One Giant Leap For SPACE

A three-year grant towards the role of a Charity Manager at the SPACE centre in Chester has had a “massive impact” on the lives of children and families which the organisation supports.

The SPACE centre provides accessible play for children with additional needs and their families, specialist equipment to ensure all activities are accessible, an interactive sensory room and a resource room for parents and carers to include information, advice and counselling services.

SPACE is now a third of the way through the funding of £74,647 provided by the Steve Morgan Foundation, which has had a hugely positive impact on their activities.

“The last year has been nothing short of monumental for us and the children and families that we support,” said Charity Manager Jemma Gregory.

“Making the transition into our own centre has enabled us to provide so many different services.

“By attending our activities, children have had opportunities to make friends, socialise, try new things, learn new skills and discover hidden talents without worry or prejudice.

“In addition, attending has helped them to develop their confidence, improve their communication skills and have fun.

“Also, parents and carers have developed coping skills, become part of a peer support network and benefitted from improved physical and/or mental health.”

Children aged from 0 to 12 have been able to benefit from SPACE’s activities, all of whom have learning, physical or sensory difficulties or additional needs, such as autism, Down’s Syndrome or global developmental delay.

Sessions involve creative play, art and craft activities, story-telling and sensory play and specialist toys and games are provided to suit all abilities.

There are also coffee and chat groups and yoga sessions for parents and carers, 10-week wellbeing courses and family days out.

SPACE had been running play sessions in hired community rooms for over four years prior to acquiring their own premises which opened in January, and have currently returned to providing services in the community whilst building work is taking place to improve their facilities even further.

Enjoying life in Space!

“Our centre already offered a fully fitted and padded Sensory Room, a versatile activity room, a changing place (with hoist), a parent’s room, a chillout area and an accessible kitchen,” added Jemma.

“From early next year, after the period of building work and a refit, we will be installing a large fully accessible two-storey play frame and soft play area to enable us to offer even more opportunities.

“Without the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation we simply would not have had the capacity to expand our provision, to develop our services, to plan for the future and to offer a fun, safe, appropriate and accessible environment in which children with disabilities and additional needs can play and learn.

“We have also expanded our range of much-needed support and resources for their parents and carers.

“This funding has had a massive impact on Space.

“The last year has been incredible for us and for the children and families that we work with, and the future looks really bright!”

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