We are celebrating and wanted to share our fantastic news! Kangaroos has been awarded £249,919 over 3 years in National Lottery funding to support young people living with learning disabilities.
The funding will be used to continue to run our No Limits group – a social and recreational programme for young adults with learning disabilities. It will also initiate a new family support project, which aims to end the isolation experienced by parents and carers looking after a child with special needs in Mid Sussex.
About No Limits
No Limits is our social and recreational programme for young adults with learning disabilities. Members enjoy a range of activities with their friends in a supported environment. The sessions, which usually run in the evenings, holidays and at weekends, offer activities and outings many of their age group take for granted.
We organise pamper and craft evenings, discos and trips to local pubs, restaurants and the theatre. All activities are designed to be fun, help members with their social and life skills, and give them confidence in the local community. New initiatives for the group in 2020 included setting up a ‘Dinner Club’ to provide an opportunity for members to plan and execute a meal together. Our youth forum gives all of our young people the opportunity to input their ideas and choose activities for the forthcoming programmes.
Due to the pandemic and for safety reasons, sessions are temporarily being run online, but these still enable our young people to communicate with each other and take part in pre-planned activities. Face-to-face activities will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. Without this project young adults with learning disabilities suffer from isolation with very little opportunity for a social life.
“The only time I socialise with peers is at organised events like No limits. I would otherwise lead an isolated social life.” A member of No Limits.
About our new family support project
In the summer of 2019, we conducted some research with the following objective: To look at the support needs of parent carers and identify gaps in current service provision across Mid Sussex with a view to considering possible new services that Kangaroos could provide.
We gathered information from a variety of sources, including other voluntary organisations and parents and carers. It came across very clearly that parent carers generally feel extremely isolated when they realise that their child has special needs. Getting additional help and services to support their child’s education and care needs can be extremely daunting; often people don’t know where to turn to for help.
Emotional support for parents and carers is extremely important. Looking after a young person with learning disabilities and complex needs can be incredibly isolating. Parents and carers describe feeling ‘shunned’, ‘ignored’ or ‘left out’ when attending mainstream groups and activities and find it difficult to integrate. The Family Support Group is being set up to address the isolation felt by so many families. Kangaroos is a place where forgotten families can find their kindred spirits and be part of a community that understands the path they are walking.
In 2021, as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be launching the following:
- A regular coffee morning to network and share information
- Regular evening events with speakers
- An increased offering of 0-5 stay and play sessions
- Sharing more information on Kangaroos facebook page and website
- More Family Days with fun activities and coach trips
- Sibling sessions to support their needs
About The National Lottery Community Fund
The National Lottery Fund is the largest community funder in the UK. They are proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, they have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
The National Lottery is passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything they do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, the funding is open to everyone. The National Lottery Fund is privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
Kangaroos, established in 1994, was founded by a small group of parents caring for children with learning disabilities who wanted their young people to access and enjoy the same after school activities and opportunities that mainstream school children enjoyed. The group began as a play scheme for 6 children. Twenty-seven years on, the charity offers ten age-specific clubs to over 200 children and adults with a wide range of additional needs, as well as trips out and overnight stays. Kangaroos provides valuable opportunities for members to socialise, while at the same time giving respite to carers.