Trustee Sandie Davis leaves incredible legacy

Headshot of Sandie Davies
Incredible Kids, a charity supporting disabled children and their families in Bristol, has offered family support since its inception 12 years ago. From the very beginning, Sandie Davis offered wisdom, encouragement, and support in abundance. Whilst visiting with many of her children, grandchildren and foster children Sandie believed that what we did made a difference. After another local charity stopped providing support to families, Sandie cared about the injustice suffered by local families with disabled children and fought to try to change that. Sandie joined Incredible Kids as a trustee in 2017, a pivotal year that marked our journey towards securing a permanent dedicated home—a goal we’ve pursued since we first served a cup of tea and a warm welcome to families in need.
 
 

Sandie’s recent diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and her passing on 10th June has deeply affected us all. In celebration of her 70th birthday in May, she initiated an Incredible Kids fundraiser, ensuring her legacy continues to support Bristol families. Support Sandie’s legacy by donating through her JustGiving page. Your contribution will help create a permanent home for Incredible Kids, fulfilling Sandie’s dream of continuous support for our community

 
 
Sandie, a dedicated mother of seven, including three adopted children with Down Syndrome and one with a rare genetic life-limiting condition, brought unparalleled passion and empathy to her role. She also fostered many children during her lifetime. During COVID-19 she juggled multiple caring responsibilities towards all of these young people who were considered at high risk if they caught the virus. She helped some of the young people she has adopted to live independently in houses across the road from her own.
 
Sandie was also a Councillor, campaigning from within South Glos Council for better support for disabled children. She genuinely cared about improving the support for disabled children and challenged the status quo. As a trustee of Incredible Kids, Sandie arranged numerous parent/carer meetings with coordinators of Children’s Services at the Local Authority to try to improve services for families.
Group of Incredible Kids volunteers gathered around the high sheriff to receive the Queen's Award
Incredible Kids volunteers proudly receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services—a testament to the impact of Sandie’s tireless efforts.
 
 
A woman and a young man playing with a toy together
Whilst doing all of this, she also coordinated the running of Incredible Kids charity in Bristol, enabling it to stay open when possible during the lockdowns, often whilst being unable to leave home herself. The charity enabled hundreds of families across Bristol with a disabled child to have a safe place to go at a time when there were almost no other places families could go. The impact of this is immense at a time when family breakdown and mental health challenges were huge. In 2022, she won Parent Carer of the Year at the Include Awards and was a finalist for Awesome Parent at the BAPS awards.
 
 
Without Sandie’s unwavering support, Incredible Kids would not have reached its current success. Thanks to her, 6500 individuals from Bristol and beyond have found a place where they are accepted, welcomed, and understood. Join us in honouring Sandie by contributing to her JustGiving page and sending warm wishes to her family. We are so incredibly grateful for all that Sandie championed for.
 
 
 
 

Incredible vacancy: SEND Family Advocate

Man and woman smiling at cameraCould you be an incredible advocate?

Incredible Kids is a grassroots Christian charity based in Bristol, dedicated to providing a safe haven and vital support network for disabled children, young individuals, and their families. Our mission extends beyond offering play sessions; we aim to empower overlooked communities, advocate for systemic enhancements, and champion inclusivity and compassion in society.

We’re seeking a special, education needs and disabilities (SEND) Family Advocate for our inclusive play charity. This role will play a pivotal role in providing accurate guidance, advocacy support, and empowerment to families with disabled children. You will work directly with families, helping them understand their entitlements and navigate complex systems across education, social care, and benefits. By doing so, you will contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable society where every individual feels supported, and empowered to get the best outcomes for their family. This is a new role at Incredible Kids so you will help us to develop the role and the systems required to make the role a success.

Location: Incredible Kids at The Vench, Lockleaze Bristol on Saturdays. Hybrid role with flexibility to work from home at other times.

Hours: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays, 10:00 am to 3:00 on one weekday. There is flexibility in the working hours to be agreed such as alternate weekends.

