Welcome to Incredible Kids

Welcome to Incredible Kids!

Thank you for joining Incredible Kids [F:Name]. Since Incredible Kids began, our members have been at the heart of everything we do. We want you to feel part of our community and to share your feedback with us.

Whatever the additional needs of your child we hope that you will find Incredible Kids a place where you feel welcomed, accepted and understood. A place where you will find a hot cup of tea and a smile. A place to meet other people who know what its like to have sleepless nights for years, to struggle to get the right support at school and at home. Whether your child has a diagnosis or is still fighting for one, you and your whole family are welcome at Incredible Kids.

 

Add in a quote box  “And suddenly I didn’t feel alone any more. Suddenly I felt accepted and I had something to look forward to every week”

 

Our History

Incredible Kids was born when 400 Bristol families lost their much needed specialist play facility in 2012. Devastated that their children had suddenly lost access to a suitable and safe play and support facility, parents came together and overnight formed a grass roots family led charity, reaching out to other families in need. Today our charity welcomes over 600 families a year and has become a vital lifeline for families like yours.

 

 

 

 

 

Friends of Incredible Kids

Quite simply your donations keep Incredible Kids running, without your help, we would not be able to open as often as we can. If you would like to become a Friend of Incredible Kids and set up a monthly membership subscription you’ll get reduced price entry to our sessions. If you visit us at least 4 times a month you can save money on your visits and will enable us to plan our funding better. Donate (paypal.com) 

Playworkers

Membership Cards

If you would like to receive an official plastic membership card you can purchase these at a cost of £4 per person. We are a bit biased but the membership cards are awesome. Please pay here. Alternatively, you can print the cards at home for your family to bring with you to sessions. Please bring your membership cards with you to all sessions and show them to our playworker on arrival so they can verify your membership.

 

Our Sessions

Our sessions take place at The Vench in Lockleaze at an adventure playground with indoor and outdoor space. Sessions are for all ages and all additional needs. Just book your places and turn up. We can’t wait to welcome you to our sessions. There is so much to do at our sessions from the zip wire, to messy play, ride on toys, ball games, giant sandpit. trampoline, a secure fenced off drop slide with playworker support and our indoor activities. If you have any questions at all please reply to this email and we’ll get back to you.  Find out more about our sessions on our website Our centre sessions – Disability events – incrediblekids.org.uk

 

Parent and child

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to book

You’ll need to book places at our sessions on our website. We add events a few weeks in advance so you can either pre-plan which sessions you’ll attend or if you prefer to make plans at the last minute you can usually book on the day.

Event Booking – incrediblekids.org.uk

 

When you arrive at our sessions

 

Playworkers

Incredible Playworkers

When you arrive a supervisor or playworker will sign you in electronically. We do not allow young people to use mobile phones or the internet during our sessions so please ensure your young people give you their phones to supervise during our sessions.  Please read this to make sure you understand what isn’t allowed at Incredible Kids.

If you haven’t visited us before please tell one of our playworkers that you are new when you arrive, someone will welcome you and show you around.

At our sessions, we have an information desk that has lots of leaflets, guides and grant forms which we hope will be useful to you.

Expectations

Please look after your children at all times while you are at Incredible Kids. Please monitor your children and young people closely otherwise you may put them or others at risk. All parents are responsible for their children at all times. If we ask you to provide a higher level of supervision to your child please listen to us otherwise we may have to ask you to leave.

Respect the views of other parents, volunteers and staff at Incredible Kids. We expect parents to listen to each other’s views and be polite to each other. Many of our parents are extremely tired and this makes it easy to fall out with each other. It’s a very important part of the ethos of Incredible Kids that we are all slow to speak, quick to listen and quick to forgive.

 

 

 

 

 

Policies

Please ensure you have read and understood our Policies and our Waiver before attending our sessions. By attending a session you agree to our policies and waiver. You can read these here Policies – incrediblekids.org.uk

Playworkers

We have playworkers who help to make our sessions run smoothly and help children to have fun. They have a lot of important things to do during our sessions, including organising craft activities, supervising equipment that may need extra monitoring, keeping an eye out for behaviour which may need additional parental supervision.  You are always responsible for your child at any time during our sessions.

