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.

 

Building Dreams: Support Incredible Kids in creating a home

Group of women and girls smiling and sitting on a sofa. One girl has her face painted.

Incredible Kids has long been a place of hope and support for families with disabled children in Bristol, offering them a place where they can find understanding, community, and the resources they need to thrive.

Today, we stand at the threshold of an exciting new chapter in our journey—one that promises to support families like yours for the future, but to make this dream a reality, we need your help. With your generous donations, we aim to raise £500,000 to secure a new home for our charity, transforming it into an incredible hub that families can utilise throughout the week.

We’re halfway there, already having raised £251,200 so far!

Donate to our Incredible Home fund here.

Our vision

Our vision is simple yet profound: to create a space that not only empowers families with disabled children but also nurtures a sense of belonging and support for generations to come. The dream is to acquire a permanent home that will serve as the heart of our organisation—a place where children and their families can visit, learn, and grow together.

Our journey so far

Incredible Kids has come a long way, thanks to the unwavering support of incredible families and a generous donor. We’re thrilled to share that we’ve already secured half of the £500,000 needed for our new home. It’s a testament to the incredible community that surrounds us — a community that understands the significance of our mission and the impact it has on countless lives.

Why we need your helpA group of teenagers playing on a bucket swing outside in the sun.

While half the battle has been won, the journey isn’t complete. Your support is essential to help us reach our goal. With £500,000, we can make our vision a reality by bidding for a new home that will serve as the cornerstone of our charity.
Here’s why your donation matters:
Expanding our reach
An Incredible Home will allow us to open our doors full-time, ensuring that families have a safe and supportive space to turn to whenever they need it. This continuous support can be a lifeline for parents and children alike.
Creating an Incredible Hub
With this new space, we can collaborate with other charities to establish a hub. This hub will offer a wide range of services, support, and resources, making it a one-stop destination for families with disabled children.
Long-term impact
By securing a permanent home, we’re not just helping families today; we’re building a legacy of support for future generations. Your contribution will have a lasting impact on countless lives.

Three ways you can help

Every contribution, no matter the size, brings us one step closer to our goal. Here are a three ways you can support us:Two woman, a female teenager and a young female child are sitting outside.. The teenager has faint paint on.
  1. Donate: Make a direct donation to our campaign. Every pound brings us closer to providing families with the support they deserve.
  2. Fundraise: Consider organising a fundraising event within your community, workplace, or social circle. Your efforts can make a significant difference.
  3. Share our story: Help us spread the word by sharing our campaign with your friends, family, and on social media. Awareness is key to reaching our goal.
Incredible Kids has always been about community, love, and support. With your help, we can take these values to the next level by securing an home—a place where hope and empowerment flourish.
Join us on our journey and together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of families with disabled children. Your support is not just a donation; it’s an investment in a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Thank you for being a part of our family. Incredible parents, Incredible Kids, Incredible journey!

Interested in volunteering? Come to our October open day!

Would you like to give time to an award-winning, innovative children’s charity (*ahem yes, that’s us*)?Group of children and adults on brown sofas listening to an entertainer.

Would you enjoy helping children and young people with additional needs learn and develop useful skills through play?  Or would you prefer a role behind the scenes that strengthens the service we provide?

Whatever you’re interested, we’re sure we have a role for you. On Saturday October 7th we’re welcoming all volunteers past, present and future to come along to The Vench Adventure Playground, Bristol, BS7 9TB between 11am-1pm. It’s a chance to meet our community, learn more about the space and equipment we use and connect over a cuppa!

We think all our volunteers are truly Incredible, it’s even in the job titles! The following voluntary roles are ready for you to apply for:

⭐Incredible Playworker
⭐Incredible Micro-VolunteerGroup children on a bucket swing
⭐Incredible Baker
⭐Incredible Administrator
⭐Incredible Social Media Assistant
⭐Incredible Trustee
⭐Incredible Blog Writer
⭐Incredible Finance Assistant
⭐Incredible Fundraiser
Find out more about the above roles on a volunteering page.

