Charities working together to support Calderdale families

Calderdale charity Unique Ways has recently inherited resources from Grow Big, a Halifax-based sensory play charity that has been unable to continue following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 6:00 pm
Nicola Hanson, Membership Co-Ordinator with Unique Ways with the Sensory ‘Colour Carnival’ themed kit.

The new resources will form part of the toy and sensory equipment library, which enables parents and carers of disabled children to access resources to support their child’s development. When they arrived a request was made almost immediately by a local family for play resources to support their disabled child in isolation prior to an operation.

Unique Ways were able to offer a whole colour carnival set of resources, many of which came from Grow Big, to help alleviate some of his disappointment at missing his last few exciting weeks of term and help prevent boredom, frustration and increased anxiety whilst waiting for his operation.

Unique Ways supports families with disabled children by offering free 1-1 support from specialist practitioners with tasks such as filling in complex forms to access financial and other support; navigating legal processes to ensure children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have appropriate support in school; and practical help for parents of children who struggle to sleep.

Shona Walsh, Chief Executive Officer with Unique Ways said: “We are delighted to benefit from these sensory resources. It does come tinged with some regret that the voluntary sector has lost an excellent organisation like Grow Big. However, they have left a fantastic legacy.

"We will ensure that Calderdale families can still access these fantastic resources and experience the amazing benefits of sensory play. We’ve also benefitted in attracting a wonderful new member of the team in our Membership Co-ordinator Nicola, who formerly worked with Grow Big”.

Nicola said: “We are thrilled that the great work and legacy of Grow Big will go on as these resources will continue to benefit children in the area and support their development. We have so many plans for our resource library. I have joined the team at Unique Ways at an exciting time, we are evolving to continue to meet the needs of families and the challenges specifically created by the pandemic. I’ve found the team so full of energy and passion. We know we have a busy time ahead as demand has risen following the pandemic, but we are keen to do all we can to support families locally”.

Unique Ways have seen a significant increase in Calderdale families joining them in the last few months. All the practitioners are parent carers themselves, and understand many of the challenges faced by members first hand. This is one of the things that makes the charity unique and valued.

Unique Ways is free to join, children do not need to have a diagnosis as it is a needs-based service. The organisation aims to help children reach their full potential and provide support to the parents and carers at all stages of their journey.