 

Cameron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Incredible Kids tidy

We all work together to keep Incredible Kids a special place. The last 15 minutes of each session will be our tidying-up time. We may play a tidy up time song or ring a small bell to let you know its tidy-up time. We encourage parents and children to help us tidy up toys, clean up and return any mugs or cups.

Photos

We have a number of volunteer photographers at our sessions. If you do not want them to take photos of your family then please help us by letting them know when you arrive.

 

Cameron playing on swing

Feedback

Your views are at the centre of everything we do. If you have any feedback there are a number of ways you can let us know this. You can complete our online feedback form at any time. We have parent feedback forms for any aspect of our session that you want to tell us about, ask a playworker for one of these if you need one. We also have children-feedback-forms to complete, with your assistance if they need it. Sometimes, we have a graffiti feedback wall that your children can add their views to. If you have any feedback on an individual helper at Incredible Kids then we have forms where you can tell us your comments. We value constructive feedback to help us give positive feedback to our staff and volunteers and/or improve where we can. Feedback gives us an opportunity to praise, change and improve our service.

 

 

 

 

When you leave

At the end of our sessions, please leave promptly so that our playworkers have enough time to prepare for the next session or tidy up. If your children need preparation to leave, we have sand timers you can borrow  during the session to help them know when its time to go. Please take any rubbish with you. Check that you have all your belongings, as the buildings are locked when we leave. We do not have access to any of our buildings outside of sessions.

 

Children playing on swing

The alt text for this image is the same as the title. In most cases, that means that the alt attribute has been automatically provided from the image file name. Children playing on swing

Who we are

The trustees of Incredible Kids are all Christians. We are motivated by Christian compassion to look after those in need around us. Anyone can volunteer at Incredible Kids by following the appointments procedure. The charity welcomes all families with children or young people with additional needs who need a place to belong, from all faiths and beliefs. We ask our volunteers to agree to our values, which include principles such as selflessness, honesty and integrity. Read about our trustees here Our Trustees – incrediblekids.org.uk

Thank you for joining Incredible Kids. We look forward to welcoming your family to a session very soon!

Incredible Girls @ Incredible Kids

Photo of Girls with girls having fun

Incredible Girls is for girls.

Girls with additional needs.

Girls who want to meet other girls with additional needs, make friends and have fun.

There are so many things to do:
🌞Adventure Playground
🌞Slime making
🌞Giant Sandpit
🌞Scooters
🌞Trampoline
🌞Arts&Crafts
🌞SensoryPlay
🌞Snacks
🌞Sensory Room
🌞Indoor and outdoor play

Where: Incredible Kids @ The Vench, Romney Avenue, Lockleaze, BS7 9TB.

When: Saturday 22nd January, 11:45am-1.15pm.

The details: You’ll need to be a member of Incredible Kids to come to Incredible Girls. The whole family comes to our sessions. Siblings are welcome. Parent/Carer support. Trained playworkers. You don’t need a diagnosis to come.

Become a member: If you haven’t signed up yet then visit our membership page to sign up, add at least one parent and one child.

Cost: £4 per family per session.

Incredibly new?

Always wanted to visit?

Just joined us and anxious about your first visit?

Not ready to sign up for free membership but always wanted to visit?

Why not visit one of our New Family sessions.

Whatever additional needs your child has, the whole family is welcome. If its your first visit, this sessions on us. 💰

Address: Incredible Kids, @ The Vench – Lockleaze Adventure Playground Romney Avenue, Lockleaze, Bristol, BS7 9TB.

The detail: Our play sessions are for children and young people with additional needs and their families. We help children with additional needs and their families have fun and make friends.

No diagnosis needed.

Siblings welcome.

Ages 0-25 welcome.

Parent carers must supervise their family at all times.

As a drop in session we can’t guarantee how busy or quiet this session will be.

