SPACE

SPACE

At a glance

Causes

  • Children / families

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

We are a small Cheshire based Registered Charity that provides a fun, safe and accessible environment in which children with disabilities and additional needs can play and learn.  We also provide support and resources for their parents and carers.

We were founded in 2014 parents of children with disabilities and additional needs that were frustrated by the lack of appropriate, accessible play opportunities or support and advice for parents and carers of children with disabilities and additional needs.  And so, we decided to do something about it.  

For over 4 years we ran weekly play sessions in hired community rooms until, in January 2019, we opened our own play centre in Chester. It offers a large fully accessible 2 story play frame, a soft play area, a fully fitted and padded sensory room, a versatile activity room, a changing place (with hoist), a parent’s room, a chill out area, an accessible kitchen and a family café.

We are governed by a team of 8 trustees that bring experience of disability, HR, law, education, marketing, accountancy, auditing, disability project work and learning and development. We currently have a part time staff team of 15 comprising of a Charity Manager, An operations Manager, 2 Play Co-Ordinators, 7 Support Workers, 2 Cafe Assistants, an Admin Assistant, and a Family Support Worker. in addition, we are supported by a fantastic team of 10 volunteers that help out at play sessions and fundraising events. 

Activities

What we do:

We open 7 days a week to offer the following projects/services:

  • Little Stars - 2 play sessions for pre-school children every week providing interactive, fun, sensory sessions using music, Makaton, Story Massage, messy play and craft activities for all abilities.
  • Family Play sessions – 6 play sessions every week, providing lots of fun with toys, sensory room, messy play, music and arts and crafts.
  • Activity Club – an opportunity for parents and carers to take a short period of respite whilst their children attend the club. We provide fully inclusive arts & crafts activities and full use of the accessible equipment. Parent-Carer Coffee and Chat Group - an informal ‘drop-in’ to help navigate through the world of ‘special needs’ and to provide friendship, advice and a listening ear. Often attended by speakers from other organisations.
  • After School Club - for 5 -13 year olds 2 evenings a week (3.30-5.30). The club offers a wide range of activities including arts & crafts, game, cookery, and messy play in addition to our full range of play and sensory facilities. Children with disabilities and additional needs have fewer opportunities to attend out of school activities such as Cubs and Brownies, sports clubs and social groups and our After School Club provides a valuable option.
  • Counselling - sessions enable carers to talk confidentially to someone who is not emotionally involved with their situation with a fully qualified, BACP registered counsellor.
  • Parent training sessions – on subjects such as Makaton, sleep training and behaviour management.
  • Links with support advocates – providing information on housing issues, education, and welfare.
  • Family events – such as occasional trips to Chester Zoo or familygroup walks.
  • Toy library - specialist and adapted toys are extremely expensive, sometimes three times the price of regular toys or more. We have a toy library at which children can access specialist toys to help with their development and to enable them to play and have fun at home.  
  • Support via Facebook – we manage a closed Facebook page that provides an accessible forum in which parents and carers can share problems and ideas and support each other any time of the day and night.
  • Birthday Party Bookings – as parents often struggle to find suitable accessible facilities.
  • Hire of the centre to local schools and groups – we currently hire out weekly sessions in the centre to Dorin Park SEN school, Dee Banks SEN school, Maple Grove SEN school, and a local children’s Sensory Impairment group.

Current opportunities

Cheshire, CH2 2AN

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