Wendy Burt and Mandy Lawrence
Bringing together parents of young disabled children in a relaxed comfortable setting to participate in crafting activities, while their children are cared for in an onsite crèche. This gives parents the chance to meet with others in similar situations while accessing support and signposting from the skilled facilitators.
Our story so far...
Hi we are Wendy and Mandy part of a very new organisation called include ME solutions, we aim to empower and support people to recognise their talents and realise their potential. In our work so far we have realised there are a number of barriers that get in the way of people having good lives; one of which being the isolation that parents often feel when they have a child with a disability, a significant health condition or other additional support needs.
We were really excited to hear we were one of the finalists for the Essex challenge prize for our project ‘craft n natter’ which aims to bring together parents of pre-school children with disabilities to have fun with craft while getting the opportunity to meet other families in a similar situation, while their children are having fun in the crèche.
We are both parents of children (now grown up!) with various disabilities, when our children were young especially before they started school, we did feel very isolated and alone and felt our whole lives were consumed with supporting our families and battling to get the right support for them. We would have welcomed the opportunity to do something fun for ourselves and meet other families.
From experience we know that when families get together they will share hints and tips with each other and informal support happens organically. We hope that by providing the space and arms-length support families will feel less isolated, more informed and in control of their lives. We feel sure friendships will grow and blossom as ours did so many years ago.
We are now busy planning an introductory session for families to get them involved in what the ‘craft n natter’ group should look like and what kind of crafts they would like to have a go at, it could be anything from creating keepsakes using footprints and handprints of their child to having a go at throwing a pot on a potters wheel or creating unique handmade pieces of jewellery, the possibilities are endless and we are really looking forward to hearing from the families about what they would like to have a go at.
We are so excited to have the opportunity to test something that we know would have helped us feel less isolated when our children were very young.
Our first craft n natter group will be based in the Tendring area, if you are a family who would like more information please email us firstname.lastname@example.org. We also welcome contact from practitioners who are in touch with the kind of families we want to offer this to if they feel they could help us spread the word.
That’s enough from us for now we have families to find and crafty projects to plan!