Why not bring that friend who’s always wanted to visit.

If you are early please wait outside until our playworkers let you in.

Please let your friends know about our new family sessions if you think they may want to visit. 💜

Community Donation makes Incredible Smiles

Fidget Poppers
Fidget Poppers

The weather was beautiful yesterday evening for our teens. After making slime, riding the zip wire and enjoying hotdogs our Incredible Teens tested out our new Incredible Kids fidget toys. They were so excited to be the first to see them. Small things Iike this make a big difference to children at Incredible Kids.

These were kindly donated by EverythingCommunity who worked with us to find the right design that would work for our young members.

Safeguarding Notice

Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Good Practice Guide

  • Treat all children, young people and vulnerable adults with respect
  • Avoid inappropriate conduct in speech or action
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour
  • Respect the right of individuals to privacy and dignity
  • Be cautious when discussing sensitive issues with children, young people, vulnerable adults and parents/carers

Responding to Disclosure

  • Do listen and continue to listen
  • Do explain what will happen next
  • Do report all allegations/suspicions of abuse discreetly to Incredible Kids Safeguarding nominated lead or deputy at earliest opportunity.
  • Do seek help from medical staff, social services or the police if there is immediate risk
  • Do write a factual account of the situation immediately and sign
  • Do Not question or investigate
  • Do Not pass judgement or draw conclusions
  • Do Not appear shocked or angry
  • Do Not promise confidentiality, but only tell others in the reporting process.  
  • Do Not confront the abuser / accused
  • Do Not risk contaminating evidence
  • Do Not discourage children, young people or vulnerable adults who want to talk to you about attitudes or behaviours of others
  • Do Not allow yourself to be alone with children, young people or vulnerable adults

Important Contact Details 

Incredible Kids Safeguarding Nominated Lead: Sandie Davis 07990584820

Incredible Kids Safeguarding Nominated Deputy: Jennie Prewett 07766252320

Interview With An Incredible Kids Playworker #2

Incredible Kids Playworker Standing Next to a Playtray

Why did you want to work as a playworker at Incredible Kids?

I’ve always worked with children, either babysitting or child minding. I really loved looking after children and I started to look for a job that fit similar criteria. Luckily for me Incredible Kids popped up in my search and it was just perfect!

What do you love most about your job?

I love the friendships you build with the children. It’s lovely when you can talk to them and get to know them, especially some of the older children.

Also when the children start coming to Incredible Kids they are usually really shy and worried about coming. However it’s great to see them a few weeks later when they’re more comfortable and confident with us. They begin to open up to us and we get to see them enjoy themselves.

Which was your most memorable moment at Incredible Kids?

All of the amazing parties Jeanna puts on are always memorable. My favourite memory of Incredible Kids is probably our Christmases with Santa and our decorations as everything looks so beautiful and the children love it.

How has working as a playworker at Incredible Kids changed you?

I think working at Incredible Kids and with my great team has made me more open minded seeing different people from different backgrounds. It’s also made me better at communicating with people and my time here has inspired me to work with children when I finish my education. 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I like to be creative. I like things like painting, drawing and making things. I love that Incredible Kids supports any child that liked being creative too, there’s always something there for them to do.

Also, when I’m not at work I’m studying. I just finished college this summer and I’m starting university this September which I’m very excited about!

If, after reading how much fun we have at Incredible Kids it’s made you want to work with us, just take a look here for more information.

Interview With An Incredible Kids Playworker

Why did you want to work at Incredible Kids?

I grew up with my sister who has special needs, so to help keep her happy I would find unconventional ways of making her laugh. Due to my experience of looking after my sister, my Mother sent me a post for a play worker job at Incredible Kids.

I didn’t know much about Incredible Kids beforehand but the more I learned the more I related to what the charity was doing. At first I was worried that I might find the job difficult as I hadn’t been in this environment before but in the end it came naturally to me.

What do you love most about your job?

