Over the past couple of weeks, a few dozen families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability have been getting Paperbag Sensory and Activity Packs delivered to their doorstep. (P.S. With social distancing strictly observed)

These packs are the product of a harmonious collaboration between the forum, Manchester City Council’s Local Offer & Short Breaks teams, and Manchester-based charitable company, 4CT Limited, with input from some Manchester Parent Champions.

We thought to do this project because we’ve heard that many families are having issues managing their children’s sensory integration needs. A lot of families were also wanting for things to do with their children during the lockdown.

The Paperbag Sensory and Activity Packs contained colouring materials, small games & toys, and sensory items such as ribbon wand, slinky, textured ball and chewy/stretchy toys. It also included a “Thank you, NHS” card that can be coloured in, which we can send to the Manchester Nightingale Team or families can give to their own NHS Hero.

Feedback we have so far received have been glowing:

On behalf of my family, may I take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed and donated towards this excellent gift. Joseph and James are so appreciative and are very happy for receiving such gifts from such a wonderful people.

They are having real fun especially during this lockdown.
May The Good Lord continually bless you all and may His blessings fill your homes.

Thank you so much once again.

Mrs E Gibba
I’m very surprised by YP’s reaction he loves all the goodies. And it has really helped giving him a much needed emotional boost. He’s been using that slinky all day to concentrate on college work. Big bonus.
Mother of a Young Adult with SEND

We got Ch’s sensory bag today and I was really impressed with the contents – I live near P so they must have done round here today. Ch loves the ribbon and one of the stretch toys! There is loads of stuff in it and what Ch isn’t interested in Sib will be

[And a few days later…]

Kids still living the bag contents, great idea and thank you so much

Mother of a Boy with a Rare Condition and a Girl without SEND

She loves the Lego shaped chewy, we’ve scribbled with the coloured pens, she wanted to eat the play dough and tonight we are going to try the slinky It’s a lovely kit.

Grandmother of a Child with SEND

“Just wanted to say thank you for passing on our details for the sensory packs, lady arrived today with 2, luckily she had a spare in the car as I have 3 children. The Virtual session was really helpful so thank you for running them.”

And later on…

“They’ve loved the stretchy rubber thing and the ribbon on a stick”

Mother of 3 Children with SEND

P sent me a message to say they are brilliant & the kids are happy. She will send you proper feedback. Well done, you have made a lot of people happy

Mother of 3 Children with SEND

“the pack turned up today so thanks very much for that! There was more in it than just sensory toys Ch loved all the toys, he dived straight in and explored them all ”

“Oh I hope you get one soon! There’s lots of fun fiddle toys in it, and also a chocolate egg which Ch has scored 11/10 LOL”

Mother of a Boy with SEND in Secondary School
The sensory bags were definitely better than what I expected. It had lots of activities & toys in there. The chocolate egg being a nice surprise but might have confused some children as Easter had passed.

The variety of sensory items were fab. It covered tactile, visual etc.
Maybe a pack of crayons could have been included for children with more high needs.
The bubble wands were both girly designs but doesn’t make much difference to the twins.
Ch1 & Ch2 loved the bubble wand and the stretchy toy in particular. I liked the ribbon.

A lovely gesture to bring a smile to our faces.

Mother of 2 Children with SEND

Seen the post yesterday about the sensory packs amazing idea

Parent Who Didn't Receive a Pack

Even siblings have been enjoying the packs too!

We would again like to thank Manchester City Council’s Local Offer & Short Breaks teams for providing initial funding and family referrals, as well as the volunteers and staff from 4CT Limited for sorting out and delivering the packs.

Please see below some more lovely images that parents and carers have sent us: