Gareloch Group is such an important project for the well-being of disabled children and young people, through working with horses it helps these young people to have fun, make friends and dramatically increases their emotional well-being.
Safe Space offers highly trained counselling and support to young people aged 12-18 affected by sexual abuse. It helps them to deal with their feelings, and feel safer and happier in themselves.
Here, staff provide stimulating and fun activities in hospices and at home for children with life limiting conditions and their siblings. They will be happier and more confident, make friends, be less stressed or anxious and better to cope with their situations.
Getaway Girls in conjunction with the SAFE SPACE project provides a safe place for young women at risk of child sexual exploitation and offers a range of activities with a balance of support, challenges and fun to engage very vulnerable young women in Leeds. Young women gain a vital support network and peer group whom they feel safe to discuss their concerns with.
Here disabled children and young people choose their own activities, identify their own goals and draw together a programme of activity to make their lives better. The aim is that the children will improve communication and social skills, build confidence and self-esteem, as well as forge fundamental teamwork, decision making and listening skills.
MENCAP organises weekend breaks away for 42 disabled young people in small groups to different venues. This amazing project gives young people a break in a non-institutional atmosphere, improves their mental health and well-being and allows their parent a break from caring to recharge their batteries.
The Venture focusses on helping children and young people with chaotic family lives. It works intensively through play and learning activities to help them fulfil their academic potential, build their self-esteem and raise their aspirations.
A vital after-school club for children and young people living in a deprived and rurally isolated area. Children have a space in which they can be themselves, develop confidence, self-esteem, and social skills in a normal, safe and supportive environment.
Arts Alive is a project that provides creative writing opportunities for children and young people living with mental ill health. The project will help improve their emotional well-being, better engage with education, and be better able to express themselves. The project also encourages vital peer support, aiming to create a place of solace for young people who feel alienated.
Through a combination of 1:1 and group sessions staff offer essential support to children and young people affected by parental alcohol and substance misuse. It creates a much needed safe and non-judgemental place where young people can feel free to talk confidentially, participate in team building, and build confidence and self-esteem.
This project delivers fantastic opportunities for disabled children and young people, along with their siblings, to experience a wide range of therapeutic recreational activities such as African Drumming, Mediation Sessions, Yoga and Reflexology. Through taking part the children become more confident, less isolated and develop a wider range of skills.
Findacure provides adventure activities for children and young people with rare illnesses. It builds their belief in not being limited by their conditions, fostering self-confidence, improving wellbeing and reducing isolation.
Renowned for its individual and group music therapy sessions that are geared specifically towards disabled young people. It helps to increase their confidence, raise their aspirations and the sessions will also help to improve any behavioural problems.
This project supports pre-school children living in areas of deprivation through a range of activities to enhance their development, health and fitness and improve family relationships. They offer safe, supervised, fun and friendly indoor and outdoor play in a learning environment for children, parents and carers to enjoy together. It helps children have a positive start in life and to join in community activities.
Nature and nurture mix at this small farm where children who have experienced trauma receive psychotherapy and support within their family unit, all washed down with wholesome meals, outdoor activities, patience and common sense. This improves their wellbeing, their ability to develop safe relationships and their future prospects at school.
This trust is one of a kind! It provides sailing trips for children and young people who have been treated for cancer and leukaemia. Here young people have the opportunity to come to terms with their illnesses and conquer their fears in an inspiring, safe and fun setting whilst re-building confidence, learning new skills and re-engaging with life.
Families in Grief gives help to children and young people dealing with bereavement. Through a vast range of different activities, from making worry dolls to jewellery, children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and emotions, whilst building an essential network of support to help them through the grieving process.
A crucial, supportive project for young carers across Gloucestershire. The group brings together young people of a similar age and locality, and encourages them to examine and share issues relating to being a young carer whilst giving them the opportunity for peer/professional support and activities that challenge, inspire and build self-confidence.
This project enhances the social and personal skills of young people who have Down’s Syndrome. Participation encourages personal, social, emotional and physical support, inspires young people to develop friendships, increases their confidence and self-esteem, learn new skills, fosters independence and gives them new and exciting opportunities to take part in mainstream social life.
