Lanarkshire parents celebrate funding for unique additional support needs group

A community group which seeks to ease the challenge of isolation for children with additional support needs has been awarded a grant from People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery Scotland.

Lanarkshire -based Playpeace provides opportunities and spaces for children with additional support needs to play and learn together in their own communities, as well as provide respite, support and friendships for their parents. Recently, they were able to celebrate that the group has received support of more than £33,000 using money raised by Health Lottery Scotland.

This vital project delivers a range of regular weekly activities to support families who have children with additional support needs. These are tailored to meet the challenges they face by reducing isolation and helping them build new friendships. The activities include family play sessions, a sibling group, and parent support groups.

The idea came directly from parents of children with additional needs who began meeting together weekly. They now aim to reach more families in the North Lanarkshire area.

Nichola Brown, PlayPeace Chairperson said: “The parents started the group as a means of connecting families during the school holidays. We recognised that we needed to maintain social contact and interaction for our children.

“I quickly put together a proposal and began to organise a weekly summer club in Motherwell. That was in 2016 and I can’t believe how long ago that now seems. But it was very well attended and this told us there was a profound need for events aimed at bringing these children together throughout the year

“Most of these children attend special needs schools and, as such, are transported there by the local authority. That means that without groups like this, we don’t really get to know other parents of children with additional needs.”

The project is run by families with the valuable coordination and input of support workers.

Managing Director of the Health Lottery, Martin Ellice, said: “We’re delighted that money raised through The Health Lottery is continuing to support great local community initiatives like this ground-breaking one.”

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