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Supporting Xtra Special Familes

The Citizen supports Xtra Special Families

The Citizen Fund has awarded £1,374 to the Supporting Xtra Special Families Project to enhance their Holiday Fun Sessions for families living with disabilities or additional needs. The 3 brilliant workshops included an Umbanda drumming workshop, a visit from a mobile farm and an interactive music workshop.

About Supporting Xtra Special Families

Supporting Xtra Special Families is a small voluntary group currently supporting families who have children with a range of special needs. The group has been running since November 2013 and runs a number of events in the school holidays for families to attend.

Everyone join in

Milton Keynes Community Foundation was lucky enough to visit Brooklands Pavilion and experience for ourselves the wonderful atmosphere and inclusive fun that the project encourages.

When we arrived, we got straight into the spirit of the day and joined in Paul and Holly’s Rhythm and Rhyme  interactive music workshop that encourages parents and carers to sing and imagine with their children. Paul and Holly use fantastic brightly coloured instruments and props to create an atmosphere that is so inviting it would be hard not to join in. Before we knew it, we were following the music makers around the Pavilion, singing The Grand Old Duke of York, playing the tambourine, and enjoying the magical bubbles that seemed to appear for every song.

Alongside the music workshop, the main hall was full of bouncy castles and soft play activities that everyone seemed to really enjoy.
We spoke to some of the parents who attended the day and found out how important it is for them to have activities that the whole family can attend.

"My son is autistic and visually impaired, it's great to come to this project as it gives him structure which he needs and he relishes.  It's nice to be able to chill and be in an accepting environment" - John, a parent

We also spoke to one of the young volunteer mentors Tom who has Asperger's Syndrome.

"When I was younger I felt uncomfortable, overwhelmed and alienated. I had all the stuff that  general kids have to deal with and this too. I want to let these kids know to be open minded and to be themselves"

Ruth from Supporting Xtra Special Families  said:
“I found having a child with additional needs that in the summer holidays, everything stops or there were activities but they were either for special needs children or for children without special needs. That's the reason we set up the group, our group encourages parents to bring siblings too, everyone's welcome, which is easier for parents too."

We certainly think it worked well and hope Supporting Xtra Special Families continues with their fantastic work. To find out more about their Fun Days click here to visit their Facebook page.