To apply to volunteer at Incredible Kids roles please fill in our volunteer application form.

Whether our volunteers have dedicated time to welcoming families, capturing magic moments through photography, baking cakes or helping out with the admin behind the scenes – they always do it with a smile.

We won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and had a fabulous celebration where we were presented the award by HM Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding and Lee Williams DL.

In recognition of our achievement two members of the Incredible Kids team were invited to attend the Buckingham Palace Garden Party in celebration of the King’s Coronation! You can read more about our Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Incredible Volunteers' Day flyer

Our green-fingered summer of outdoor learning

Two girls at a picnic table painting outdoor plaques with suns onAs we move into autumn, we’re reflecting on our wonderfully green summer. Our aim was was to help families from Bristol and the surrounding areas and their children with additional needs to relax and gain a deeper connection to nature.

We’re incredibly grateful to have received funding from Quartet Community Foundation and Wessex Water Foundation Environmental Fund to provide outdoor learning activities and nature-inspired crafts throughout our summer Saturday play sessions.

Our families enjoyed sculpting seed bombs, creating wormeries, making bug hotels and even natural beauty products. All participants were  awarded an ‘I’m an Incredible gardener’ sticker to boost their confidence and encourage further exploration with nature.

Play tray with a castle, green wax pellets and toy safari animals

A huge thank you also to Real Seeds for generously donated vegetable seeds for our young people to grow.

We’re incredibly grateful to Filton Town Council for helping to fund our Incredible summer, including helping to pay for The Vench Adventure Playground where we’re based, our sensory equipment and our brilliant playworkers.Boy with noise-cancelling headphones on, which have a sticker saying 'Incredible gardener' on

Every week our playworkers created new and engaging play trays to encourage sensory, imaginative and collaborative play, including a grand wax pellet farm.

Our Incredible Friday play sessions included a hot meal for every kid and in good weather we gathered around the fire pit and toasted s’smores!

We have such a strong, supportive community. We were blown away to discover that we’ve had a whopping 44% increase in members since last August!
If you join us this summer, we so appreciate it and hope you enjoyed connecting with nature and like-minded families. We’re back at The Vench this autumn and would love to celebrate crispy leaf season with you. Book a play session here.

Infographic stating a 44% increase in Incredible members from August 2022 to August 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incredible Kids at Patchway Children’s Centre this September

Child in a blue egg chair smiling at a playworkerWe’re excited to announce that all our play sessions will be based at Patchway Children’s Centre throughout September, instead of The Vench in Lockleaze.

We’ll be welcoming in autumn by get cosy and crafty in our play sessions – join us! Check out all our play sessions and book.

What’s at Patchway Children’s Centre?

We based ourselves at Patchway for some of last summer’s play sessions and we had wonderful feedback from our members about the indoor space.  If you’re not familiar with it, Patchway Children’s Centre is fully wheelchair-accessible and features a soft-floored and airy indoor space with different zones for your young ones to relax in. It’s a calm environment with plenty of sensory toys to engage with.

View of a room with carpet, bean bags and sensory lights. There’s a kitchen area for parents to enjoy a cuppa and connect with fellow families who have a child with additional needs, if you want to. There’s also a messy area where your child can get creative with paint and all things SLIME.

At our Friday sessions we offer a hot meal for our young ones to tuck into.

The paved outdoor space is safe and gated with plenty of play equipment, such as slides and tuff trays which our playworkers will fill with sensory activities each session.

Whether your young one fancies getting messy at the table with crafts, building a den or relaxing in front of the sensory bubble tubes – our playworkers are there to facilitate your fun!

Our September play sessions

Incredible Saturdays at Patchway

Our family play sessions help children with additional needs and their families to have fun and make friends. Our team of playworkers welcome families every Saturday across four pre-bookable play sessions.

Family  Friday  at  PatchwayChild holding up a pack of cards to a playworker. Another playworker watches them, smiling. They are sat on a blue carpe and bean bags.

