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We would like to provide a Christmas event that disabled children and their families can access where they can relax , feel safe and ultimately have fun. We would like to hold a sensory Christmas grotto where the children will be able to enjoy Christmas themed arts and crafts before going to see Santa Claus and receiving a gift which is matched to their needs. We intend to hire a tipi which we will turn into a grotto by decorating it with lights and lots of Christmas decorations and have real life elves and reindeer interact with and perform to the children. We will also have a Santa Claus who can speak Makaton so he can communicate with those who are non-verbal We intend to run this over a two day period and offer timeslots of one hour to families with a maximum of 10-12 people at each session to ensure it remained small and quiet.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Many children with additional needs and disabilities have difficulty attending activities and events that their peers without disabilities can for a variety of reasons including poor accessibility, crowds and high noise. This was an issue pre-Covid however since the pandemic began this has become even more difficult for families especially those with medically vulnerable children who have had to shield. This project will: - give families the chance to meet other families who face similar challenges to themselves. - relieve social isolation for parents and children - be free for families to enjoy - provide a safe, relaxed, friendly and non-judgemental environment - be accessible to children with all disabilities - be sensory friendly - give children the chance let go of their worries and have fun - give families the opportunity to make special memories - help children feel a sense of pride in the art they have created - help children feel excitement in the build up to Christmas
Steps to get it done:
We are a small, local community group who provide activities and events for children with additional needs and their families. We all have children of our own who have disabilities so know first hand the challenges that they and their peers and families face. We want to reduce the stigma that many families feel and provide safe, sensory friendly, accessible events for the whole family to enjoy as well as the chance for parents and young carers to chat to others who face similar challenges. This not only helps to relieve social isolation but also gives families the opportunity to share advice and tips which is invaluable in this community. Every penny we receive goes back into the community group for us to provide activities, events and experiences as we want children to be able to grow up happily, have fun and have the chance to enjoy things that their non-disabled peers can and ultimately make lifelong memories with their families.
About the space
Sunderland City Council