specialist support at the charity’s Rosewood School.