After school on Fridays, we help your young ones (and you!) to let off steam, have fund and make friends. Halfway through our Friday session, we serve your young ones a complimentary hot meal and a delicious pudding and encourage them to take part in creating it!

Quiet sessions at Patchway

We know that many of our families need a much quieter environment to play and relax in. Whilst all of our group sizes are small, we also run this extra quiet session with limited family spaces.

These weekly quiet sessions aim to help young people who are particularly anxious or find it difficult to cope with busy environments. There are many reasons why these calmer sessions might suit your family. If this sounds like it could be for you then we’d love to see you there!

Incredible Girls play at Patchway

Parents and carers told us that their daughters wanted help forging friendships. This session is dedicated to girls with additional needs and their siblings. As well as having plenty of space to play in our adventure playground, our playworkers encourage girls to get messy, make slime and form strong bonds with others. These sessions take place on the first Saturday of every month.

Incredible Under 8s at Patchway

A play session aimed at young people with additional needs and their siblings below eight years old.

Child facing two tubes full of bubbles lit by a pink light.Patchway Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) support sessions

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a form of anxiety-driven autism and is characterised by avoiding things (even things you really want to do!)

Every child with PDA presents differently, some become very withdrawn while others take charge with super confidence. Finding what works for your family is the key. Join our Incredible Kids community of families and chat to those who understand.

On the last Saturday of every month our afternoon play session is dedicated to those with PDA symptoms aged 0-25 and their families. If this sounds like this could be for you, do come along tomorrow!

Who are the play sessions for?

Young people with additional needs aged 0-25 and their families are welcome. You don’t need a diagnosis to attend.

Where is it?Gated outside play area with a tuff tray full of dinosaurs and a climbing frame in the background.

Patchway Children’s Centre is at 5 Epney Cl, Patchway, Bristol.

Please note that the Google Maps postcode BS34 5LN takes you to the back of the building. We advise you to use BS34 5TF (Coniston Medical Practice), which takes you to a free carpark with easy access to the building and clear signage.

This takes them to a big free car park right next to the centre where they can access the building easily without a walk. The Google maps post code is wrong and basically takes you to the back of it

There’s plenty of on-street parking as well as three spaces directly outside the venue.

This location change is due to construction work happening at The Vench. We apologise if this causes confusion or disruption to your family. We’ll be back at The Vench in October.

Book your Patchway play session

Come and be silly, spend quality time together and connect with other families like yours. Check out all our play sessions and book.

 

The power of play: 5 methods used at Incredible Kids

At Incredible Kids, we believe that play is an essential tool for their overall development and wellbeing. Play activities have a large role in enhancing social skills and problem-solving abilities, and have the potential to shape a child’s future in remarkable ways.Two young boys in hoodies playing with pink slime.

Let’s explore the various ways in which your child can benefit from play at Incredible Kids.

  1. Sensory play

One of the key benefits of sensory play is its ability to promote brain development in young children. It involves stimulating a child’s sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound. As children engage in these activities, they make connections between different sensory experiences.

At Incredible Kids, we have a sensory-friendly studio lit by multi-coloured neon bubble tubes and disco balls. We use materials such as non-toxic gel beads, mirrors and crackling space blankets to maximise the effect of our safe and stimulating studio space.

Our playworkers understand the importance of encouraging children to explore and experiment with different materials. Whether it’s filling paddling pools with tactile objects for children to immerse themselves in or adding ingredients to slime to change its colour and texture, our playworkers are there every step of the way, cheering on their unique creations.

  1. Imaginative play

Imaginative play involves children engaging in activities where they create and explore imaginary scenarios, assuming different roles and using their creativity to transform the world around them.

Playworker and young girls around an arts and craft table outside.One way our playworkers encourage imaginative play is through the careful selection of play-aids, such as building blocks, clay, toys, costumes and art supplies.

By encouraging children to think outside the box and experiment with different combinations and structures, we can empower them to explore their imagination and boost essential developmental skills and self-esteem.

