12-year old Ryan Jones designs a bird box, with mum Kellie Jones
Following the success of an action day, funded by Whitefriars Housing, a Coventry mum is vowing to repeat the achievement. Earlier this month around 100 disabled children aged from zero to 19-years-old climbed, decorated, aimed, planted and pedalled their way to confidence at a special action day in Berkswell.
Whitefriars Housing provided £6,000, to Coventry-based 1 Voice Parents group to host the day, in association with the Scouts Association, at the Rough Close Scout Campsite.
The 1 Voice Parents Group is a group of parents who help shape services for disabled children in Coventry. The Adventure Day, which included activities as diverse as archery, crate climbing and bird box decorating, was organised to provide disabled children, together with other young people, and their families, with the chance to take part in physical challenges in a safe environment.
Coventry mum Claire Batten, was one of the 1 Voice organisers. Her son, Henry, who is 10, suffers from Williams Syndrome and autism, and has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, took part in the day, along with his brother and sister. Claire said: “If you have a child with a disability it’s so important to find ways of giving your child an opportunity to develop, take risks and have fun, while also not separating them out from their siblings and families. We set up the 1 Voice Parents Group both as a support network for parents and carers, but also to influence decision-makers to provide support for families with a disabled child.
“I’m so grateful that Whitefriars gave us the money to run this day. Henry had great fun and it really helped him to build his self-belief.
“But I’m determined that this won’t be the end. The adventure day was so successful that we will now be looking at other events that we can run that will give families who have children with disabilities the chance to socialise and have fun together. We would love to have activities organised all the time, but we don’t have the resources to do that. However we will now look to see what we can organise during summer, with perhaps a bbq being next on the agenda. If anyone is interested in coming along to future activities please check our website and we’ll update it with events as we plan them.”
Donna Milliner, customer involvement officer at Whitefriars, who attended the adventure day, said: “The Adventure Day ticked pretty much every box that we had for being eligible for our Pride In our Street funding. The children had great fun and you could see their confidence blossoming as they achieved each task. It was all about reducing isolation, while developing personal skills. The 1 Voice Parents Group is a fantastic organisation that makes a real difference and I’m delighted that we were able to support them.”
In 2012/13 Whitefriars distributed £100,000 to good causes through its Pride In Our Street awards scheme.
For more details on the 1 Voice Parents Group and future events, go to www.onevoicecoventry.co.uk