Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Submitted by: Ward Williams Financial Svs

Description

Children with disabilities are often excluded from the sports, fun and games which their peers take for granted. They might need extra supervision at school, or their parents might not have the time or financial resources to arrange extra-curricular activities.

KEEN London believes that no child should miss out on the benefits of taking part in sport and other recreational activities. Our unique, free service gives over 120 disabled children in London the chance to make friends, develop new skills, gain confidence and have as much fun as they can! We run weekly sessions in three locations in London, during term-time, as well as annual Spring and Summer residential trips.

KEEN London is the only charity in the capital where children with disabilities (our 'athletes') are paired one-to-one with a trained volunteer coach to enjoy a range of sports and games. This means that every athlete gets the undivided attention of a coach and can enjoy their time with KEEN to the maximum. It also means that parents and carers can enjoy valuable respite time knowing their child is being cared for in a safe and supported environment. We are open to children with all levels and ranges of physical, learning and behavioural difficulties.

One of our parents told us, "KEEN London has become an essential part of our lives as parents of children with special needs. There are no such clubs widely available in London and KEEN has given us the ability as parents, as well as our children, to be ourselves without fear of being judged or looked at differently."

In Spring 2018, we would like to take 18 athletes for a two-night trip to the Norfolk coast. For many, this will be their first time staying away from home - a huge step for any child, let alone one with disabilities.

On the trip to Kingswood Activity Centre, KEEN athletes will have the chance to enjoy orienteering, shelter-building, archery and bushcraft. In the evenings, they will build campfires and sing songs. Growing up in Central London, this will be a rare expedition for our athletes to enjoy some time at the beautiful Norfolk coast. They will make new friends, have new experiences and make memories to last a lifetime. All the time, they will receive one-to-one support from our team of trained volunteer coaches.

An award of £5000 will cover the costs of 18 athletes and 24 coaches attending the Kingswood Centre for two nights, plus travel costs.

Our annual parent survey tells us about the impact of KEEN London on the lives of our athletes; in the most recent survey, parent satisfaction was 100%. The survey also measured improvements in skills and behaviours of KEEN athletes. The highest rated improvements were in self-esteem, social interaction, teamwork and communication.

We know the great difference KEEN London can make to the life of a disabled child, but this is perhaps best illustrated by the feedback from our parents.

"My daughter who has autism and muscle dystrophy talks about her time at KEEN endlessly. The coaches are all very experienced and help the kids and encourage them to get involved or just talk to them and listen. In the summer, my daughter went to her first residential trip for two days. She had so much fun and still talks about it to this day." Stella, Emma's mum

"From the night hikes with torches to the canoeing to all the songs and toasted marshmallows, Ernie is slowly letting us into his magical camp away. Hats off to the KEEN team who have once again cut to the core of all the noise around disability and seen what the child is, wants and needs to be engaged with the world around them and learn about real fun. Thank you, thank you, thank you to KEEN for including, engaging with and loving Ernie as he deserves to be seen and cared for." Clare, Ernie's mum (following a KEEN London residential trip).

Please help our athletes create unique memories that will last a lifetime!

KEEN LONDON

Location: London

KEEN London changes the lives of disabled children and their families. Its committed and enthusiastic team of Co-ordinators and volunteers dedicate their time to making sure every KEEN athlete feels valued as an individual, learns new skills and, most importantly, has as much fun as possible.
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