Position Type: Part-time. 10 hours per week.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide brief consultations and support to families of disabled children, offering accurate information about their legal entitlements and rights.
  • Empower families to advocate effectively for themselves and their children within various systems, including education, social care, and benefits.
  • Conduct assessments of families’ needs and develop personalised action plans to address their specific challenges and goals.
  • Support families to produce statutory assessment requests.
  • Collaborate with external agencies, professionals, and organisations to facilitate access to necessary services and resources for families.
  • Using template PAP letters to support families to access the JR process, working with external law professionals.
  • Maintain accurate records of consultations, interventions, and outcomes, ensuring confidentiality and data protection compliance.
  • Continuously update knowledge of relevant policies, legislation, and services to provide up-to-date and informed support to families.
  • Participate in training, workshops, and professional development opportunities to enhance skills and knowledge in SEND advocacy and support.
  • Recruit and support volunteer SEND advisors to expand support network for families.Boy playing with plastic castle

Qualifications:

Experience working as an independant SEND advocate or advisor for families.

Understanding of the legal framework and entitlements related to SEND support, education, social care, and benefits. Ideally Level 3 IPSEA training or equivalent.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build rapport and trust with diverse families in an adaptable and flexible way.

Strong organisational skills and attention to detail, with the ability to manage time effectively and prioritise tasks.

Compassionate, empathetic, and non-judgmental approach towards supporting families facing challenges.

Remuneration Details:

£26,000-28,000 FTE ( Prorata for part time hours) dependant on SEND advocacy experience

Part time hours

Laptop and phone provided with IT support

Wellbeing Support through Health Assured

Charity worker discounts

Online training portal

How to Apply:

To apply complete our online application form.

Deadline for Applications: Tuesday 14th May 2024

Interviews: Saturday 18th May 2024 at The Vench, Lockleaze

Interview Questions:

  1. Parent talking to Incredible Kids Playworker in yellow chairs outsideCan you describe a situation where you successfully advocated for a family with a disabled child to access essential services or support? What strategies did you employ, and what was the outcome?
  2. How do you stay updated on changes in legislation, policies, and services relevant to families with disabled children? Can you provide an example of how this knowledge has benefited your work?
  3. Communication with families is crucial in this role. Can you share a time when you had to convey complex information or navigate sensitive topics with a family? How did you ensure effective communication and understanding?
  4. Collaboration with external agencies and professionals is a key aspect of this position. Can you give an example of a successful partnership you developed to better support a family with a disabled child? What was the outcome of this collaboration?
  5. In your opinion, what are the most common challenges faced by families of disabled children when navigating support systems? How do you approach addressing these challenges in your work?
  6. This role requires empathy, resilience, and strong interpersonal skills. Can you discuss a time when you faced a particularly challenging situation in supporting a family with a disabled child? How did you handle it, and what did you learn from the experience?
  7. Additional clarification or follow up questions may be asked.

Fundraise for Incredible Kids through Bristol’s inflatable races

Enjoy running? Or don’t enjoying running, but want a challenge and to raise money for charity?

There are plenty of upcoming official races you can get involved in!Purple image with two illustrated figures running and stretching. Text reads 'RUN for Incredible Kids'

Great Bristol Run

On Sunday 19th May 2024 Great Bristol Run are hosting three races. Whether you’re a serious athlete, or like the idea of a stroll before your Sunday roast, we’d be incredibly grateful if you used the race to help fundraise for Bristol’s young people with additional needs and their families.

Ready to run? Sign up to the Great Bristol Run by purchasing your slots at one of the following races:

  • Half Marathon (13.1miles)
  • 10K
  • Family run (1 mile)

Race begin at We The Curious, 1 Millennium Square, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5DB, UK. Find out more about the Great Bristol Run.

Inflatable running events

Who needs roads! Bounce your way around an inflatable obstacle course and put the fun in fundraise. Bristol’s inflatable running events are held on Saturday 6th July 2024.

Book Bristol’s inflatable running events:

  • Inflatable 2.5Kk
  • Inflatable 5k
  • Inflatable 10k
  • Inflatable 15k

The inflatable fun is based at North Somerset Showground, Bristol Rd, Bristol BS48 1NF, UK.

How we’ll use your donations

With your donations, we’ve been able to pay passionate playworkers who dedicate their Friday evenings and Saturdays to supporting families to relax and have fun in a safe and inclusive environment.

Donations enable us to pay for the use of The Vench Adventure Playground’s indoor and outdoor space, provide hot meals at our Fridays sessions and create welcome packs jam-packed with SEND-related advice and book brilliant professional entertainers to put smile of the faces of families who have a disabled child.

Ready…steady…fundraise!

