We are Beams provides services for disabled children and young people aged between 4-19 years. The children will usually have one or multiple learning difficulties, complex health needs such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or another life-limiting disease, physical or sensory impairment, challenging behaviour as a result of their disability, Autism or severe ADHD. The charity has 450 families that it supports at any one time.
The charity reached out The Walker Construction Trust to seek a grant to help them through the COVID19 period, as critical fundraising activities subsequently had to be postponed.
During lockdown the team decided to reopen the Dragon’s Retreat Respite unit to take in disabled children with a disability, ASD, and/or learning difficulties. They did this in consultation with KCC and Ofsted and have added additional safeguarding to keep both staff and children safe. The staff have agreed to live in on a two-day shift rota basis with the third day reserved for cleaning.
The team felt it was vital to offer something to these children so that they and their families get a break. Many have been caring for children day and night without any break since March, and the team were painfully aware, by the increase in calls to their Family Advice Service, that parents are stressed, tired, and at breaking point.
The Walker Construction Trust donated £1,300 which will help pay towards activities, food/lunch and refreshments, and training on giving medication to the children.
Caroline Brinkman, Income Generation and Development Lead commented; “Your support is very much appreciated and hopefully in time we can meet and show you around Allsworth Court so that you can see first-hand the work that we do.”