Members at the Kidz’n’Co Saturday club are celebrating after winning a Big Lottery Fund Awards For All grant of almost £10,000.
The group, which meets at Beeston Village Community Centre every Saturday, supports families who have children with special educational needs. There are games and activities and a shared hot meal.
Anna Howard is a parent who’s been coming to the group for over ten years. She explained the value of the group:
“It’s something to look forward to. The kids are accepted here, they can be loud and noisy, they can have a meltdown and it’s not a problem.”
Matthew Giles takes charge of cooking the meals.
“Five years ago I didn’t know anyone else with special needs kids. It’s so important to know we are not alone.
“Sometimes when you’re out with your family people look at you like you’re wild animals. Here nobody judges you. You get support from other parents when you need it and you give support when you can.
“Food’s really important and I like to involve the children, even if its just chopping vegetables in the food processor – it’s all life skills.”
Annette has been coming to the group for two years. Her 13 year old daughter has complex needs – learning difficulties and visual impairment. She travels from Scholes because “there’s nothing like this where I live.”
“I’m not isolated any more” she continues, “we’ve got somewhere to go.”
Suzanne Jackson Bailey and Jackie Hartley have been running the group for the last five years since Health For All had to withdraw staffing.
“We are all volunteers and the group survives hand to mouth” says Suzanne. “This grant means we can plan ahead without worrying about fundraising all the time. We will continue our regular activities and plan some day trips for the group.”
To contact Kidz’n’Co call Suzanne on 07807 486937, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or just drop in between 10:30-12:30 on Saturday morning.