We think JustGiving is a brilliant platform to use for simple yet effective fundraising. JustGiving makes it easy for people to donate money directly to charities like ours. Head to our Incredible Kids JustGiving page and click ‘Raise money’. Once you’re set up, you can use social media or email to promote your page and encourage others to donate.

We’re here to help with the admin. Just get in touch if you’ve signed up to run but need help with the fundraising side of things.

If you raise £100 or over, we’ll gift you an Incredible T-Shirt as a thank you!

Three Incredible Kids-branded T-Shirts in black, purple and green. Text in image says 'Raise £100 and receive a free Incredible T-Shirt'.

If physical exercise really isn’t your thing but you have another idea for how to fundraise for Incredible kids, get in touch. We’ve love to hear from you.

“The mug had me in tears!” — Free Cosy Kits support families through winter

Group of young women in Incredible Kids green hoodies smiling at the camera with tote goody bags
We held an Incredibly Warm Day to help families who have kids with additional needs to keep spirits high and energy bills low during a rise in the cost of living…and it snowed that very morning! ❄️Incredible Kids staff members next to a huge pile of full tote bags
We created 90 Cosy Kits to give to our families. Each kit contained a bamboo hot drink flask, an electricity reader, a radiator key, night lights, a hot water bottle and more! All bundled into newly designed organic cotton Tote-ally Incredibe bags. 😍 We were especially chuffed with the reusable cups, which we labelled with ‘An incredible human drinks from this’ to make our families feel valued.
Winter has been challenging and we wanted to provide a safe and warming day for families to connect, feel less isolated and enjoy quality time together.
A special thanks to the brilliant Danielle Greenwood of Uke Lift Project who ran Ukulele workshops for our kids. We hope families had a warming weekend and that our little gifts help keep energy costs down.
This was all possible thanks to the National Grid UK‘s Community Matters Fund. 😊Cosy Kit contents
We’re so pleased that families seemed to really appreciate the Cosy Kits. Here’s what some of them thought…
  • “Really fantastic, thoughtful gifts and lovely staff. My initially nervous daughter was made to feel welcome and could be herself. Knowing that I have a safe space for my daughter to be herself along with the wonderful playworkers has really helped with our wellbeing.” — Cathleen Schmitke
  • “Incredible Kids has helped my family in so many ways! It’s given me a reason to leave the house. It’s given my children something to look forward to each week, that is different enough to mean it’s never boring but at the same time stays similar enough so that they don’t get scared of coming.” — Anonymous parent
  • “Very impressed & surprised. The message on the cup meant a lot. I was very grateful for the rechargeable hand warmer. We enjoyed being inside in the warm learning ukulele when it was very cold & soggy outside. Incredible Kids has given us a sense of belonging & a place where we fit in.”  — Anonymous parentWomen teaching the ukelele to a young person with additional needs
  • “The mug had me in tears! Very useful kit. Thank you. Incredible Kids definitely helps us as a family. Yes, my child says its the only time in the week she can be a child. No masking, just accepted for who she is.” — Anonymous parent
  • “Lovely to be given a bag of useful goodies, A is loving the hot water bottle, I am very grateful for the hand warmer and A’s brother is happy he now has a night light. The sessions are an opportunity for both children to enjoy activities have fun and meet new friends without any pressure to conform.” Anonymous parent
  • “Incredible Kids provides our family with a beautiful and safe environment to thrive and be as one with other families, without judgement and stress! Go to a session. You won’t regret it and will gain so much from this incredible community.” — Sheralyn Hill

We’re incredibly grateful for the love and generosity of National Grid UK‘s Community Matters Fund, our supporters and our volunteers. Thank you for making these free goodie bags and supportive events possible, and for helping us make the world a little cosier for disabled children and their families.

Incredible Kids charity seeks new trustees

Two caucasian women chatting on a sofa with cups of teaIncredible Kids is an award winning Christian children’s disability charity helping disabled young people and their families to make friends and have fun. We are looking for trustees with the skills to help us develop our business plan.

What will you be doing?

We run Bristol-based inclusive play sessions to help children with SEND to forge friendships and to offer support and an understanding community to parents and carers. We’re all about faciliating fun for families to enjoy quality time together without being judged.

Whether you are an experienced trustee or want to take your first step at board level, we want to hear from you. We are looking for active trustees with around 6 – 8 hours a month to contribute.

We are looking for trustees with the skills to help us develop our business plan and deliver the next stage of our project to secure a permanent home for our service. We currently rent our play space, which has its limitations.

