It’s no secret that the last couple of years have been a strange and disorientating experience, causing huge disruption in everyone’s lives. One of the impacts of lockdown we can all agree on has been an almost universal sense of isolation that rippled throughout the population. And while the social fallout may have varied considerably from person to person, groups like children and young people with disabilities and additional needs were disproportionately impacted.
For these vulnerable individuals, who often find themselves unable to participate in mainstream activities due to their additional needs (even outside of the pandemic) the events of the last couple of years have been especially hard to deal with.
While this inadvertent exclusion from leisure activities might be something many of us are superficially aware of, it’s a social problem that needs greater awareness. So, in some ways, the pandemic may have helped give many people a greater appreciation of the sense of disconnection this vulnerable group routinely face.
Me2 Club is an inclusion charity. We train specialist volunteers, carefully pairing each one with an individual child or young adult to support them during a mainstream leisure activity they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to enjoy. These activities include the sort of things many don’t even question their child being able to participate in and might include uniform groups, sports, and social clubs. We’re proud to say that our volunteers help to give vulnerable children the opportunity to make friends, grow in confidence and experience independence – something we’re sure you’ll agree all children need.
When we asked one Me2 Club parent how their child would have been impacted if our service didn’t exist, we were told:
‘He would be experiencing social isolation and would not have made any local friends.’
And this is equally true of parents:
‘When you have a child with special needs you can lose friends and become isolated, too. Being part of Me2 Club gives you a connection to parents and we can support each other. We wouldn’t have had so much respite either, which has been a godsend!’
With 25th December just around the corner, Me2 Club is pulling out all the stops to help make some precious Christmas memories. In some cases, the opportunities we provide for children to experience something like an encounter with Father Christmas might be the only one they get. ‘This was the first time B. has been in Santa’s grotto!’ one parent told us. And it’s easy to think this is only something for younger children – but even young teens need a little magic at Christmas!
The High Sheriff of Berkshire commented:
“I feel we can all empathise a bit more with those for whom isolation is normal and not just for lockdown. Great volunteers at Me2 Club ensure our vulnerable young people access mainstream activities. It’s a privilege to meet such a life-changing organisation.”
But it’s only with your help that we can continue to do what we do best. Christmas is a time for giving, and this is a real opportunity to make a difference.
We all had a taste of isolation over the Covid lockdown – by donating to Me2 Club, you can make a positive difference to a child who may be experiencing a sense of isolation every day.
So as you think about where to donate this year, please will you make a small donation to Me2 Club‘s Christmas Pandemic Recovery Appeal, and help children with wide-ranging additional needs and disabilities to partake in the Christmas fun and the leisure activities they enjoy, safely and with confidence!
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