Our children are aged under 5 and have complex special needs. The majority live in urban parts of Reading, in homes without gardens or outdoor areas. Parents of special needs children often really struggle to take their children outside, preferring to keep them inside because it's easier. This denies children opportunities to benefit from being active outside and to learn about the world around them by experiencing it. Keeping their children isolated indoors increased massively during the pandemic and many of our children spent months indoors, some in a single room. This project aims to give parents confidence that they CAN safely take their child outside.
We want to organise a trip to Beale Park in West Berkshire for 38 children and their parent/carer in July. The funding will cover: Entrance fees Hire of a minibus + driver for families without a car Refreshments @ £5 pp We hope the impacts will be: 38 children and their parent/carer experiencing being outside in the 350 acre estate, including sandpit, paddling pool, picnic areas, numerous play areas, seeing the wide range of plants, trees, birds and animals This will contribute to their physical and emotional wellbeing, and for the children contribute to their understanding of the world around them All the parents will feel more confident about taking their child out in the future
All the children and families attend our Reading Centre, and we are their lead early years support organisation. We know the children and their needs very well, and have strong bonds with both children and families. Our staff will accompany the children and families; all are highly qualified experienced Early Years Practitioners. Our Family Support Worker, highly experienced in supporting SEND families, will also come. We used to organise 3 trips a year before the pandemic, to build families' confidence to take their child outside. These stopped in March 2020 and haven't restarted because we've been following strict COVID-related guidance. This will be our first family trip.