In 2012 a group of families with disabled children all came together in their local church hall to create a supportive play environment for families in a similar situation. Making hot tea and homemade cakes, we warm welcome was offered to all who wanted to join them. Our sessions grew and grew and we registered as a charity so that we could access enough support to keep providing support. Alongside our large group of volunteers, we started to employ playworkers to help the children access fun play at our sessions.
When it became clear that we had become too big to keep running sessions from a church hall, South Gloucestershire Council let us use an empty council office for just over a year. This huge open space provided dedicated space for our families, and with a cafe space we started offering hot meals four times a week. Sadly the Council sold the building to a developer so we needed to move again.
A peaceful haven
A local Christian businessman Charlie, came to our rescue and offered us another empty office space, free of charge. The peaceful space was even bigger than Thornbury and with a huge car park and kitchen space, our families loved visiting four times a week. We stayed at Littleton for over a year but sadly the owner of the building faced planning issues which meant we needed to move on again.
Back to church
Back to a church, this time in Kingswood. Our dedicated families continued to travel to enjoy and support our essential service. Thanks to BBC Children in Need we were able to employ a supervisor to run our sessions. We continued to open 4 days a week and started a popular teenager group. Our busy Saturday sessions continue to be in demand and we offered monthly quiet sessions, support groups to families facing unique challenges and a messy play toddler group.
Onwards and Outdoors!
Like all the best families, we’ve faced challenges and needed to adapt to our circumstances. Adapting to change has resulted in the charity being quick to respond when circumstances change! So when a global pandemic shut down most services, we found an outdoor adventure playground and set up our sessions there. Families loved being outdoors and being able to access support when all their other regular services were not available.
No one knows what the future holds. We still have access to our Kingswood space alongside the adventure playground in Lockleaze. One things for sure, Incredible Kids will adapt to all circumstances and continue to support families with disabled children.