“My time has helped me by showing me that I’m not on my own, I’m not a rubbish mum and it’s ok to ask for help. I don’t need to have all the answers and it’s ok not to be ok.
It’s shown me there is no right or wrong way, just your way – if it works then that’s good, if not then the group can offer a different way of thinking about things that might help.
There is no judgement, no criticism and no expectations. It’s a place where I’m able to admit defeat or celebrate the positive and gain encouragement for both.
Above all, it’s a place of acceptance, appreciation and understanding of how hard being a parent is for all of us!”
Miriam – January 2021
“We have been service users and Friends and Families of Special Children for nearly 7 years. They have been with us though some truly challenging times, but also some truly fabulous ones too.
As a family we access, the Adventure Club, Youth Adventurers, Fun and Freedom Club and, where appropriate, family activities too, We all thoroughly enjoy the activities on offer and eagerly await the release of new ones.
We have taken part in activities and events that would not have been possible without Friends and Families.
Over the years we have made long standing friendships with other families, as well as the staff, who we would be lost without. The support they provide through events, activities, help with form filling and giving general advice is invaluable to us and other families like ours.
This year has been tough for everyone for so many reasons, and yet we have stayed in touch. Having the zoom activities and ongoing email connections means we always felt supported. I hope Heidi knows how much her dedication, planning and hard work is appreciated.”
Sam – December 2020
“Thankyou family and friends for being there for me it’s been unbelievable, but you guys are always there for a chat or advice xx
“Thank you, as always, for a fantastic event. Daisy had a great time x
“Morgan had a fantastic time this is her 2nd time of joining fun and freedom activities and is enjoying it very much and looks forward to the next so thank you
“These guys are absolutely amazing! If you are a family with a SEN child this charity is great to connect with. There is activities provided for different groups; children with additional needs, children with severe additional needs, siblings of Sen children and family activities. Plus they are an important hub of any information you may need. Oscar is part of their ‘adventure club’ and this gives him bags of opportunities to access so many different things – pizza making at Prezzo, archery, day trips out, access to a hydro pool. Just to name a very small amount. No judging, full support and a chance to connect to other families just like ours
“Lovely activities for both the children with send and the rest of the families. The workers really understand the situation and are very supportive. We have used the lending library and family support services. Thank you for allowing my youngest to have a break from being a carer
“Attended a session about sensory processing, was very well presented. Loved the idea of practical experiments putting yourself into a child with processing disorders shoes to see the world from their point of view. Really helpful information.”
Donna Potter (parent) Jan 2020
“I would highly recommend friends and family of special children. I think all the staff are fantastic, very friendly, helpful and do an amazing job. as a family with 3 sen children you guys are a god send with the activities and workshops you put on for families and the children. We really love the lending library and wish we had found you guys years ago. It would have saved us loads money lol. Thank you and keep up all the good hard work. You help us so much as a family 😍 x”
Helen Blaco October 2019
“The emotional support I received from my befriender was fantastic and the opportunity to off load and reveal my concerns and fears was like having a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Gareth Allen (parent)
“Absolutely amazing charity that offer amazing support to the whole family and lovely breaks for the siblings. My daughter has benefited from days out with the fun and freedom club and adores Brett as he always makes her smile and feel comfortable. My son has autism and ADHD so sometimes life can be a little stressful for her so a days break away to enjoy herself with other children who experience similar things is amazing. It gives her a chance to play and be herself. The family events are always so fantastic as well and so are the events for the disabled child. Friends and family really are such an amazing charity that really cares. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.”
Jodie Jones (parent) June 2018
“Not only does the charity provide exciting experiences for the children but can also help with much needed support for the parents. Being a parent of a disabled child can at times be very lonely and isolating. To meet with other parents on these activity days is a breath of fresh air and helps you to realise that there are many other people like you facing the similar day to day challenges of having a disabled child. From our personal experiences we can share stories, offer help and advice and even make new friends.”
“Thank you to all staff for looking after our kids at Magdalen Farm. Oliver has really enjoyed himself and can’t wait till the next time.”
“What a fantastic friendly welcoming place. We visited for the first time this morning for help to fill in a DLA form for our eldest daughter. We were given great help and advice with something we found very overwhelming and difficult.”
“It was the best day ever being able to go swimming as a family with her little sister who can only use a hydrotherapy pool. We’re so grateful we can have unforgettable days out thanks to the events you put on. We can thank you enough.”
“Thank you, yet again, to Friends & Families of Special Children for providing opportunities for my son that I never thought he would be able to do. During the summer he was able to have surfing lessons and enjoy other water sport activities organised by the charity. When we arrive at the sessions they are always very well planned and as parents we have no explaining to do and even better no apologising for our child’s behaviour! The staff have an amazing understanding and empathy on the needs of various disabilities of the children and this helps to keep everyone relaxed and happy including the parents/carers!”