Author Peter James, famous for the Roy Grace detective novels, set in Brighton, lives in the area and believes the extension to the leisure centre will provide a vital facility for youngsters.

Says Leisure Centre chairman Eric Holder: "We are delighted that Peter is to be a leading supporter of our appeal.

"He has been very generous with his time and money and we are extremely grateful."

The soft play extension will be a bespoke multi-tiered activity area for children aged two-12 years old, with slides, climbing areas, scramble nets, ball pit, and obstacles to squeeze through which will enable children to play in a secure environment.

"It will be a confidence builder for them and allow mums, dads and carers to enjoy a cup of coffee knowing their children are safe," says Eric. "The facility will be available to just turn up and play and wil be available to hire for children's parties with separate areas for them to enjoy their party food after a good play."

Donations and cheques to Henfield Leisure Centre, Northcroft, Henfield BN5 9QB. Tel: 01273 494984.

Article and photo by Mike Beardall, Oakfield Media on 01273 495619 or 07889 707807.