Until recently Wilberforce Trust have predominantly focussed on support for adults, but as an innovative charity that responds to community need, they are developing a service so that offers after school support to children with visual impairment. Families often find options for recreational activities are limited and their children are disadvantaged. So, Wilberforce would like to help plug that gap through running suitably adapted activities to provide a number of different and inclusive events and trips throughout the year that children with sight loss can attend.
The activities started in April and began with an Easter Egg Hunt. The egg hunt was specifically adapted for children with a visual impairment as eggs beeped. Blindfolds were provided to sighted siblings so that they could participate, making it an inclusive family activity. The egg hunt was also picked up by ITV Calendar who came out and filmed a mock run and interviewed the parents, children and the Head of Operations.
Through links made with the Leeds Rhinos for a donation to the Wilberforce Yorkshire Day raffle Wilberforce also received some free tickets for the families to attend a game, with access to the Community Hub in which refreshments were provided and they got to meet Ronnie the Rhino. Families were also provided dedicated seats and access to meet the players after the game at Long Bar.
Following on from this Wilberforce booked two trips on a boat, WetWheels, which took families out to sea from the Scarborough coast. Wetwheels Yorkshire is a specially adapted, fully accessible nine meter power catamaran, that has been built to enable disabled people to go out to sea. The trips are multi-sensory as they will feel the movement of the waves, the spray on their face, and the wind in their hair. They were also lucky enough to be taken to the seal colony just off the coast in which the Captain switches of the engine so that the seals swim up to the boat.
Wilberforce have also held activities at their Head Office in the form of Sam’s Safari and a crafts session. They are also supporting their local council with an after school cooking club in which the children learn new skills to develop their independence.
Wilberforce Trust have a number of future events planned and so if any charity within the Yorkshire area is aware of families that would benefit from this then please do get in touch!