Kath Fryer, Regional Officer for Bristol organised a successful Stay & Play Fun Day on Sunday 7th February for Cerebra members.
Thirty-five children and their families were able to come along, meet one another, share experiences and access advice and information at Hop Skip and Jump, a purpose built play centre for children who have additional needs.
Many families had not been before and their children had a great time exploring the music room, two sensory rooms, soft play area, two ball pits, and wide open spaces that the venue had to offer. Children and their families were invited to stay and sample food and refreshments from the free cafe on the day and volunteers Melissa and Adam were on hand to offer amazing support.
Cerebra brought along Reflexology Therapist Sue Morgan who worked tirelessly to offer massage taster sessions to these well deserving Mums and Dads.
We were also able to fund Animal Assisted Therapy for the children who came along. Therapists from ‘Sensory Heaven’ in Bristol brought along Arthur the rabbit and his guinea pig friends for cuddles on what turned out to be a particularly rainy Sunday! The children were guided to interact with the animals at their own pace according to their particular needs. Therapists at Sensory Heaven are Makaton trained and several children with communication needs enjoyed learning new signs for ‘rabbit’ and ‘guinea pig’.
Kath Fryer said: “The room where the Animal Assisted Therapy took place was so calm and magical. Children who find it harder to focus and concentrate because of their needs were completely relaxed and absorbed in the moment as they held the animals.”
Feedback from the event was positive. Comments included: ‘Thank you very much for a lovely family day! It made our Sunday very special. I enjoyed a foot massage and the children loved animal therapy!”
Another Mum described the day as: “safe, welcoming, understanding.”
Another said: “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explore this place. Knowing that there are places which I can take my child… to play with a range of things which he can learn from, be himself and not having other people judge him.”
We would like to thank the team at Hop Skip & Jump for enabling us to open this amazing venue on a Sunday when it is usually closed and Contact A Family who provided their local rep, Sarah King to offer additional information and resources that can help parent carers with the day to day challenges they come up against.