Inclusivity

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Submitted by: Caleb Roberts

Description

The aim of SPACE is to provide a local, fun, safe and accessible environment in which children with disabilities and additional needs can play. Also opportunities for parents and carers to meet and provide mutual support.

The charity was founded by parents who have children with disabilities and additional needs. Through their own experience they have found that there is very little support for families with young children with disabilities/additional needs and there are no accessible play areas in Chester and the surrounding area.

The charity is currently providing fortnightly 'stay and play' sessions for children with additional needs and their families at a youth club in Chester. The sessions provide specialist toys, games, art & craft activities, a sensory room and sensory play activities for children. The whole family is welcome, for parents it's a chance to relax and meet other parents. The sessions have proved very popular with more families attending at each session. There are currently 100 families on their database.

Sharing information is a huge part of the parent support the charity wants to offer. Having a child with special needs is not something you can prepare yourself for. Many parents become their child's carer, giving up careers, dreams and goals. It's a demanding job and having the time or the energy to scour the internet to find out entitlements, how to access support such as respite, or who to ask for help isn't easy and not always an option. This year, the charity plans to start a parent carer support group in Chester, led by parent carers who fully understand and can empathise.

Over the next 12 months, it is the charity's goal to be able to open a multi sensory play centre with a sensory room and accessible play frame. It's a huge goal, but the charity was only started in October 2014 and already they have achieved a huge amount. They have a fantastic team of volunteers who give up their time to help out at the group and fundraising events.

They have raised a considerable amount of funds in a short space of time but they have a long way to go to achieve their dreams and they need lots more funding. In the meantime seeing the happy faces of the children using their services keeps them determined that they will achieve their goal.

SPACE

Location: Chester

SPACE was set up by Jemma Gregory, who is mother to a child with a life limiting condition (mitochondrial disorder). Despite the daily challenges that caring for a child with severe disabilities throws at her, she works tirelessly to achieve her dream of setting up a sensory play centre.
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