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Sam Dade's five-year-old daughter Tilly-Rose will not be allowed to attend Hellesdon Parish Council's Christmas party because she has diabetes and Sam is not allowed to accompany her. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY
Tom Bristow, Reporter
Monday, December 3, 2012
A professional child minder has been told she cannot take her five-year-old daughter to a Christmas party because of council rules.
Samantha Dade wants to be at the party at Hellesdon community centre on Saturday to keep an eye on her daughter, Tilly-Rose, who has diabetes – but has been told she would have to wait outside because she has not been vetted by the organisers, Hellesdon Parish Council. The parish council’s policy states that only adults who are CRB-checked by them are allowed to attend the party.
Mrs Dade, 40, is CRB-checked – but by Norfolk County Council, rather than the parish council.
Fearful of letting her diabetes-suffering daughter go to the party without her there, Mrs Dade says the council has effectively barred Tilly-Rose.
The five-year-old has spent time in hospital because of her diabetes which can lead to her passing out.
Parish clerk Patricia Kirby said the council had already been flexible on their policy by allowing Mrs Dade to bring food for her daughter and giving permission for Tilly-Rose to leave the party and eat her food in the foyer where her mother would be waiting.
Mrs Dade said: “I sincerely hope the organizers of this children’s Christmas party find their Christmas spirit and reverse their decision.
“It was suggested to me that I would be able to sit in the foyer while the party took place and if the supervisors saw Tilly needed help they would fetch me.
“I explained that due to the nature of her disease this would not be possible as Tilly has no ‘hypo awareness’. She is unaware when she is in danger.
“My daughter can walk, run around, talk and feed herself but she has a disease that means without correct supervision from trained individuals she can and will quite simply die.
“She has suffered a lot in the past 18 months and been hospitalised many times with high bloods sugar levels as well as low ones.”
Mrs Dade, a mother of three, has written to the parish council and her MP Chloe Smith.
Mrs Kirby said: “We have relaxed our rules. If Mrs Dade wanted to check on her daughter, she would probably be allowed to check.
“We guarantee to other parents that all the helpers at the party are CRB checked.”
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council which has already carried out a CRB check on Mrs Dade for her job as a child minder, said they paid for enhanced CRBs - the highest level of vetting possible.
Diabetes experts say it is important that children are overseen at all times.
Natasha Marsland, Diabetes UK clinical advisor, said: “Typical symptoms include going pale, feeling tired and changes in behaviour such as feeling moody or stroppy.
“Young children might not notice these symptoms so it is important to have someone on hand who knows what to look out for and knows how to treat a hypo as, if action is not taken quickly enough, it is likely to become more severe and the person may become unconscious.
“Children may also need extra snacks containing carbohydrates if they are being more active, for example running around during a Christmas party.”
It is understood that the parish council will be discussing the affair at its regular meeting tomorrow night.