VOYPIC offers a wraparound support model for young people living in care. They learn about a range of issues, improve their self-confidence, acquire social and life skills and become active citizens thanks to a Participation Development Worker who organises activities and outings for young people. Some become young reps to make sure that those in authority hear the voices and concerns of children and young people in care.
This project provides weekly dance classes to 40 socially excluded children and young people. It offers a physical and fun activity that promotes health and well-being, develops communication skills and vastly improves self-confidence.
* Numbers correct as of March 2015
When you meet Zoe for the first time, you’ll be handed a book called “All About Me.” It’s her Communication Passport – devised and written by staff who are funded by BBC Children in Need at Tros Gynnal in nearby Caernarfon.
The passport is a shortcut to getting to know Zoe, who has Down’s Syndrome and communication difficulties, that has allowed her to take part in circuit training sessions at her local leisure centre – something that has really helped her fitness levels and coordination. It’s also an activity she enjoys that is often inaccessible to disabled children and young people, so it’s thanks to the project that she’s been able to go along. Now, she doesn’t even need her support worker to take part alongside her. The book will tell you that Zoe is 18, has three sisters and recently became an auntie. It explains that she likes watching videos and likes particular snacks. Manon and support worker Sarah at Tros Gynnal have about 20 children and young people from across Gwynedd on their books. Their role is to design and review Communication Passports for young people like Zoe so that wherever they go, they can easily tell the people in their new environment what makes them tick.
What the book doesn’t go into, is that Zoe’s parents John and Faith took her out of school when she was nine and home-educated her because they felt that she was not learning enough at the establishment she attended. She played with toy blocks and did some colouring in, instead of learning to read and write. But Faith knew that she was clever if only she could access the activities other children were doing. Now, she can type out words on a computer and has done work experience at Tros Gynnal. She’s much better able to reach her potential. Faith said: “I think it was Contact a Family that first told me about Tros Gynnal. It’s been fantastic for Zoe. Now she goes along to Circuit Training classes at the local leisure centre which she loves. Her support worker Sarah sometimes goes too but she doesn’t need to help Zoe perform the exercises any more – Zoe does it herself.“Other participants there know from her Communication Passport that Zoe usually has her soft toy Monkey with her and likes to talk about him. She also likes to watch videos and has her daily routine pictured on the front of the fridge in the kitchen at home so she knows what to expect each day. She plays the drums and her mum is teaching her the recorder. She’s loving life and enjoying being an auntie for the first time to baby Morgan – her older sister Amy’s first child. Thank you for supporting BBC Children in Need so that we can fund Tros Gynnal which has helped children and young people like Zoe to try new things and gain confidence.
Every year, NHS figures show that more than 100,000 children in the UK are hospitalised with a serious or prolonged illness. It’s frightening, boring and sometimes unpleasant. So when a twinkly eyed professional storyteller bowls up, it’s a welcome distraction.
One of those storytellers is Mike who works in the south and south west of England. Armed with his walking stick shaped flute and a head full of magical tales, he pulls along a treasure chest - which also acts as his table or chair - filled with mystical instruments for making sound effects. Within minutes of arriving on one of the children’s wards, William, Lauren, Georgia, Riley and Elizabeth are all captivated as he spins them a yarn in each character’s special voice to reel them in to another world and away from the discomfort of their ill-health.
