Zebras Childrens Club C.I.C
Zebras Childrens Club C.I.C was officially opened as a Saturday group only on 21st February 2015 as shown above and is the only known project providing services to Disabled Children in the area of Enfield. Already we have over 40 children registered with us, plus their siblings and Parent/Guardians.
Reasons for starting the Club…
“Our own Son was diagnosed with Autism and Learning Disabilities in February 2014 after a long hard exhausting battle to get a diagnosis. After searching for groups and social outlets for our son to attend with us it soon became apparent that there was a shortage in our borough hence the idea and development of Zebras childrens club C.I.C “.
Projects developments so far….
Zebras childrens club at present is a group similar in context to a “stay and play” where parents/Guardians attend with their children and the childrens siblings, so they can interact with other families experiencing the same difficulties we often face. The Club is held fortnightly and originally offered one morning session from 11am to 1pm, however due to popular demand we now offer an afternoon session from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Since opening the organisation is going from strength to strength, gaining recognition and support from other charities such as: http://www.enfieldcarers.org/ ,http://www.enfieldva.org.uk/ , http://www.the-challenge.org/.
As the project is aimed at building the communities interest and for them to have an active involvement in its developments we aim to employ further Volunteers within the community and are proud to announce that we now have two fantastic volunteers, one of which is a wheel chair user.
We advertise and work with Helen Price from https://do-it.org/ in regards to seeking potential volunteers.
Much help is needed to run the organisation, even though the group effectively runs every fortnight there is so much preparation, setting up, tidying away , organising , promoting are but a few of the jobs involved in the running of the club. It is hard work.
We are passionate about maintaining and developing the organisation. So far from the start we have been self-funded, however we have received £2400 from http://www.enfield.gov.uk/, Residents Priority Fund which enabled us to purchase a much needed Van so that we can store all the equipment, and make just one trip to the Clubs location as opposed to three trips previously using our family vehicle, this has also provided us with advertising space on the vans body work. The left over £600 has helped towards the cost of hall hire. We also received £1000 donation fromhttp://www.metaswitch.com/ which helped us provide a Family Fun day which took place in May and can be viewed on our website, we also purchased some reasonable priced equipment such as our sensory Dark Den and sensory stones for the children to explore and enjoy. However this equipment is not as hard wearing as we need it to be in order to be safe long term for our service users.
Our Service Users
Most of our service users, the children, have the diagnosis of Autism, however our club is open to all children with a range of disabilities and Special educational needs. Some of the children have been referred to us having emotional difficulties and have been welcomed into the club with positive outcomes. We have found that the equipment we have personally brought is suitable for now but have realised that we need to purchase items that will be more hard wearing which unfortunately cost a great deal of money and needs to be permanently placed as at present we put up and dismantle every piece of equipment before and after the sessions which takes a great deal of time and effort!
We also would like to expand our services and provide services to Adults, Play Schemes during Holiday times as we recently did some market research with our service users parents/guardians and found that so many of them would like to use our organisation for services such as holiday play schemes as there is a desperate need in our local area for suitable play schemes, holiday clubs, respite centres as one major organisation whom used to provide this no longer is running leaving a gap needing to be filled.
For this to be possible we need funding so we can provide the services, train and employ professional staff who will be paid for their work alongside still employing Community Volunteers.
Why Support us?
Ideally our aim is to have our own premises which is why we are applying for Crowdfunding, as the hall we use is fine but is not equipped really for the use of children with sensory difficulties and disabilities. We ideally need to be able to at least have specialist equipment installed which would be protective against damage such as objects thrown or kicked as many children have challenging behaviour due to their disabilities, hence the need for funding such expensive items such as padded areas, safety mats all of which can be purchased and designed through companies likehttps://www.rompa.com/ stressing the need for the property we use to either be owned by us or leased with the intention of us having the equipment we use in place permanently. As one of the Founders is a Professional Counsellor, and the other a practising holistic masseuse, it would be wonderful to offer a small space to work, which would consist of just a small separate room enough for two chairs and therapy massage table whereby we could begin to provide therapeutic sessions to those on the waiting list where this at present is not possible. We could then also offer one to one support for the children, their families and siblings too, pamper evenings for families in much need of a special treat!
We feel already this is only the beginning for us, there is a need for all of our services we already offer and want to provide, and as we state just need the financial funding to be able to implement them and move forward. We are constantly receiving positive feedback from service users Parents/Guardians saying that there is nowhere else like it, where they can come along, relax, and feel at ease knowing their children are safe and in the hands of professional experienced staff. Included in our costs we would also like to purchase comfortable chairs and place them in the refreshment area so we can reward our parents/guardians by having some much needed time out to relax with a beverage, we already provide the refreshments (& cakes!) but it would be great for them to have someone where comfy to sit to really take the weight off, even just for a few hours. We know how important it is to feel supported and part of an organisation, our club helps provide this already by reducing isolation which is so often felt within the additional needs community. Please view the link to see what Rompa can provide to Community organisations like ours with the correct funding….
Our YouTube promotional video demonstrates the work involved, and how passionate we are about developing our service so that Children with disabilities have a place to go to feel safe, happy, and secure and can develop and learn new life long skills through play.
We are hoping to expand into Adult services too, we already have an Adult with Learning Disabilities whom is now a family friend and has become a helper with us, and he is featured in our YouTube video.
“We already work so hard as we Home School our Son, but are prepared to work even harder as this organisation is for our Sons future and for the future of all the Sons and Daughters who will benefit from a place to be themselves”.
Supporting our project will help us to sustain the organisation through much needed funding, help us to grow and develop a Centre that will provide more services for Disabled Children and Adults.
Please Join us and pledge today!
Zebras Childrens Club C.I.C is founded by Harriet Piercy & Jamie Ashton
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