What are we looking for?

Group of children and adults on brown sofas listening to an entertainer.We are looking for trustees with the skills to help us develop our business plan and deliver the next stage of our project to secure a permanant home for our service. That could mean many things but we are particulalry interested candidates with skills in marketing and finance. If you think you can make a difference with your expertise, energy and enthusasim, please apply.

Ready to apply?

Please apply through Reach in the first instance. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete our additional application form.

Incredible Kids aims to provide play and support services to families with a child with a disability or additional need to reduce inequality and social isolation, aiming to be incredible.

We look forward to hearing from you. Find out more about Incredible Kids trustees.

If you have any questions about the role, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Incredible community creates inclusive Christmas

Incredible Kids playworkers wearing green and holding a tray of mince piesWe want to thank everyone who has supported Incredible Kids this past year – whether you came to a play session, volunteered, baked, donated or simply spread the word about our service. We really couldn’t provide our service without you. We’re so incredibly grateful for the community that all our families, donators, staff and volunteers have helped create over the past decade.
With the cost of living rising throughout 2023, and the lack of support in the education and care systems becoming increasingly severe, the importance of selfless giving, of strengthening community and spreading joy is more important than ever.

An inclusive Christmas

We like to give families a Christmas extravaganza each year as we know the festive period can be a challenging, emotionally and financially. For Christmas 2023, we went BIG. To ensure more families got to relish in the Christmas spirit of our community, we had not one, not even two but THREE Saturdays brimming with festivities, including a silent disco.

Man in colourful top hat blowing into a tube which is inflating a bubble in a boy's hand

In order to make our parties as inclusive as possible, we held dedicated Christmas parties for children under eight, for girls with additional needs to help them forge friendships and third party during our Pathological Demand Avoidance support session.
Thank you to Magic Little Grants and John James Bristol Foundation who gave us funding to make it all happen!

Incredible donations

A gargantuan THANK YOU must be given to the following superstars who made our Christmas incredible.
  • The ever-awesome Same Same but Different for being Santa and his helper
  • Bubbleologists Rainbow Gecko for creating a magical, interactive bubble experience
  • Greggs for donating delicious mince pies and treatsFour adults in red reindeer jumpers standing in a festively decorated room
  • Whoopie!! Face Painting for transforming children into animals and Christmas puds
  • Ocado donated a £50 food voucher to help us feed families with festive treats
  • Filton Morrisons customers and staff for donating food through their community champion scheme

Hartfield elves gift 300 toys

We were bowled over by the team at Hartsfield Financial Planning, who not only bought, wrapped and donated 300 gifts to give our children helped decorate the space with balloons and festive cheer. True Christmas elves!

Volunteer bakers fuel our community

Never underestimate the power of a cuppa and cake. We were overwhelmed with the response to our Christmas call out to our team of volunteer Incredible Bakers. We love this picture of pure festive joy from our Christmas party and check out that igloo cake donated from Free Cakes For Kids (see below).Gingerbread house scene in the middle of a toy wooden train track

A special thanks to:

  • Nathan for whipping up Terry’s Chocolate Orange cupcakes (!)
  • Alice and Alice’s mum their delicious Malteser-covered bakes
  • Noah who is baking us scrumptious cakes for his Duke of Edinburgh Award

Aren’t we lucky to have such talent within our community. If you’re interested becoming an Incredible Baker, you can find out more on our volunteer page.

Incredible Chistmas Auction

Our fabulous Trustee and wine expert, Jai Breitnauer, organised an Incredible Christmas Auction in which we raised £97! The Bristol Old Vic were kind enough to donate four tickets to see Arabian Nights and another four to see Four Seasons. Browns Brasserie donated tickets for a tea for two experience and Jai herself added an extra special gift of wine tasting for a group of six! All prizes have now been claimed.
We may be a small charity but we hope our services have a big impact on those families we support. We hope to see you at a play session soon and we wish you a healthy, happy 2024!
Group of children gathered around a cake shaped like an igoo

Incredible Chemistry Day inspires disabled children and engages them in STEM subjects

