It's all fun and games
“Just because I can’t walk,
doesn’t mean I can’t play!” ~ Inclusive Play
We offer a range of services throughout the calendar year.
Parents can pick and mix according to what suits their family dynamics or they can take up everything on offer.
All our programmes have a large cohort of trained volunteers and play workers
who support the users on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis.
The Sunday Club allows parents and siblings to enjoy their Sunday off with a walk, shopping spree or to tackle their to-do list, while their sibling has stimulating fun with their Step by Step pals. This is a full day 10am to 5pm club held across five different locations for each of the differentiated age groups: in our own premises, in Crowland Road School and in the Markfield disabled facility.
Sunday Club is divided into younger children, middle boys (NEW), older boys, older girls and ‘Butterflies’ – the young children with severe physical disabilities. This system ensures that every child’s needs are met to the maximum.
The younger children enjoy hours of delight with our friendly talented volunteers, doing arts and crafts, relaxing in the sensory room or frolicking in the center’s soft play room. They are also fed hot nourishing meals.
The older children have fun with their volunteers and friends, cooking, baking, doing arts and crafts, exercising and socialising. They prepare their own nutritious lunches, learning life skills and honing their motor skills, while glowing with pride at their capabilities.
Stay & Play
This is a fairly new and hugely successful after-school club held on our premises from 3:30-6:30. It is for children aged 3-18. The children are collected straight from their respective schools — whether mainstream or special-needs — by our accessible minibus. They are fed hot, nutritious supper and enjoy unwinding in our various activity and sensory rooms, before being transported home all ready for bed.
This is an overwhelmingly successful after-school programme for all ages from 3+, held in actual sports settings. The children alternate between Stay & Play and a sports session, with each child attending between one and three sports sessions each week.
The impact of the sports sessions on the children’s physical, social and emotional wellbeing cannot be praised enough.
Qualified instructors and team leaders oversee the sessions, ensuring each child is working towards set targets for the term, so they earn maximum skill while doing something of thrill.
- Swimming. This is held in Clissold Pool for the older girls. These sessions are very individualised and often involve a high volunteer ratio, to help with changing, dressing and in the water. They are small groups so the children get full attention and are able to overcome their disability, master their targets and learn how to swim.
- Hydrotherapy swimming. This is held in Brook’s Special School, in a warm-water hydrotherapy pool. This is for the younger girls and for those with more severe disabilities. With its calming decor and sensory lighting, it is the ultimate therapeutic experience whilst teaching even the most disabled child to move on their own and attain small targets.
- Ice skating. This is held in Michael Sobell Centre. The children learn to ice-skate like pros, starting with two volunteers, then one, until they let go and glide alone across the rink, in a momentous glee-filled milestone.
- Trampolining. This is held in Michael Sobell Centre and is the ideal way to get the children to exercise while having whooping fun.
- Cycling. This is held alternately in Olympic Velodrome & Finsbury Park cycle tracks, using both regular and special adaptive bikes, so no child is deprived of the joy of outdoor exercise and the thrilling rush of wind on their face.
- Dance: This is held in our center and is for older girls. A dance instructor leads the session, teaching the girls coordination, balance and dance steps. The children love it and pride themselves in doing this typically-mainstream activity.
- Music. This is held in our center, in a room equipped with the whole shebang of musical instruments, so the children can let off steam and have a blast, while learning the basics of rhythm, song and music with a music instructor.
This is held during summer, winter and pre-Passover holiday periods when parents have to care for their other children at home and are desperate for structure and stimulation for their child with special needs. School holiday closures account for some 26 days in total.
Activities & Day Trips
This is held both on our premises and beyond, whenever the schools are closed: bank holiday, half-term, school inset days. It amounts to around 20 days each year. It is for all the age groups. Trips usually include Legoland, farms, soft-play centers.
The musical performance is a culmination of the year’s dance classes in a live on-stage musical. The children practice — and then perform with — mature and sensitive mainstream young girls who coax their less-able partners along the steps, allowing them to be part of a perfectly-imperfect poignant performance that has the audience mesmerized. This revolutionary integrated venture also teaches mainstream children about acceptance and sensitivity.
An undisputed highlight on the Step by Step calendar, the mothers are perhaps even more excited than the children — who may not necessarily intuit the thrill of standing before an audience. After all, it is virtually the ONLY opportunity the parents have to see their child in the spotlight.