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Blind Children UK is the leading charity for children and young people with sight loss.
We help children and their families tackle the challenges of young sight loss so that they can enjoy their childhood and realise their potential as adults.
We believe that no child should feel isolated and afraid or be deprived of a full life just because they can't see. We help children and young adults with sight loss to be all they can be, and to live as independently as possible.
The services we deliver support children and their families, right from birth through to young adulthood. Our aim is to enable the whole family live life to the full, so we also give parents tools they can use to help their children reach educational and recreational goals.
Foxgloves is a specialist children’s home that is registered by Ofsted. We offer overnight short breaks to children and young people aged between 8 and 18 with autism, learning difficulties and/or challenging behaviour. The eligibility criteria can be seen on our web page.
The service enables families and carers to have a break, gives children the opportunity to make new friends, have fun and participate in leisure activities. It also enables children to promote their independence and social skills by being away from home and socialising with other adults and other young people.
At Foxgloves we support the young people using autism specific supports and communication systems and all of our staff are trained in these supports.
All of the young people will be allocated a Key worker to plan and support them during their stays with us and work closely with parents/carers.
We offer a range of activities and experiences for the young people and these are planned depending on the young people that are staying with us. Some regular activities include swimming, cinema, bowling, visiting cafes, shopping, parks. We also offer day trips to zoos, seaside etc and welcome any suggestions for these form the young people of their parents/carers.
Foxgloves is large house and we can provide a lot of activities on site. We have 2 lounges, a dining room that doubles up as a craft room, a sensory room, 2 computer rooms, a main kitchen and a smaller one where young people can be supported to develop their skills to prepare meals and to cook.
We have a lovely large garden with lots of play equipment, trampoline, climbing frame, swings, slides as well as bicycles, tricycles and go-karts. There is also a large patio area to sit outside for meals or to relax.
Foxgloves also has a self contained annexe where we can work with young people to help them develop their independence skills ready for moving into adult life.
Our sister unit, Sunflower House provides the same service for children with physical, sensory and learning difficulties.
Healthwatch is the consumer champion, for both health and social care services for children and adults living in England. At a local level Healthwatch Bedford Borough (HBB) will:-
• Enable all people of all ages to share their views and concerns about local health and social care services such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists hospitals, day care services and care homes.
• Help and support Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to make sure that services really are designed to meet the local communities needs.
• Provide authoritative, evidence-based feedback to organisations responsible for commissioning or delivering local health and social care services.
• Be inclusive - we know that people can feel excluded from services and we know that access to services is not always equal. Healthwatch will reflect the diversity of the community it serves.
We support over 13,500 disabled children, young people and their families every year by delivering over 120 services throughout England.
KIDS is unique; there is no other organisation dedicated to providing such an extensive range of services to disabled children and young people, aged 0-25 years, irrespective of their impairment or condition.
Parent Carer breakfasts are a monthly opportunity for parents/carers of disabled children (of any age) to meet up with friends, share stories, hints and tips and support each other. A full cooked breakfast and bottomless drinks are on offer too. This is held at The Tavistock, Tavistock Road, Bedford from 9.30 a.m.
The breakfasts are held during the fourth week of any month in term time. The days alternate within that week so that it is accessible to those with regular commitments on certain days. Members will receive an email with dates and it is also posted on the BDCPS Face Book page.
Parents with children under school age can bring them along including siblings. There is a “Gateopener” support worker available for any requests for information and support.
Ocassionally BDCPS will at the request of parent/carers set up other groups or opportunities e.g. Christmas Shop and Lunch at MK with care for any under school age children required so that parents/carers can enjoy the experience.
During the summer holidays throughout the play scheme at Ridgeway School from 9.30a.m. There are two breakfasts a week. Due to the lack of cooking facilities these breakfasts are continental. Parents/carers dropping off children can go into the staff room and a team of staff and volunteers will serve them with a choice of breakfast goodies whilst they get together with friends or meet new people. Parents/carers not using the play scheme are also welcome to drop in there are usually volunteers or staff that can help if they bring a child/children.
The dates for these are sent out in the play scheme newsletter, emailed to members and posted onto the BDCPS Face Book page (people just have to “ like it” and you will get to know what we BDCPS is up to)
Sarah is a qualified special needs teacher and for the last five years has been studying Animal Assisted Therapy. The Society for Companion Animal Studies explains that Animal Assisted Therapy is facilitated by health service professionals; such as therapists, teachers and nurses. AAT is goal-directed. There are a range of focus areas that can be developed with the use of AAT including, physical, social, emotional and mental health. Animal assisted therapists formally plan and monitor sessions. Goals are discussed with key professionals and/or parents (these can be linked to EHCPlans) and individual plans are designed. Detailed feedback is provided. These sessions last an hour and usually range from 6-12 sessions, depending on the client’s needs.
Sarah has taken part in rigorous training, by a leader in the field, Dr Risë VanFleet and is now a Certified Professional Practitioner in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™, one of few in the UK.
The key purpose is to provide therapeutic support for children and young people (3 +). Play and creative arts therapy can help children to gain a better understanding of their emotions and feelings. It can help work through traumatic events, divorce, bullying, anxiety to name a few. I have a toolkit I use including art, clay, sand, puppets and music. A minimum of 12 sessions are recommended, though this depends on the level of need. Group sessions are available too.
We have a clear plan for children and young people in settings and schools so that we can identify early SEND needs and provide support through a process of good planning and reviewing. To this end we have produced two Graduated Response documents which outline and provide a clear message about responsibilities for early identification of need and what can be done to ensure plans are in place to support children and pupils with additional needs.
Tired Out is Family Fund’s new sleep support hub which aims to help parents and carers of disabled children to sleep better. It pulls sleep information and resources together in one place. This includes information about support available to families in their local area, useful sleep tips and a wide range of research, resources and stories from families themselves.