I love meeting all of the different kinds of people that come to the sessions. It’s nice talking to the parents and getting to know the children and finding out what makes them smile. It feels heart warming that I can help provide an environment where they can be happy and feel at home.

Which was your most memorable moment at Incredible Kids?

This is a difficult one as there are lot of things that stand out. One thing that stands out in particular was when we created a winter wonderland at The Vench. It was something that the entire team put their all into and the results were amazing and lots of fun. It really felt like something special and it was awesome to see all the families come and enjoy it. But if you asked me on a different day my answer would probably be different!

How has working at Incredible Kids changed you?

It’s given me a new perspective when it comes to special needs. A lot of the children do struggle with things due to their disability but they are often clever, imaginative, creative, funny, kind and amazing. This is the same for everyone as we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

In a lot of ways I can see myself in some of the children that come because I have things that I’m not so good at and things that I am better at. It’s been a confirmation to me that whether or not you have a disability, you are a special person.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Snacking on noodles. Yum!

If, after reading how much fun we have at Incredible Kids it’s made you want to volunteer for us, just take a look here for more information.

Autism and Employment

What I Want Employers To Know – From An Autistic Perspective

Two people walking to work with images of a clock and cogs in the background.

Seeking employment can be a minefield for anyone with autism and only 15% of people with autism are in full-time employment.

Social communication, jobhunting, interviews, maintaining employment and sensory sensitivities in the workplace are a few challenges that may be faced.

Hints and Tips

Below are my personal 6 pointers that I feel could a) help autistic job hunters navigate the job market, and b) businesses create a supportive employment experience for their autistic employees:

1. One to one support with a careers advisor would be beneficial when job hunting as it can be hard to decide what sector to work in. I am skilled at written communication and ICT and am extremely ambitious to provide appropriate support to people with autism. However, my extreme anxiety and communication difficulties makes it challenging for me to find suitable jobs.

2. I think job interviews can often be a daunting prospect because of anxiety and dislike of unpredictability. I would need support by having mock interviews with trusted people to ensure I have strategies to manage my anxiety and build my self-esteem. It would help to have a list of interview questions beforehand from the employer so I would know what type of questions to expect.

I would appreciate the employer giving me extra time to process information during the interview too. Having a friend to come with me to the interview would be useful too. A good idea is to allow me to complete a series of work experience where I can practically show my skills (as opposed to explaining answers during a competency based interview – as this is something I find difficult).

3. Setting up a buddy system would be incredibly useful to provide me with support in communicating with others and help by explaining tasks during the working day. I would need on-going support from a supervisor as I would need additional time to adjust to the working environment and to understand my responsibilities.

4. Having written instructions or video instructions of how to complete the tasks would be good to have as I can struggle to remember things, especially when concentrating on a specific task or feel overwhelmed.

5. It would help to be introduced to all members of staff beforehand as this would reduce my anxieties. Everyone should be made aware of my autism and how it affects me individually. The manager needs to be aware of the reasonable adjustments that should be in place for employees on the autism spectrum.

6. A reduced timetable/part-time position may help at the beginning to reduce anxiety and ease me into the bustling work environment. I get anxious very easily, particularly when communicating with new people that I don’t know well. I struggle to know what to say when asked questions as I’m put on the spot. Social situations can be frightening, overwhelming and exhausting therefore, a part-time position would benefit me greatly.

Focusing on the positives

Please focus on my strengths in the workplace. I have excellent written communication skills and ICT skills, organisation and meeting deadlines. I am enthusiastic and proactive and put a lot of effort into everything that I do. I need these strengths to be considered and celebrated!

I hope my tips are useful for anyone who is autistic is thinking about entering the world of work as well as for companies who have recognised their responsibilities in the workplace and want to understand and offer support for autistic job seekers and employees.  

Written by Lauren

Autism in girls – Lauren’s real life story

Two girls supporting each other as they stand

Before My Diagnosis

I was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism aged 12. Before my diagnosis, I realised there was something different about the way my mind worked, but I couldn’t fathom it out. This led to me feeling confused and very isolated. I knew I was different from my peers and I felt different – I stood out from the rest of the crowd.

