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New centre for Westminster's disabled children helps parents

Date: 
Wed, 31/07/2019

The Tresham Centre, in Lisson Grove is a centre opened to relieve some of the pressures of raising disabled children by offering; support and advice for parents and a safe space for children with disabilities to play.

The new Westminster centre was opened by the TV personality Alan Gardner, from the Channel 4 programme Autistic Gardner, to represent the Special educational needs and disability (SEND) community. The Westminster City Council run centre will be open 7 days a week, during term time and holidays, for 250 children although this number is likely to increase and the service will support disabled children and young people aged up to 18 in their development.

The new dedicated children's centre includes:

  • a new soft play/sensory room
  • new furnishings and toys throughout
  • building adjustments to make it more accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility needs
  • and a dedicated office for the parents’ forum “Make it Happen”

Through the centre, Westminster City Council not only show their commitment to supporting SEND people but their dedication to engaging with the community since the idea for the one-stop hub followed wide consultation with local parents who outlined their wish list.

On the topic, Councillor Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Family Services and Public Health, said:

“At the heart of this facility are the ideas and help that the families told us they wanted for their children and themselves.”

“With this new centre, which is a one stop-shop for families and their children, we’re delivering on a promise to improve lives."

Hend Rahman, chair of Make It Happen, the Special Educational Needs (SEN) parent/carer forum, helped contribute ideas to the forum and the chair of the forum described the service as a life saver.

Her 13 year old son who was diagnosed with epilepsy and ADHD, said: “It’s tremendous, we can’t survive the school holidays. For parents with special needs children it is difficult to use mainstream services as they don’t have the play skills."

“So this is very exciting and the children can play in a safe environment and be stimulated rather than sitting in a park."

Contributed by Isaac Saliu

 

Last updated: 31 July 2019