Shining the Spotlight - Swings and Smiles

We are really proud of our members and will jump at every chance to shout about them and their achievements! This is a dedicated place to showcase members and to shine the spotlight on their projects.

A young girl plays in a brightly coloured play roomThis time we're looking at Swings & Smiles. 

How it works

Swings & Smiles provides opportunities for children with special needs and their families to play.  It offers a unique environment where the whole family feels supported and where they can spend quality time together.  Our services include play sessions, sibling support and outreach.

Swings & Smiles’ mission is to support children and young people with special needs and their families to be happy, have fun and feel included.

Our centre is situated in West Berkshire however sibling support groups and outreach take place within a 40 mile radius of here.  Any child age 0-19 years with special needs is welcome to join us.

What has been achieved?

In the last 4 years Swings & Smiles has supported over 400 families to come and play at the centre.  In 2018 a fabulous new outdoor area was installed and now provides even more opportunity for play, all of it is accessible, and includes a variety of swings, a slide, trampoline, various sensory areas and mini-golf.  Outreach has provided more than 200 hours of sensory play sessions in the community, travelling across Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.  Sibling support is a priority too, with regular drop-ins at the centre now available twice a month and a six week programme being delivered in schools so that as many brothers and sisters can receive the practical and emotional support that they deserve

Next steps

  • To build upon the success that has already been achieved by offering more sessions so that increased numbers of children and families can attend the centre.  This will involve working with children, families and other professionals to make sure that what is being delivered is what is required.
  • To increase the outreach offer, both in terms of going out to more settings and to deliver across a wider geographical area.  For outreach to also be able to support more families in their own homes.
  • For sibling support to increase so that more groups can be run in schools and more children are able to attend the drop-in sessions at the centre.  For the older siblings to have groups and a service that is distinctively different to that that is run for the younger ones.
  • To meet the needs of a wide range of children with a variety of additional needs, staff may need to specialise in certain areas and activities might have to be tailored to work for indiviudal children so that opportunity for fun and play are maximised.

More information

office@swingsandsmiles.co.uk  01635 285170

Website: www.swingsandsmiles.co.uk

Twitter:@swingsandsmiles