One vivid memory of my primary school life was standing in the lonely corner of the playground, observing everyone rather than participating in the play. I was picked on for not acting similarly to my peers – I was baffled as to why I felt like I couldn’t just get involved.

Lack Of Support For Girls With Autism

I was overwhelmed by the lack of support I received at school, especially when signs of autism became more apparent at the age of eight. I often became extremely stressed, particularly when I started secondary school.

My severe anxiety and continuous frustrations took a toll on the whole family, causing numerous arguments. I would tend to be physically defensive when I was upset. The majority of the time, it was thought that I had a ‘bad attitude’, however I now realise that what I was experiencing was a sensory overload and I was just trying to communicate how troubling my world seemed. Both Mum and Dad were, unfortunately on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Autism In Girls

Girls on the autism spectrum are often missed and they are just considered ‘shy’. After experiencing selective mutism for two years at primary school, an autism diagnosis was looked into. The journey to receive an official diagnosis was tough, exhausting and infuriating. However, I did eventually get told that my insecurities, stresses, anxieties, and overwhelming sensations unravelled to an autism spectrum condition.

After My Diagnosis

Upon receiving my diagnosis, I felt relieved; I could stop trying so hard to conform and focus on the path to self-discovery. This has been both an adventurous and anxiety-provoking journey!

I have researched the condition endlessly and raising awareness of it has now become one of my passions. Autism is my special interest! At times I still feel overwhelmed and frustrated at the lack of appropriate support, therefore, I am trying my hardest to change this by encouraging society to embrace our differences and welcome the autistic mind.

Looking For Positives

I struggle to understand why I should constantly fit in with others; why can’t neurotypicals see things from our perspective? Despite still experiencing occasional depressive episodes, I have used my negative experience of other people’s ignorance towards autism in a positive way. Learning more about autism everyday motivates me to pursue my dream of supporting others with the condition.

Autism is inspiring. There is always hope; never lose sight and give everything your best shot! You are worth it and you are loved!

Raising a deafblind child – a parent’s journey from trauma to love.

Cameron playing on swing

I dreamt of a healthy baby boy. I mean that is what everybody wishes for, right? As long as they are healthy, that is all that matters. But what happens when those dreams are snatched away? I was stricken with grief for a child I held in my arms and there was nobody I could talk to about those feelings – nobody who could even begin to comprehend what we were going through.

My son Cameron was born with a rare genetic condition called Norrie Disease, which causes males to be born blind and later develop hearing loss. Suddenly, I had a disabled child and was navigating my way through the life of the caring role. He was going to be deafblind and I somehow had to wrap my head around the fact my beautiful little boy would never get to see my face.

Right from the very early days, I found comfort in expressing my feelings through writing. I soon created a social media account to connect with others in similar situations and share our journey with the world. It was exactly the sort of therapy I needed.

Learning your child will be different from what you had initially planned can be a scary and isolating time. When I needed support the most, who was truly there? I reached out to others, to be the guiding hand that I myself so desperately needed right at the beginning.

I’m hoping that in sharing my book with the world, many other parent carers can relate to the raw and emotional trauma we have experienced, and if you’re not directly affected by disability, then I hope it can shed just a small glimpse of the different life we live – that is still so worthy of inclusion and acceptance.

Reliving those early days of diagnosis can be so painful, but I want to give others hope in believing that pain soon turns into something much more fierce, love. And the amount of love you have for your child will empower you to advocate for them with all of your might.

Comparison, jealousy, genetic testing – subjects that are not often openly spoke about. I want to open up those conversations and let the world know it’s OK to discuss that. Every emotion we go through on this journey is valid and we need to know we are not alone in a time we are actually so isolated from the world.

There is going to be tough days, but so many more good days too. I’m confident my son’s smile can help change the perspective of the world.

After all, my son has never seen a smile but knows exactly how to make one when he’s happy.

Carla’s book became a #1 Amazon bestseller overnight. Buy a copy here!