What's on for kids with Cerebral Palsy
Parents raising children with Cerebral Palsy undoubtedly have a tough time finding fun activities that take their child's special requirements into account. However, across Northern Ireland there are a host of groups and programmes that specialise in just that. Here are a few that we found.
Over the past decade the Cedar Foundation’s Youth Matters Service has helped more than 800 young people with physical and sensory conditions access opportunities to develop their confidence and self-esteem in social environments. The fun-packed activities and programmes are provided across the Belfast, South Eastern and Northern Health and Social Trusts.
Youth Matters create the perfect environment for children with cerebral palsy to thrive in. Activities are designed around the young people who access them and include things like laser quest, pantomime trips, cinema trips, film making, traveling abroad and adventure sport. You can learn more about Youth Matters Service here or contact them directly on 02890461834 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cedar Foundation's other services
The Cedar Foundation offer a wide range of other services for children with special requirements. There is a transition service to help children and families make decisions about their life after school. They also offer one to one social and emotional support to enable children to access social and recreational activites. You can learn more about these services here.
International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF)
Northern Ireland compete in the IFCPF competitions including Inter-Continental Games, European Championships and World Championships. Unsurprisingly, our wee country is rather good, ranking 13th in the world. Run by the Irish Football Association (IFA), the various programmes are perfect for children with Cerebral Palsy that have a passion for sport and a willingness to reach their full potential.
The Lighthouse trust are a Donaghadee based summer school that operate an 8 week programme for children with Cerebral Palsy. They specialise in conductive education, a learning method developed in Budapest that aims to develop children’s potential; physically, socially and intellectually. The Lighthouse trust aim to develop a child’s mobility and social skills such as washing, feeding, toileting and dressing. The programme also includes learning through fun content that is tailored to each child depending on their interests, needs and skills.
*EDIT* Unfortunately the Lighthouse Trust was removed from the NI charity register in January 2019 and is no longer active.
Disability Sport NI Boccia
Boccia has been a Paralympic sport since the mid-1980s and is especially designed for disabled athletes that have issues with loco-motor function. There are 7 Boccia clubs in Northern Ireland that provide the opportunity to play both recreationally and competitively. You can learn more about it here.
Ask The Community
Parents of children with Cerebral Palsy that don't join online community groups really should. Mums NI and Mumsnet are fantastic resources for tips and advice from other parents of disabled children and if there's events or programmes for children with Cerebral Palsy you'll likely find news about them there first. Don't worry dads, both of the aforementioned forums are very father friendly.
Do you know of any fun events or programmes for children with Cerebral Palsy that we missed out? Let us know by email at email@example.com and we'll add them to our list!