Posts Tagged ‘additional needs’

Safe Space celebrates first birthday in style

Posted on Friday 15th April 2016 at 10:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Safe Space 'stay and play' group for families with children with additional needs - based in Little Stoke, Bristol.

Little Stoke based group provides a much appreciated facility for families of children with additional needs.

A parent-led group which provides twice-weekly play sessions for children with additional needs has celebrated its first birthday.

Based at The Stokes Youth and Community Centre on Little Stoke Lane, next to Little Stoke Primary School, Safe Space offers ‘stay and play’ sessions every Thursday between 4pm and 6pm and on Saturdays between 1.30pm and 4.30pm.

The group aims to cater for children with a wide range of additional needs, irrespective of whether they have an official diagnosis. Parents attending the group are able to relax and share experiences with others.

All are welcome, including siblings, grandparents and carers, with each person asked to contribute £2 per visit.

The centre offers a main hall, complete with a large bouncy castle and lots of games and toys including train tracks, games consoles, table tennis and table football. Arts and craft activities are organised, while a smaller ‘sensory room’ offers a space for children to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Safe Space also has a large, secure outside area in which the children can run around and play.

Marcus Yates, one of the charity’s trustees and a member of the management committee, says the facility is a godsend to families who find it stressful to attend mainstream children’s play venues, for fear that their child might have a ‘meltdown’, which can cause embarrassment and occasionally lead to complaints from the parents of other children.

“The advantage is that we have this building completely to ourselves. Parents and carers can relax, without feeling that they need to be watching their children all of the time.”

The group is able to take advantage of the centre’s kitchen, allowing refreshments to be provided on a ‘help yourself’ basis in a café-style social space.

Sessions currently attract around 20 families, with each typically bringing along one to three children.

More: Parents praise relaxed atmosphere and networking opportunities »

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