A grant of £700 from the Bobby Dhanjal Foundation helped fund a residential break to Dukes Barn in Derbyshire, organised by SNIPS (Special Needs Integration Projects). SNIPS works with young people between the ages of three and seventeen with a range of learning and physical disabilities, offering play schemes across three age groups, at two venues for up to 8 days.
By offering children the chance to socialise and enjoy new experiences, the residential play schemes also ease the pressure on their parents and siblings. Youngsters with disabilities are all very individual but common themes are short concentration spans, behavioural problems and a dislike of the disruption from term-time routines. This can result in boredom and social isolation which causes stress and frustration for parents and siblings as they try to cope with everyday life.
The opportunity to pursue separate pastimes or just do the shopping uninterrupted, is a real help and provides a safety valve against family discord which this situation can cause. At the same time, SNIPS encourages young people to come forward as volunteers to befriend and support their disabled peers, fostering a greater understanding of disability issues and providing youngsters with good role models.
SNIPS’ work is centred in Hinckley and the majority of families are local to this area. However, the group works closely with Social Services and Menphys SOS to include referrals from around the county of Leicestershire. SNIPS aims to create welcoming environments for children who do not naturally fit into mainstream activities, fostering a sense of inclusion, helping young people make new friends and try out new activities in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
If you’d like more information about how you could help groups like SNIPS by setting up a fund with the Community Foundation, please contact Katy Green on 0116 262 4804.