This time, his story is about how storytelling first began. But the storytellers adapt their style and either tell soothing bedtime tales or raucous, noisy stories that children participate in – depending on how they’re feeling and what doctors and nurses advise. They might also get older children to pen their own tales that are then told to other children to transport them into the world they’ve created. Lauren, who’s seven and from Cornwall, is one of Mike’s biggest fans. She loves stories, especially anything about animals, and she especially loved books when she found out she had cancer and had to spend hours travelling between or being treated in hospitals. The books and storytellers are provided by Readathon for its hospital programme, ReadWell which began as a pilot in three children’s hospitals in the UK in 2010 and has since been rolled out to 26. The charity, which aims to expand to all 30 children’s hospitals, provides distinctive orange mobile bookcases, custom-made for easy movement in a hospital environment, and regularly restocked with a mixture of more than 120 old favourite and future classics. The books are chosen by an independent bookseller and are brand new, which means that even children at high risk of infection, when they’ve had chemotherapy for instance, can enjoy them. Twice a term, Readathon also sends in a professional storyteller. BBC Children in Need has awarded a grant of just over £19,000 to support ReadWell and that money goes towards providing books and storytellers for a year at three hospitals.
BBC Children in Need’s 2015 Appeal has launched, and this year the Charity is asking people across the UK to dress up as their childhood hero to help make a difference to young lives.
To mark the official launch of BBC Children in Need’s 2015 campaign Sir Terry Wogan, Fearne Cotton, Nick Grimshaw, Tess Daly, Rochelle Humes, Dermot O’Leary and Sophie Ellis-Bextor have come together to galvanise the Nation to dress up as their childhood heroes. BBC Children in Need’s celebrity friends chose a hero from their childhood to launch the 2015 campaign, the celebrities choice of childhood heroes include an Arctic Explorer, a Dame, a Superhero and a Cowboy! They are calling on the public to follow in their footsteps by spending a day dressed as their own childhood hero, all to raise money for BBC Children in Need.
BBC Children in Need’s Lifetime President, Sir Terry Wogan chose singing cowboy Gene Autry as his childhood hero and said of the campaign: “I’ve had great fun dressing up as Gene Autry, the singing cowboy and my childhood hero. Please do your bit for BBC Children in Need this year; cast your mind back and dig out your childhood hero for a sponsored dress-up. Every penny of your support will go to make a real difference.”
Hopelessly devoted to the Charity, Tess Daly has swapped her Strictly ball gown for a jumpsuit, choosing to emulate her childhood hero Olivia Newton John. Tess called on people across the UK saying: “While dressing up as your hero is a fun and simple thing to do, it really can help make a big difference. By supporting BBC Children in Need, you'll be helping benefit the lives of some of the most disadvantaged young people, right here in the UK. So dust off your fancy-dress gear, and let's make this happen!”
Nick Grimshaw chose to dress up as Liam Gallagher, Nick explained his choice commenting: “When it came to picking someone to dress up as I really did struggle, but Liam Gallagher had to be my final choice. His music was the soundtrack to my childhood.”
Dermot O’Leary’s childhood hero was known as one of the principal figures of Antarctic Exploration, and was a real hero of his time, Dermot said of his choice: “My childhood hero was the explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. He was an adventurer from the early 1900’s, known for trekking places like the Antarctic. As a young lad, who wouldn’t want to be an explorer? It’s been great fun to don the fancy dress for BBC Children in Need; please do show your support and do the same!”
Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s childhood hero could be classed as pretty much perfect in every way, Sophie said of her hero: “I loved Dame Julie Andrews when I was little; everything about her films is just so enchanting, and they were a big part of my childhood. BBC Children in Need is a cause that’s close to my heart, and I really do want to encourage everyone to support it. It’s been such fun dressing up; hopefully we’ve inspired others to get involved and help raise money for a really worthwhile cause.”
One way or another, Fearne Cotton is hoping the public get involved in 2015, Fearne said of her choice: “I chose to dress up as Blondie as she is a musical icon who has remained relevant and at the top of her game to this day. I hope that people up and down the country get involved this year, by doing so you really will be making a difference to young lives.”
Rochelle Humes chose a true superhero, explaining her choice Rochelle said: “Wonder Woman is the epitome of a strong female role model. I had such fun finally getting the chance to dress up as her, and I hope everyone across the UK enjoys dressing up as their childhood hero for BBC Children in Need this year. It really will go on to make a difference.”
Be a baking hero and make a difference this year by getting involved with BBC Children in Need. By creating your very own tabletop bake sale you'll be helping to raise money to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people throughout the UK.
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