We know that many families of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) are having issues managing their children’s sensory integration needs while the children out of school and having little or no access to services that can help meet these needs. A lot of us SEND families are also wanting for things to do with the children during the lockdown, which can be extra hard due to our children’s complex needs.
It is for these reasons that we thought of doing the “Paperbag Sensory and Activity Packs”.
The Paperbag Sensory and Activity Packs contain colouring materials, small games & toys, and sensory items such as ribbon wand, slinky, textured ball and chewy/stretchy toys. It also includes a “Thank you, NHS” card that your child can colour in, which we can send to the Manchester Nightingale Team or families can give to their own NHS Hero.
After the successful pilot of the programme – which was the result of a fruitful collaboration between the forum, Manchester City Council’s Local Offer & Short Breaks teams, and 4CT Limited – we are pleased to say that we were given a grant by Forever Manchester through their Community Support Fund. Through this grant, which was kindly match-funded by Manchester City Council, we were able to deliver a second batch of packs to 300 more families.
Following the success of the first two runs of this project, the city council has now funded 5000 sensory kits for all children and young people in the city with an EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan. This is a very welcome support for these families, specially with the upcoming summer holidays.
We would again like to thank all partners – Manchester City Council, Forever Manchester, 4CT Limited, IASM (Information, Advice and Support Manchester), and the Parent Champions – for their involvement in this project.