Empathy for special children

Empathy for special children

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Learning disabilities / difficulties
  • Mental health
  • Sports
  • Young people

Other details

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Geographical remit: 


It is difficult to grow up with a difference; when playing with others is something you have to learn, when the world is a frightening and overwhelming place and when the one thing you need is stability in an ever-changing world. It is also difficult to watch a child you love struggle every day with the simple things in life, to feel like the world is judging you all because society finds it difficult to accept what it cannot see.

Autism and Hidden Disabilities have no visible indicates and predominately those with hidden difference are academically able, making the route to both support and understanding a long one, in many cases. What the world sees is the behaviour driven by anxiety and fear and it is this that leads to social isolation for the whole family.

Through our work, we aim to empower every family member through the support and opportunity to overcome the barriers they face.  To feel confident again about themselves and their abilities, to believe in themselves and see their strengths, to understand it is OK to be different. We prove for those living with the impact of a hidden difference a place to belong and feel accepted, a place to relax, enjoy life and have some fun.

We now support over 160 children and their families across the county and Empathy can be accessed be those that need it at least once / week, every week of the year. Our for core projects, delivered in three locations, provide local, regular, safe and supported opportunities for every member of the family to access tailored support that meets their specific needs. It is important to us that we work with both the family unit and the individual, as the isolation and impact of the challenges our families face are universal.  It is equally important that we work at local level, providing local support to the local community.

We believe that every child should have an equal opportunity at a fun and fulfilled childhood and that with the right support, everyone can let their colours shine.


The Support

The Enable Team of playleaders at all of our all social opportunities. At all sessions, the team deliver a wide range of activities that with patience and understanding break down the barriers to participation. They also provide the specialist and subtle support needed for success; they encourage and support social interactions, build confidence, resilience, model correct behaviours. As young people themselves, they bridge the gap. For our children and young people, they are the guiding light, the safety net, the trusted friendly face that is the difference between success and failure. 

The Projects 

Empathy currently delivers 4 core projects in three locations across Shropshire.

Family Friendship Groups - The Beating Heart

Family Friendship Groups are at the core of we do. These fortnightly multi-activity sessions deliver Sport, Play and Creative activities side by side for the whole family. They are the place where connections are made, skills, learn and confidence is grown. The groups offer the opportunity for families to form and reconnect with their community and peers locally. They are the opportunity to find common ground, friendship, develop local support network, relax and have some fun ! 

 Out And About - The Light Relief 

School holidays are tough for our families. The change of routine, the need to balance caring, work and the demands of a family with different needs, the prospect of going out into a busy public place with a child or young person that can cope with neither means that often our families are particularly isolated during the school holiday and most miss out on those opportunities to make lifelong memories. Therefore the Empathy team are Out and About every week of every school holiday with families ensuring that their holidays are as enriched and fun-filled as any other families. 

Social Sibs - The Respite 

Not all superheroes wear capes. It is thought that 2 children in every classroom now care for a sibling. Young or old we can only care for other if we care for ourselves first and these children and young people give so much of themselves and their lives, willingly and without question to support their special sibling it is vital that they are given some time out and the opportunity to talk, and laugh and be young. Our social sibs groups meet once / month in all three locations and regular go Super Social with whole group meetups and activities.

Unleashed - The Learning Curve 

It is difficult for our young people with a difference to make change and to step out into the world but children with a difference become adults with a difference and therefore it is important that they are given the support an opportunity to learn the skills they will need later in life. Unleashed takes our young people aged 11 + and allows them to separate from their carers,  to form peers relations like any other teenager and learn how to be confidently independent through our range of supported holiday and term time activities.


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