MORE than £20,000 worth of water damage caused by the heavy rainfall over the Christmas period has led to a Millington-based charity appealing for an extra helping hand this year.

The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, based at Booth Bank Farm, has had a bad start to 2013 due to the miserable weather the country faced at the back end of 2012.

Staff came back after the Christmas and new year break to find the heavy rainfall had entered the sports hall via the fire exit doors and had warped the wooden flooring.

The floor was covered by insurance, but work to renovate the drains and damage to a lift has led to the charity’s management having to dip into its reserves.

This – combined with a slow end to 2012 and a slow start to 2013 fundraising wise – has meant the farm needs more help than usual so it can carry on holding breaks and programmes for terminally-ill, disabled and disadvantaged children from across the north west.

Helen Crowther, fundraiser at the trust, told the Guardian the sports hall – popular with the farm’s young visitors – would be out of action until mid-March.

“It was the volume of rain we had – the drains couldn’t cope, and in 13 years that is the first problem we’ve had,” she said.

“The sports hall is where the kids can run around, and we’ve had to do a bit of rejigging. The kids came back at the beginning of February, so we’ve had to be creative while the hall is drying out.

“We’ve worked hard to build up our ‘rainy day’ fund, but unfortunately having to take such a large chunk out of it then if we have a difficult time fundraising, like we have been having, then we’ll struggle as it won’t be there.

“It’s not the start of the year we were hoping for.”

Helen said she wanted to appeal to as many people as possible to support the charity.

“We’re hoping it won’t affect the services we provide to the kids,” she said.

“Every charity is finding it difficult, but we had a difficult end to last year and a difficult start to this year. We’re working extra hard to resolve it by putting on extra events, but people can help us in loads of ways.

“It’d be great for people to think of us when they are raising money for charity.”

If you think you can help CAFT, call them on 01565 830053 or visit