  1. Construction play

Construction play is a fundamental aspect of childhood development that involves building, constructing and manipulating objects to create various structures.

From cardboard boxes to blankets, Incredible Kids offers a wide range of materials that allow children to construct their own little havens and develop skills in collaboration and communication. By building dens, children also learn problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, and develop their fine motor skills.

Our playworkers are experts in helping children unleash their creativity and are at hand throughout our play sessions to provide children with the materials, guidance and encouragement to create a structure – be it a cosy nook with noise-cancelling headphones or a Lego town.

  1. Artistic play

Artistic play is a form of creative expression that allows children to explore their imagination and unleash their inner artist. Our playworkers regularly facilitate activities such as clay sculpting, painting, collaging and experimenting with donated supplies. Artistic play provides a platform for individuals to engage in hands-on activities that foster self-discovery and personal growth.

Young female blowing a pink piece of fabric that's draped over her face.At Incredible Kids, our dedicated crafting tables are equipped with an array of materials where children can let their imaginations run wild.

With guidance from our playworkers, children can learn various techniques from pinching, rolling, and shaping clay to bringing their ideas to life in a beautiful painting. Creating a final product to present to parents, carers and friends really boosts a child’s sense of pride and self-belief. We’re feel proud as punch, too!

  1. Scientific play

Scientific play has gained immense popularity in recent years, captivating both children and adults alike. From slime-making to bath bomb concoctions, and ooblek experiments, scientific play offers a fun-filled pathway for exploring physics and chemistry while encouraging creativity and critical thinking.

At Incredible Kids, we believe that learning should be fun and hands-on. By combining simple ingredients like glue, borax, and food colouring, our playworkers help children to create their own stretchy and squishy slime. As they mix the ingredients together, they observe how the substances transform from liquid to solid, gaining an understanding of viscosity and molecular bonding.

Join us!

Two children playing with an orange tuff trayIn conclusion, play is at the heart of everything we do at Incredible Kids. It’s our belief that through play, children can explore, learn, and grow in ways that traditional education may not always allow.

By providing a safe and inclusive environment filled with opportunities for imaginative and physical play, we aim to support children’s development in all areas – cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. Our staff constantly witness the incredible impact that play has on children’s lives – boosting their confidence and nurturing creativity.

So, come and join us at Incredible Kids and let your child experience the magic of play! We run play sessions every Friday afternoon and all day every Saturday for young people with additional needs and their families. Together, let’s create a world where every child can thrive through the power of play. Become an Incredible member and book your play sessions.

Incredible Bakers wanted! Boost our cake-fuelled community

Cupcakes next to a sign saying 'thanks to our incredible bakers'Life’s batter with cake and cake is batter enjoyed with others who understand the challenges and joy of having a young person with additional needs. At Incredible Kids, cake is the gateway to our supportive community.

10 years of cake-fuelled community

Incredible Kids first started when our founder, Jennie, and 400 families in Bristol banded together after losing access to a local disability centre. A decade later, we’re more certain than ever of the power of a cuppa and cake to strengthen community. In 2022, the amount of Incredible Bakers rose by 58% but it’s still not enough to meet the hungry demand of our weekly play sessions.

Could you be our next Incredible Baker?

We’re seeking volunteers to join our small team of bakers who contribute cakes to our play sessions for our young people with additional needs to enjoy (and to fuel their play!). Not only do our kids enjoy licking the icing, but our parents and carers truly deserve an indulgent sugar hit in good company.

Cupcakes decorated as Santa Claus

Whether you’re a professional foodie or want a creative outlet with a worthy cause, we’d love to hear from you!

What cake do we like?

We really appreciate the ease of the mighty cupcake as we’re able to hand one to each family member with little mess (or washing up!). Having said that, we don’t want to stifle your creativity – any and all forms of baked deliciousness make us happy.

When and where do we like cake?

Incredible Bakers are required to deliver their bakes to our Friday and/or Saturday inclusive play sessions for families to enjoy.

These sessions are at The Vench Adventure Playground, Romney Ave, Lockleaze, Bristol BS7 9TB.