Child in googles and adult in a lab coat scooping white powderWe want to help inspire the next generation of scientists in order to create a more equal an sustainable world for disabled people to thrive in.
Our aim is to offer Incredible STEM sessions, focuses on providing inclusive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities to kids with disabilities and additional needs.
Families have told us that their children are often excluded from the most exciting parts of science at school. STEMconnector’s Role Models Matter said 82% of disabled individuals who participated in STEM programs expressed an increased interest in pursuing STEM-related careers.
Our mission is to ensure young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) feel inspired and included and so we began our Incredible STEM project by hosting an Incredible Chemistry Day in October 2023.Child at Incredible Kids beside yellow and red balloons covering test tubes
We invited kids with additional needs and their families to grab their lab coats and conjure their best Einstein hair ready for an action-packed Saturday of extraordinary experiments, facilitated by Mad Science – a STEM enrichment provider for inquisitive young minds!
We were over the moon to have received funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Outreach Fund to help provide engaging and accessible STEM activities to boost young people’s self-esteem and curiosity. It’s not just about learning; it’s about providing an inclusive environment where they can have fun, make friends, and feel like they truly belong.
Mad Science’s activities included volcanos, cannister Cannons, colour mixing concoctions, self-inflating balloons, fog-filled bubbles and a dry ice shower!
Here’s what families said about our Incredible Chemistry Day…
“My children both have selective mutism and find it hard to engage. Both of my children loved watching the balloons and got involved with the bubbles once they felt more comfortable. They enjoyed telling their dad about it when they got home. Both had a fantastic time so thank you.” —  Michala Clark
“My son was really engaged with all the science activities and was full of questions for the scientists. He enjoyed the sensory experiences of the bubbles, textures of the algae, and the ‘snow’. He was also interested in the science behind the experiments and asking how they worked. He really enjoyed the chemistry and the activity enabled him to engage with some of the other children there too. It was great to see them interacting and then going off to play happily together around the grounds.” — Parent at Incredible Kids
“Our children had lots of fun joining in with experiments and observing the playworkers with huge smiles on their faces. Thank you so much for a fantastic session and they loved the extra stickers! They don’t usually stand still! To have them standing still and paying attention was magical. We will definitely be investing in a chemistry set for Christmas.” — Simon and Zoe Wilson

Bubbles overflowing from a test tube

We sent all Incredible Chemistry Day attendees a feedback survey and we’re so grateful for the comments and suggestions on how to better tailor the STEM experience for the needs and interests of  kids with SEND. We’ll be taking all suggestions on board for another Incredible Chemistry Day in February 2024.

Throughout our regular play sessions, we aim to create play tray and table-based experiences that are specifically tailored to accommodate a range of disabilities. Slime is a staple at our sessions and a great way to learn about states of matter and viscosity.

Exploring water bead develops kids’ understanding of states of matter while developing fine motor skills. Crafting bath bombs, potions, and bath bags encourage a curiosity for chemisty and our gardening activities bring the magic of biology to life!

We designed ‘I’m an Incredible Chemist’ stickers to award all children who attended out Chemistry Day.Boy smiling beside a pot of blue slime

Our organisation provides an inclusive and welcoming space with specialist toys and equipment that meet the diverse and unique needs of children with a wide range of disabilities. Over 900 families access our truly unique service.

Our charity has become a vital lifeline that provides an essential service to families in Bristol and surrounding local authorities, whose needs are often overlooked by mainstream services.

Keep your eyes peels for another Incredible Chemistry Day in February 2024.

In the meantime, browse and book our regular play sessions, jam-packed with engaging activities for young people with SEND.

 

 

 

How to make Christmas Incredible for children with additional needs

Caucasian woman with a purple hoodie on smiling at the cameraHi, Jennie here, Founder of Incredible Kids and Mum to children with additional needs.

I’ll always remember one of our first Christmases together as a family. I had hand sewn a beautiful advent calendar with my child’s name and filled it with treats. Little did I know that my son had Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) – hanging 24 chocolates in front of him and telling him he could only enjoy one a day wasn’t a good start…
Coming from a wonderful large family, everything was overwhelming with hundreds of brightly wrapped presents accompanied by expectations and loud cheers as each present was opened. It wasn’t long before the meltdowns arrived thick and fast and we quickly had to adapt our plans.
The holiday season is a time of joy, togetherness, and creating lasting memories. At Incredible Kids, we understand that families with disabled children may face unique challenges during this festive season. That’s why we asked our members for their top tips and ideas on how to prepare for a calm and joyful Christmas that ensures your child feels content and less stressed.
  1. Create a Sensory-Friendly Environment

