Wales International Film Festival

Samuel Turner and his friend Angel when they visited Cerebra HQ

Samuel Turner is a young man with a passion – for supporting us and for making films. He is thrilled to be able to combine both with a shortlisted entry to this year’s Wales International Film Festival. His short film “Where efforts begins with Cerebra” is all the more remarkable as Samuel is autistic and has learning difficulties. Samuel has a passion for film making and this film follows two earlier videos called ‘My story with Cerebra’ and ‘Cerebra I’m coming home’.  You can view Samuel’s film entry here.

Cerebra supports children with brain conditions and Samuel has been a supporter since 2017. To date he and he and his family and friends have raised almost £2000 for the charity through bake sales, runs and sponsored events, which have also helped to raise the charity’s profile. Samuel and his family are relocating to west Wales in September 2019 when Samuel will be able to become a full time volunteer working on Cerebra’s Collection Box scheme.

Euros Jones Evans (CEO of the Wales International Film Festival) said “We are thrilled to have Samuel’s project as a finalist at this year’s Wales International Film Festival and to also be promoting the great work that Cerebra does”.

The third Wales International Film Festival (WalesIFF) will take place on 23-24 September, 2019 at the Gwyn Hall, Neath, South Wales. The venue will be the festival’s new home for the next three years. The event is supported by their strategic partners which includes Neath Port Talbot Council, Neath College, Neath Inspired, Gravells, Confucius Institute UWTSD, Tanabi Group and Bay Studios as they expand and grow the festival over the next few years. The Wales International Film Festival will be held over two days at the Gwyn Hall and will screen over 50 feature, short films and animation projects with the official Awards Gala held on 23 September at the Gwyn Hall, Neath. There will also be an opportunity for up-and coming filmmakers to network with industry experts and experienced Producers and Directors during the event as well as scheduled free workshops with industry experts.

Over 500,000 children in the UK live with a brain condition, such as autism. This can make normal activities such as learning, playing or simply experiencing the world a huge challenge. Through our research, we offer solutions and advice to help these children and their families enjoy lives full of hope and discovery.

Good luck Samuel!

New books thanks to The Hobson Charity

We have received £1000 to spend on specialist books for the library very kindly donated by The Hobson Charity. We have spent the first £500 so far and you can check them out below.

Books for adults

Download full adult's book list

Books for children

Download full children's book list

Borrowing books

Take a look at our library pages to find out more about our library or email our librarian on [email protected] to request to borrow a book.

Ruling the world!

Ross Head from our Innovation Centre tells us of the team’s latest design to help children ‘rule’ the world!

Libby shows off her ruler

Whilst you can buy a ruler with a handle to assist in drawing a line, they are typically aimed at very young children. We understand that some children need a little extra help with a ruler, but don’t want to attract adverse interest from their class mates, so why not get in touch and see if we can help you child be the envy of the maths lesson!

Rulers for Bobath

“We recently visited our good friends at Bobath Children’s therapy centre and were privileged to be able to watch a therapy session with an amazing young man who had set himself some tough goals. We were able to offer some help by designing and 3D printing these great ruler handles to help him with gripping the ruler. One of his favourite things is WWE wrestling so we made the ruler with that logo. While we were at it we made Bobath a couple of test rulers for other children to try.

rulers with easy hold handles

We’ve recently made another easy grip ruler for Libby (above) which is personalised with her name.

Get in touch

We can make these rulers bespoke for your child, so could include their name or favourite character.  The rulers can be supplied free of charge if your child meets the criteria for needing one. We look forward to hearing from you!”

What’s your experience of community physical participation?

Hello. My name is Karen Visser. I am a physiotherapist, PhD student and Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University. You can find out more about me and my research here.

Currently, I am doing a PhD research study, exploring children and young people with neurological difficulties and their families experiences of physical activity participation within their communities.

I would like to find out:

  • What physical activities are available?
  • How and when do you take part?
  • What support and help (if any) do you need to take part
  • Do you think anything can be done to make community physical activity participation easier for children and young people who have neurological difficulties?

You may also have thoughts on opportunities that are not available, how they could be made available, and ways in which participation in physical activity could be facilitated.

I would value talking with children, young people, parents and families about their experiences and any thoughts they may have on these topics. If you would like to find out more about this research and/ or chat with me about these topics, please feel free to contact me by email at [email protected] or you can call me on 029206 87692 (24 hour answerphone).

Thank you very much for any help you can give.

School transport for Nat

Nat and his stall

Our Legal Entitlements and Problem-solving (LEaP) Project helped Nat get transport to school and as a thank you he has raised £100 for Cerebra.

How we helped Nat

In the summer of 2017 Nat’s mum, Alyson, was told by Blackpool Council that it had decided to withdraw his school transport and was expecting him to make his own way to school. The Council offered to train him to walk the route on this own but Nat has Down’s syndrome and despite his many strengths Alyson, and those who know him well, felt that this was unfortunately beyond his abilities.

Despite explaining this the Council refused to change its position. As a single parent working in a school Alyson was put into the position of having to seriously consider giving up her job with all the financial fallout that would entail since she would have no alternative other than to accompany him to school herself.

So, she contacted our Legal Entitlements and Problem-solving (LEaP) Project for support. With our help she made a successful appeal and Nat’s transport was restored. That is until this summer when Nat turned 16 and Alyson was again informed that his transport would be stopped for the new school year. But armed with the information and resources she had been given by Cerebra, Alyson made another successful appeal and Nat will again receive free home-to-school transport for the next year.

How Nat helped us

After a discussion with Alyson, Nat decided he wanted to do something to thank us for our help. Both Nat and Alyson are big readers, so he sat outside his house for two afternoons selling books and is donating the £100 he raised to Cerebra. Everyone in Cerebra would like to say a big thank you to Nat and the best of luck for the rest of his school career!

Can we help you?

Can our LEaP project help you? Find out more here.

LEaP Project helps family to get a continence assessment at home

Earlier this year, our Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Project supported a family who had been told that their son’s continence assessment had to take place at his school and that home assessments weren’t possible. 

Help getting an assessment at home

We wrote a template letter to help the family make a complaint to the local NHS Trust and published separate versions for England and Wales on our website so that other families could use it too.

We’re pleased to report that the Trust wrote back to the family and confirmed that it could offer home visits for children who were too poorly to attend a clinic appointment. The Trust apologised to the family and told them not to hesitate to ask for a home visit if their son was too unwell to attend clinic appointments in future.

Help getting enough continence products

While the family was pleased to have a home assessment, they still struggled to get enough continence products for their son, who needed an average of 11 or 12 nappies a day. At first, the Trust said that it usually only provided 4 nappies a day, but it was prepared to increase this to 6 a day. When the family made a complaint, the Trust offered a ‘one off consignment’ of 8 nappies a day and said that it was unable to provide the 12 nappies a day that the family needed.

We supported the family to complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman that the amount of nappies being offered by the Trust was based on its own arbitrary limits, rather than their son’s actual assessed needs. As a result, the Trust agreed with the local clinical commissioning group that the CCG would ‘top up’ the Trust’s provision of nappies, so that the family’s needs were met.

The family said that our template letters made it much easier to deal with the Trust – they felt that they wouldn’t have had such a good outcome without getting support from the Project and finding out how to complain to the Ombudsman.

Can our LEaP Project help you?

If you’d like to challenge a decision made by your local continence service, use our template letters or fill in our online form to ask for support from the Project.