Disabled teen can play safely at Activity Club
The mother of a 13-year-old girl from Leek, who has Williams syndrome, is encouraging disabled children, and those with additional needs, to attend a monthly activity club that has benefited her daughter.
One of the effects of Martha’s condition is that she has an outgoing and engaging personality and takes an extreme interest in people.
The condition has also left her with learning disabilities and she has no sense of danger.
“Martha has a lot of medical problems but she has a very sunny personality and wants to be the life and soul of the party,” explained her mother Deborah, aged 45. “She loves meeting people but it needs to be in a controlled and safe environment and I was struggling for places to take her.”
So when Deborah found out that Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, was to run a monthly Activity Club at Bradnop Village Hall, in Leek, she jumped at the chance to book her daughter onto the sessions.
Deborah, who is the MD of British Boxers, a high end pyjama and underwear company, says that the club has had a huge impact on Martha since she started attending nearly a year ago. As she explained: “Because the club is well controlled and run by experienced staff and volunteers there is no problem with Martha attending.
“Her condition means that she is extremely verbal and it’s lovely seeing her talk to everyone, that’s the bit she likes best, just chatting with the children and carers.”
Deborah says that her daughter, a pupil at The Meadows School in Leek, has made several new friends at the club and she has also developed her friendships with a number of pupils from her school who attend the sessions.
“It’s lovely seeing them mixing outside of school,” enthused Deborah. “It’s also been good for me because I know some of the other mothers there and it’s nice to have a chat.
“It’s even encouraged us to run an evening group at our local social club!”
Deborah says the club also gives her the chance to spend some time with her 8-year-old-son. As she explained: “If you have a child with a disability then naturally they sometimes become the centre of attention.
“So occasionally it’s nice to leave Martha at the club and spend some quality time with her brother, to read or play, just to make him the centre of attention for a change.“
Deborah says that there are spaces available for more children at the sessions, which take place between 1-4.00pm one Sunday in every month. As she explained: “Some of the sessions have also included family day trips and they’ve been so much fun to attend.
“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 visit the Short Break web page here.