For children with sensory sensitivities, the hustle and bustle of Christmas can be overwhelming. To make your home and activities are sensory haven, consider these tips:
  • Soft lighting: Use gentle, warm lighting to create a cosy atmosphere. Keep sunglasses on hand for bright overwhelming times.
  • Calm decorations: Keep things simple.
  • Noise management: Invest in noise-canceling headphones.
  • Comfort zones: Create a designated quiet space where your child can retreat if they need a break. Consider a calming down tent if space is limited.
  1. Plan Ahead

Start planning your Christmas activities well in advance to reduce stress for both you and your child. Make a visual schedule with pictures or drawings to help your child understand what to expect. This can include decorating the tree, baking goodies, and opening presents.Two women chatting on a sofa with cups of tea

  1. Inclusive Decorations

Involve your child in decorating the Christmas tree if you think that would help them or decorate it when they are out if you think they will be overwhelmed by the process. Let them choose decorations that they like, or even create their own. This gives them a sense of ownership and participation in Christmas preparations. Help them to decide when the tree will go up and when it will be taken down.
  1. Sensory-Friendly Gifts

Select gifts that cater to your child’s needs. If your child has a meltdown over those frustrating toys relatives sometimes buy then maybe you could create an Amazon wish list (much like our Incredible Kids wish list) with ideas you know will work well for them. Consider items like fidget toys, weighted blankets, or sensory bins filled with different textures. These gifts can be both fun and calming.
Wrapping paper can be overwhelming so consider wrapping gifts in brown paper to tone down the overwhelm. Depending on your child’s age, expectations and needs you might want to spread presents out over the course of the day or week if that helps. If there’s a chance they may open the gifts early, then keep them hidden until the day. One of our families suggested printing photo labels of who each gift belongs to so that your child can understand who’ll be opening it.
  1. Simplify Traditions

If certain Christmas traditions cause stress or anxiety for your child, it’s okay to simplify or skip them altogether. Focus on the activities that bring the most joy and create cherished memories.
  1. Prepare for Santa

Meeting Santa can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be intimidating. To make the visit enjoyable:Image of person in Santa costume and woman behind a Christmas tree in a red hat with red long hair.

  1. It doesn’t have to be Turkey 🦃

One of our members has a cold buffet every year on Christmas day. None of their kids like roast dinners and preparing one makes the parents stressed so they’ve changed what they do. It may not look right to the outside world but it’s about what works for you. Consider involving your child in the preparation of these special dishes.
  1. Incredible Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is essential. We all know that but it’s easier said than done. When you’re well-rested and relaxed, you can better support your child. Remember to carve out time for self-care, even if it’s just a few minutes to recharge.
Kate Laine-Toner has created a free Vimeo training video session for parents to help them support their autistic children at Christmas and during the holidays. It includes information about managing SEND school issues, low demand parenting and other issues that affect children with autism at Christmas time.
  1. Embrace the Magic of the Season

Two children on a sofa with Santa hats onLastly, remember that the true spirit of Christmas is not about how many gifts you have or whether your Christmas looks the same as everyone else. If you want to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, St Mary’s Church in Timsbury near Bath has a Special Carol Service especially for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and their families. Join them on Sunday 10 December at 3pm to sing some festive carols, followed by hot chocolate.
Christmas is a time to celebrate with love and understanding, and with a few thoughtful preparations, you can help to reduce stress for you and your child with additional needs. At Incredible Kids, we’re here to support you and your family every step of the way. We can’t guarantee a meltdown-free Christmas, but we hope that some of these tips will help.
Have a wonderful Christmas that’s right for you.
Jennie Prewett

Incredible Care Kits boost wellbeing of disabled children and their families

Group of children and parents smiling with tote bagsThis half term, we hosted an Incredible Care Day. With the nights drawing in, we wanted to support families who have a child with additional needs and offer Incredible Care Kits stuffed with pick-me-ups to boost their wellbeing.

We invited families along to our Incredible Care Day with inclusive play sessions facilitated by our team of playworkers.  We dedicated an afternoon play session to welcoming new members into our community and were delighted that all 4 sessions were sold out!

The night before our Care Day, our team of staff and volunteers beavered away filling over 70 Incredible Kids tote bags.
Through ActionFunder, Nespresso generously funded our Incredible Care Kits. We made sure they were jam-packed with treats to keep our families comfy, cosy and calm including bath bombs donated from Lush, stationery bundles from John Lewis, fluffy hot water bottles and  blankets, chocolates, coffee and fidget toys.

