Wednesday, 11 January 2017

January 10th 2018

Ok so the title of this blog is a little misleading as it is mainly about 2016 and 2017 (that still doesn't look right when I type it) but bear with me.  On January 10th 2016 Square Peg Foundation took a wild step into the unknown and launched our mobile sensory room.  Until then we had been Square Peg Clothing (which still exists don't worry) selling T-shirts and Hoodies with a need to do good. That is where the sensory room came in.

Anna Kennedy OBE and Alan Gardner plus the "family"
My two Square Pegs checking out the new facilities  
It was a massive change for us and we've gone from a fairly busy little online shop to a foundation with more outgoings than we could imagine.  Thankfully most of the costs for the actual van, equipment and build etc were picked up by other much larger charities. We would need to sell a few more T-shirts to afford this!

 The rest of the year has been heavily peppered with new ventures.  We set up Stay & Play sessions for disabled children and siblings through the long summer holidays. My two were obviously regulars and it was lovely to set up a play area suitable for both. Bella did her own thing, safely, not judged. Logan got to interact with other kids or focus on solo play depending on his mood...mainly he got to run! For us it was like a port in the storm that is the summer holidays, a trip out for Bella that doesn't mean being strapped in her buggy for safety!

 Obviously for us this wasn't enough, what other events are difficult for children with additional needs to access?

Well Father Christmas of course!
As so the Sensory Santa experience was born. Three Saturdays of glitter, biscuits, magic, goody bags, hot chocolates, amazing volunteers, the only Father Christmas who knows more about Pokemon than any Autistic kid with that particular special interest and dozens of fantastic children.

We welcomed 2017 with trepidation, what more could we possibly fit in? Well on January 10th 2017 with the parents memories of New Years hangovers lingering and the kids still breaking themselves back into their school routine we launched I CAN Club.  Otherwise known as Independent Children with Additional Needs Club. A multi-sports session for children who may not ordinarily be able to access a club environment, and why the hell should they miss out just because it's not easy? The idea was brought to us by a couple of parents whose children with Down Syndrome were refused access to a club as "the staff weren't trained." Trained in what? Compassion maybe. 

The first session age 4-8 was....interesting, actually it was as I suspected complete chaos but I think that was more our perspective than theirs. All the kids had blast, they weren't necessarily following our script but there is time for that. I'm pretty sure all the kids burned even a little bit of their endless energy (I know Bella fell asleep on the train on the way home.) Hey next week can only be better right? The 8-12 age group straight after was like it's polar opposite, they followed instructions, joined in all activities and had buckets of fun. At the end of the day that is the point isn't it?

So, January 10th 2018 this is me throwing down the gauntlet, do your's not like we're busy or anything!

For more info on Square Peg Foundation please check out and for info on any Birmingham based activities, sesnory room, Santa, stay & play etc please join our Facebook Group.

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