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The SEND Den

Welcome To The SEND Den Project !!!

I am looking for your support in setting up a new community interest company that will benefit many families in our local community.

Just a little about myself: I worked at Bleasdale School in Silverdale for 13 years which has given me such a passion and understanding for children and families with disabilities.
While I loved working there I wanted to do more to support the families as well as the children and more recently became a SEND Family Support Worker. I have many years of personal and professional experience in the SEND world.

I am so passionate about supporting and helping families in any which way I can. For many years I have had a dream of opening a specially designed multi-sensory play centre for children with disabilities. I have talked myself out of it numerous of times over the years in thought that I could never make it happen, but it’s become more and more apparent how much one is needed in our local area. I’ve decided that it’s about time I reach out and try and get what’s in my head a reality!

The closest centre we have is in Preston (SPACE) which is fantastic but for many children with disabilities travelling can be a challenge. Travelling 45-60 minutes away can be daunting for parents/carers with unpredictable traffic issues or potential medical problems along the way. We have lot’s of fantastic organizations and facilities children can access across Lancashire but these are are typically on a pre booked basis with limited spaces. We don’t have a facility available for parents to take children with disabilities without having to think far ahead of time. I want to open The SEND Den which will be a place families can access like the rest of the community can access soft place centres. The local soft play centres are fantastic but they can be overwhelming for children with disabilities, they are typically very busy, noisy and don’t offer the facilities a lot of our SEND children require.
Parents/carers and children are becoming isolated particularly in the winter months when maybe they just need to get out of the house because their children need a change of scenery or maybe even themselves. I know parents/carers of children with SEND won’t be offended when I say having a child with disabilities is not easy, dealing with regular challenging behaviours, medical conditions, appointments and much much more.

I want the centre not only to be a great safe and fun place for the children, but it will be fantastic for parents/carers to be with families who are experiencing similar difficulties. Parents/carers can too become isolated which is having effects on mental health. It will become a community! Parents/carers need each other. This centre will open the chance for some social time, making new friendships and much more. If I can get this centre up and running the staff will be experienced within SEND and not only help with the running of the centre but also be ‘play staff’ to give parents / careers a little break while with us. They will know that our staff are around the centre interacting and keeping their children safe. This will give parents some reassurance that like any other play centre there children can run of to play in a safe environment.

Here are some of the things that I would like the centre to have:

Hoisting systems to help the non mobile children. Mobile as well as ceiling tracking.
Suitable and safe changing facilities.
A quite sensory room.
A soft play area for the more abled children.
Vibrating mat and swings throughout.
Messy play room.
Specialist hair dressers. ( optional extra )
A room designed for the more profoundly disabled children who are more vulnerable and may be at risk of been accidentally injured.
A small kitchen to provide snacks / drinks.
A family room for inclusion of siblings.

This is a big project and I know will be extremely costly. Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to get this off the ground. So I am looking at every option possible, fund raising, crowdfunding, local business support, local schools etc. This is something I am really passionate about and know the community is in need of it. I put a post out on my personal social media to check I was right in thinking it was needed and the response has been phenomenal which has backed up my initial thoughts.

Please spread the word about this amazing cause! Every bit of support will help.

Thanks so much already to everyone who has reached out to me offering help, funds and kind words!!


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