Ready to get baking?Cupcakes decorated with gingerbread snowmen

If you’d like to become an Incredible Baker, please fill in this brief form and we’ll be in touch! If you have any questions, send us an email at contact@incrediblekids.org.uk.

Here are some fabulous snowmen and Santa cupcakes our one of our bakers made to make our Christmas party extra special!

Incredible Kids play session price change

Play session price change

We’ve had to make the difficult decision of raising the price of our play sessions from £4 to £5 as of July 21st 2023. To some it’s only a pound, but we understand that for others who attend regularly, this will tighten your family budget.Two children playing with an orange tuff tray

We’re a non-profit charity and constantly strive to better our service. Throughout the cost-of-living crisis so far, we’ve done what can to help out our families, such as offering ‘pay it forward’ and limited free ticket options to our sessions. Our £5 tickets are for the whole family, not £5 per person and we always offer complimentary cuppa and snacks at every session.

However, in a challenging fundraising environment, the time has come for our prices to alter in order to support our charity through the nation’s rising inflation.

We hope you understand. We so appreciate your support.

Could you be an Incredible Volunteer Fundraiser?

If you’d like to go the extra mile to support us and have some spare time, we’re always seeking volunteers. Our volunteer fundraisers help us ensure the smooth running of the charity behind the scenes by undertaking a wide range of small tasks. You’ll use strong communication skills to write letters and complete forms. Ideally, an Incredible Fundraiser would need to:

  • Understand the issues our families face
  • Be passionate about our charity and keen to promote our work
  • Be good at sharing issues with compassion and the right tone
  • Have basic financial skills to understand simple project budgets
  • Enjoy networking with people on social media

Incredible Kids playworker and children sliding down a sheet of green tarpaulin and smilingWhat you’d tick away at:

  • Writing applications for funding and grants
  • Searching for new opportunities, trusts and grants to apply for and communicate these to our team
  • Networking to encourage companies and trust/grant-making bodies to contribute
  • Assisting our trustees and fundraisers in implementing our strategy for fundraising
  • Use LinkedIn to raise the profile of Incredible Kids amongst companies and funders

If you’re interested in applying, please fill in our volunteer application form or get in touch if you have any queries. We’d so love to hear from you.

Find out more about where Incredible Kids began, more Incredible volunteering roles and browse and book our inclusive play sessions.

Your Incredible summer awaits – download our free calendar

Our Incredible summer schedule

Summer calendar infographic with three page grabs of a July and August calendarSchool’s almost out! We want you to keep track of all the Incredible fun on offer. We’ve created a summer calendar marked with all our Friday and Saturday inclusive play sessions for children with additional needs throughout July and August.

Now to add your own family events (or nap times) in the blank spaces to help your young one know what’s on the horizon during the long summer months.

Download your free summer calendar here

Throughout July and August we’re open with our usual plethora of events every single Friday and Saturday.

Our Friday evening play sessions start and end a little earlier during summer and run between 3pm and 6.30pm. Families are welcome to drop by and welcome in the weekend with a host of activities, relaxing opportunities and a hot meal. Food and snacks for the kids will be served at around 4.30pm.

Saturday play sessions include:

  • Quiet Session – every Saturday at 10am, limited to 7 families
  • Incredible Girls – first Saturday of the month at 11.45am, limited to 12 families
  • Incredible Under 8s – second Saturday of the month at 11.45am, limited to 12 families.
  • PDA support session – last Saturday of the month at 3.15pm, limited to 12 families

On July 8th we have a special play session dedicated to welcoming new Incredible Kids members.

Parent talking to Incredible Kids Playworker in yellow chairs outside

We’ve given our welcome packs some love and refreshed the design and information within them. All Incredible first-timers will be given a welcome pack at their first play sessions.

If you’re an Incredible old-timer and come to our sessions regularly, we’d be super grateful if you could spread the word! We’d love to welcome lots of new families who have a child with additional needs this summer.

Become a member and and book our play sessions.