A MALVERN charity providing respite care for children with special needs is being wound up.

Kaleidoscope was founded in 1994 by Diana Maiden, and now that she has decided to retire it is now being brought to an end.

A special party was held to mark the occasion at the Scout headquarters in Spring Lane, and children both past and present who attended Kaleidoscope , plus parents, helpers and supporters were invited.

Over 100 people attended and tucked into a buffet supplied by the Malvern Lions, surrounded by photographs from the many Kaleidoscope trips and activities that have taken place over the years.

Diana Maiden started the charity in 1994 at the old Malvern hospital in Lansdowne Crescent with only four children, before moving to Osbourne Court in Malvern Link. More recently, it moved to the scout hut by the rugby club

Susan Johnson, a member of the charity's trustees, said: "Kaleidoscope has grown and developed over the years and hundreds of families and children have benefitted from the respite care provided.

"Kaleidoscope has has been really well supported by individuals and organisations in the area, and thanks go to all who have sponsored , volunteered and helped in so many ways to provide this valuable service for the last 25 years.

"Particular thanks must go to Diana, who was awarded an MBE in 2006 for her work with Kaleidoscope.

"The Malvern Lions have also recently presented Diana with a special award for her work with Kaleidoscope."

Mrs Maiden said: "I'm very grateful for the recognition that the Lions have given me with their award.

"I have enjoyed it all these years, but last year, I was starting to feel tired and I decided that it was time to bring it to an end

Some of the children who used to attend Kaleidoscope now Smile at Arcos in Avenue Road, Great Malvern, after director Kay Coombes offered to extend her service to include a Sunday group for children with significant additional needs. Staff there are keen to continue with what has been offered over the years.

Diana is still running the twice-monthly Sunday swim sessions at Osbourne Court, and the Siblings Group will also be as before, with monthly meetings in Malvern or Worcester for children aged seven-12 who have a brother or sister of any age with additional needs.

For details of all these activities, contact Diana on dianamaiden6@gmail.com or 07792 150682.