Set up eleven years ago by determined local mums, Unique Kidz provides play and social activities for disabled children and young adults. But, the COVID 19 lockdown has been a time of many challenges. Features Writer Rob Bullock speaks with Fundraising Manager Jordan Halpin.
Over the past eleven years the dedicated team at Unique Kidz and Co in Morecambe has used a common-sense approach to making sure that they make the world a better place for the children and young adults who use the centre. Normally they run an after school club every day of the week through term time and are open every holiday from 10 -4 but all of this has changed due to the COVID 19 pandemic;
“Everything has totally changed,” says Jordan. “All our staff have had to be furloughed, our centre is closed, and we have moved our work temporarily online.”
Isolation has been difficult
Isolation has hit many of us hard but for the children and young adults who use the Unique Kidz centre it has been especially difficult. “Loneliness is a massive issue for disabled children and for the people who help care for them. This is why it is vital that Unique Kidz continues to help everyone they can through lockdown and then when everything opens up again.”
Online baking & Virtual Activities!
Virtual sessions have been run by Unique Kidz ever since the start of the lockdown and have included fitness classes, art workshops, music sessions, quizzes and even baking sessions. They have even decorated biscuit boxes!
Staff have run five sessions per week and they have been going from strength to strength; “they really have,” says Jordan with that positivity that sums up the fantastic work of Unique Kidz. “The sessions are brilliant and they have been really well received. Even in these difficult times we have still been able to help children and their carers.”
Caring for carers
Helping carers is something we have all thought about during these troubled times and anyone who has ever cared for someone knows just how important having a break is; “carers need the vital support that these virtual sessions offer. They are the unsung heroes of this pandemic and Unique Kidz has been continuing to support them. Even if they are only in the next room to their children, they can enjoy a bit of down time when they can relax in the knowledge that their loved ones are doing something really brilliant!”
Opening up again after lockdown
Opening up after such a long break will have challenges but the Unique Kidz team are already preparing the centre. “We are looking to reopen over the summer for face to face sessions,” says Jordan, “but because of the success of our virtual work and the fact that it can reach out to even more people, we are hoping to continue them.”
Funding – How can you help?
As with many organisations Unique Kidz have had their fundraising severely limited by COVID 19. But if you wanted to make a donation to help support their vital work you can do this from the comfort of your armchair by visiting Just Giving https://www.justgiving.com/uniquekidzandco or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UniqueKidzandCoCharity or just @UniqueKidzandCoCharity
Please visit www.uniquekidzandco.org.uk