Activity Club helps boost the confidence of youngster
The parents of a nine-year-old autistic boy, from Tamworth, are encouraging disabled children, and those with additional needs, to attend a monthly activity club that has benefited their son.
Because of his condition Charlie finds it difficult to make lasting friendships and he has low self-esteem.
So when his mother, Emma, found out that Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, was to run an Activity Club in nearby Lichfield, she jumped at the chance to book her son onto the sessions.
Emma says that the club has had a huge impact on the family since Charlie started attending over a year ago. As she explained: “The children who attend have got to recognise each other and they’ve got to know Charlie a little better.
“There are some children from his school, who it’s nice that he spends some time with outside the classroom environment, and there are others that he didn’t know originally but who he is gradually building friendships with.
“It’s obvious that he feels comfortable there and he loves doing the arts and crafts sessions.”
Emma’s husband Robert, aged 37, says the whole family are benefiting from the sessions. He said: “We know that the club is run in a safe and protected environment by experienced carers and volunteers.
“So this gives myself and Emma the chance to spend some quality time with Charlie’s two younger brothers.
“We can go to the cinema, or take part in other activities, where they get a bit of attention for a change.”
Emma says that Charlie enjoys the sessions, which take place between 1-4pm on one Sunday in every month. As she enthused: “It appears to have boosted his confidence and if he’s had a bad week at school he enjoys being around other children like him in a relaxed atmosphere, where he won’t be judged.
“Some of the sessions have also included family day trips and they’ve been so much fun to attend as a family.
“Not only that everything is free so I would urge parents to get their child booked onto the sessions as soon as possible.”
The activity clubs, funded by Aiming High Staffordshire, are ASDAN accredited as part of their Key Steps Award.
Participants at the clubs, which take place in Stafford, Newcastle, Lichfield, Tamworth, Burton-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, Cannock and Leek, have the opportunity to gain an ASDAN short course certificate.
ASDAN is a pioneering curriculum development organisation and awarding body which ensures that accredited programmes grow skills for learning, employment and life.
You can find out more about Caudwell Children’s Staffordshire Activity Clubs by calling the Family Services team on 01782 433730.
You can find out more about volunteering on one of the charity’s activity clubs by ringing the Volunteer team on 01782 433613
You can also visit the Short Breaks web page here.