Tote bag on a table with a selection of goodies around itThe best part? Earlier this autumn, we asked our community what they’d most appreciate finding in a goodie bag. Families who visit us helped choose what went into these kits, making them extra special and tailored to the needs and preferences of each family. It’s all about coming together as a community to support one another.

The day went down a storm. Here’s what our families thought…

The care kit was such a lovely pick-me-up so, thank you very much. Things can often be so tough bringing up children with complex needs and especially doing it on my own as a single parent, so to have a safe space to take the children in an environment that is so inclusive we love coming along to Incredible kids and the care kit was full of a variety of different bits that will be enjoyed by the whole family.” — Rainna James

“It was nice to receive a gift for being a carer, I don’t often get presents so it was really appreciated and made my day. Incredible Kids is a place for both parents and children, it’s non-judgmental and kids can just play without any interference and can just be themselves. There’s plenty of information and advice available from other parents as well as staff. It’s a great place to go.” —Nina Woolfenden

Young child holding a tote bag with Incredible Kids playworker“I think the kits were beautiful and the most generous of gifts we’ve ever received, really really thoughtful. You are all amazing and without you guys we’d be at home feeling lonely and bored.”— Sheralyn Hill

“Looking after a SEND child often feels like a thankless task. The incredible care kit was a lovely gesture that lifted our spirits. The little notebook & sensory keyring were a big hit with my daughter.” —Incredible Kids mum

“Our visits to Incredible kids add comfort to every family member’s life, reduce the level of stress and give ideas for exciting family activities.” —Mariia Dolbunova

We’re incredibly grateful for the love and generosity of Nespresso, our supporters our volunteers. Thank you for making these care kits possible, and for helping us make the world a little warmer and brighter for disabled children and their families.

Browse all our upcoming play sessions.

 

Amber’s Incredible story – from service user to beloved playworker

Image of young woman with blonde hair and a purple hoodie smiling at the camera.I’m Amber, a former Incredible Kids Playworker, and I’ve been invited to share my experience of Incredible Kids across 10 years.

My journey with Incredible Kids began a decade ago when I started to attend their play sessions as a sibling of a young boy with additional needs.

From a young age, Incredible Kids was a safe space for me to be myself with the added security of support and guidance for my brother and mum when it was needed. I always enjoyed hearing that we were going to be spending our Saturday surrounded by supportive and understanding families.

Incredible Kids’ playworkers always made sure that I was entertained and was receiving attention – something that there wasn’t much time for at home due to my brother requiring a lot of support from the whole family. Whether it was board games, crafts or just having a conversation, I always appreciated the time that Incredible Kids staff gave to me.

Incredible Kids has had many venues in the past decade. I joined back when we were providing support out of a local church in Bristol. We then changed locations to an old office building in Thornbury before moving to a building situated by the Severn Bridge, which is the building in which I went from an Incredible Kids member to an official employed playworker.

Young woman with a child on her shoulders.Before I decided to be a playworker at aged 15, I would spend a lot of my time looking after the other children who attended the Saturday play sessions. I got the honour of looking after Josiah (pictured with me to the left) and watching him grow from a few months old to the smart young man he is today. It’s opportunities like this that make me very grateful for Incredible Kids. Despite how hard it had been caring for my older brother my whole life, I got to experience things I wouldn’t have done so if the support wasn’t there.

Once I became an Incredible Kids Playworker, I supported children through countless enjoyable hours of doing make-up, nails, crafts, milkshake-making and active games around The Vench Adventure Playground, where Incredible Kids is based now. To make sure that the parents felt listened to, I made the effort to remember what they’d told me about their life so that I could catch up with them the next week and have a genuine and informed chat about how they were feeling.

I moved to Gloucester and therefore sadly can no longer attend play sessions but my favourite part of being a playworker was the joy on the faces of the children when they heard that we were making slime, having a fire pit or playing a massive game of hide and seek.

Everyone who attends Incredible Kids is very special and unique, there’s never a dull moment for anyone involved. Witnessing children let go and supporting them to be themselves is a huge part of what makes the job so wonderful.

I hope that Incredible Kids can provide the same, safe haven for you and your family as it has done for myself and many other families.

Fnd out more about Incredible Kids play sessions or check out all the many ways that you can get involved  with Incredible Kids.