20 th September, 2022
More than 75 children with disabilities and their families in Gateshead will receive emotional and physical support, thanks to a grant of £9,360 from Durham Freemasons to the SPLASH (Special Play and Leisure After School Hours) charity.
The project aims to boost the wellbeing and development of these children by offering a range of after-school activities and weekend entertainment as well as providing support for parents and siblings of a child with special needs. SPLASH carries out its activities within the Gateshead Jewish community (the third largest Orthodox Jewish community in the UK), and delivers its crucial services with full consideration for the cultural needs of the families it works with.
The support provided includes activities such as educational games and IT sessions, as well as therapeutic activities like swimming, horse riding, trampolining, wall climbing, and specialised aerobics for children and their siblings to enjoy.
Each child is matched with their own dedicated volunteer, who is given specialist training and works with the parents and carers to establish individual goals for their development. Siblings are also invited along to enjoy the sessions together, and help ensure the children feel comfortable.
SPLASH works with children with autism, ADHD and more severe disabilities, which can often lead to isolation, feelings of depression and can prevent them from participating in mainstream activities, often causing a delay in social development.
The charity finds its beneficiaries through referrals from health workers, GP’s and nurseries to ensure they are reaching those most in need. Last year, SPLASH helped around 200 disabled children and their siblings with their wellbeing and social development.
The grant from Durham Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Sandra Hoff from SPLASH, said:
“We’re extremely grateful to Durham Freemasons who are supporting our important project which will help children with disabilities develop socially and enjoy themselves through educational and therapeutic activities.
Our aim is to help bridge the gap in services for children who have disabilities and those who don’t, and this generous grant will help us to do so.”
John D Watts of Durham Freemasons, said:
“We’re really pleased to be supporting this wonderful charity which is helping children with disabilities in such an enjoyable way. There’s so many children with disabilities that experience poor mental health and feel they cannot participate in activities. SPLASH is doing wonderful work to support them.”