How to help a family with special educational needs get through lockdown with a special support box
PUBLISHED: 12:16 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 14 April 2020
Families with children with complex needs can get help with a special box to help with home activities during lockdown - but only if a charity gets enough donations.
Norfolk-based SENsational Families, which supports 2,000 families with children who have special educational needs or a disability (SEND), has launched its SENsational Smiles online fundraiser for over 1,000 lockdown support packs.
There are about 10 items in each box, which is free for families who are members of SENsational families, and they include sensory-based therapy toys, colouring books, bubbles, slime and puzzles.
So far 200 boxes have been made up and as well as online financial donations the charity is appealing for businesses to donate items for the boxes.
Nicki Price, 40, from Taverham, who founded SENsational Families in 2015, said: “Our team of volunteers continue to work hard to find alternative ways to support our families and we felt these packs might help put a smile on our children’s faces - our hope is that we can provide a tiny bit of comfort in the face of such incredible adversity.”
MORE: How people with autism are coping in lockdown
As well as the boxes the charity is offering support to SEND families through a Facebook support group and online coffee mornings.
It has also launched an online service so people across Norfolk whose SEND children will only eat certain foods can ask for groceries to be delivered via the SENsational Grocery Hunt Facebook page.
Mrs Price, who has 12-year-old son with autism, added: “Coronavirus is an invisible crisis for families of children and young people with SEND. Many will be self-isolating as they are extremely vulnerable to Covid-19, meaning they must stay at home, and this is having a profound impact on their SEND needs.
“This can exacerbate existing issues such as, anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders, domestic abuse and physically violent challenging behaviour. Our families are under immense daily strain without the additional restraints the coronavirus pandemic brings, and so will be struggling to cope with the impact of Covid-19, especially as the virus continues to intensify its grip.”
Click here to find out more about the EDP’s Here to Help campaign.
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