Because Everyone Counts (BECS) is a charity [Registration no. SC048048] based in Inverurie, dedicated to finding effective and creative ways of tackling health inequalities and promoting a healthy lifestyle for children who have learning difficulties plus their carers/families. We do this by providing facilities for physical recreation within the community.
Families with children who have additional support needs (ASN) can become socially isolated as a result of the day-to-day challenges in managing complex conditions which often cause high stress levels and mental health problems. Many children with learning difficulties experience exclusion from mainstream education opportunities and community life due to lack of understanding about these conditions and associated behaviours.
BECS supports these children and their families by providing multi-sensory facilities and play activities. These reduce social isolation through creating opportunities to meet other children and improve health by promoting physical activity. Staff are on hand to demonstrate the specialist equipment and facilitate its use. Our purpose-built sensory room is open for four hour-long sessions daily, seven days a week. The soft play facility is open for use to preschool individuals and groups and can be hired as a party facility for children.
BECS is an inclusive soft play centre where children’s abilities are not the main focus. We are allowing children with additional support needs and their families to integrate back into the community – from where they were once isolated. This is the first centre of its kind in north east Scotland. Other soft play centres in the area occasionally offer specific additional support needs sessions but these are usually at inconvenient, off-peak times to the families and serve to amplify the exclusion of these children from their peers. Through innovative practices, our aim is to bring about more positive engagement and sustainable changes in the soft play sector.
BECS provides children aged 0 - 12 with exciting opportunities to keep them active, have fun, meet new friends and develop an understanding about why we are all different. By offering public play as well as working with many local charities, schools and groups we will increase inclusion through play.
Our aim is to bring about more positive engagement and sustainable changes in the soft play sector. Soft play can be expensive for some families but our initiative aims to keep costs affordable. We believe every child should be able to play with others in a safe environment. Play is the very essence of childhood - laughter means so much to these children - but there are very few facilities which children with additional support needs can join in and play with others. Our aims for the centre are  improve confidence and social skills  improve motor skills by taking part in a range of challenging activities  improve well-being through participation in indoor play activities  develop integration of those with additional needs and mainstream children through play.
BECS focus is on children with additional support needs to create a feeling of inclusion. Children of all abilities are welcome in the centre but we ensure parents are aware of the requirements of those with special needs. The centre has been open to the public since August 2019 and in this time some 3,350 children have played there.
Between August and December 2019, we had 31 private hires for children’s parties and so far in 2020 there have been 29 private hire bookings.