Local community group, Hi-5TalkTimeCafe is celebrating with a Party on 11 June 2019 after being awarded £5,350 in National Lottery funding to support its fabulous work with families and their pre-school children with additional needs in Cornwall & Devon. The weekly ‘Pop Up’ Tuesday café is based at London House, 35 on The Strand, Bude.
The money will be used for the development of their service to these families including providing specialised Sensory equipment, Makaton signing, Baby Massage courses and Information Hub.
The group was started in January 2017 by Carolyn Slingsby, Maria Sturt and Jan Taylor who all had Living Experience of additional needs within their own families, two losing their children 30 years ago and one currently bringing up her 15-year-old Down Syndrome grandson following his mum’s death; they realised there was nowhere for parents/carers to have some precious ‘Their Time’ and respite, which all three would have welcomed themselves all those years ago. They now have 8 volunteers supporting the cafe.
The group began with one family and now supports a dozen from both Cornwall and Devon. The weekly Tuesday café is not a playgroup but a safe and non-judgmental environment in which parents/carers can chat/laugh/cry/share information over a cuppa and lovely homemade cake for a couple of hours (10.30 – 12.30) in term-time while watching their children enjoy exploring the sensory equipment and toys. There is no charge, but £1 per adult is requested towards refreshments. An invaluable ‘Information Hub’ table is available from which parents can take information or add to from any of their own experience. Makaton singing and signing and baby massage are a regular feature.
One of the keys to this growing group is that no formal Diagnosis is required. The other important key is the very warm welcome for anyone who would like to step over the doorstep and see for themselves what Hi-5TalkTimeCafe is all about. The group has a great family atmosphere with friendships being formed between the parents, carers, volunteers and amongst the children. New families are always very welcome as well as mums/dads, whose children have now gone on to their special needs school and need some of that ‘Me Time’ for a couple of hours.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will sustain the group for the coming year whilst they also work on an ambitious exciting new expansion plan to meet future needs.
The group says a big thank you to National Lottery players for helping spread more enjoyment and support amongst their lovely families.
One regular is Dana. She says:
We go to Hi-5 TTC every week and find it absolutely invaluable to our family. My daughter has ANSD (auditory neouropathy spectrum disorder) hyper mobility & sensory processing disorder, so it is a safe place where she can play and interact with other kids without worry or stress,.
The people who run it are fantastic and you will leave feeling like you have gained family, as there is always a shoulder to cry on or someone to celebrate your child’s achievement no matter how small it may seem to others. It gives me a chance to speak to other parents about the pleasure, troubles and turmoils that raising a child with a disability brings. It’s a place where we can get information and help, and it’s our safe place to express our feelings of frustration or joy with no fear of judgement, only support and love – plus, they have the most amazing cake made by the most fantastic lady, to eat while you laugh or cry!
It really is the most lovely place and we love it!
What an accolade and well-done to the group on their funding success! See photos of the Christmas Party here.