Children in Need

I CAN awarded £36,700 by BBC Children in Need

We are delighted to announce that BBC Children in Need has awarded us a grant of £36,700 over three years. The grant funded a summer holiday club for I CAN’s Meath School in Ottershaw, Surrey.

I CAN’s ‘Holiday Club’ offers our pupils the opportunity to develop their confidence, independence, and social skills through a planned programme of activities in a supported environment. The project is run by specialist staff and volunteers and is also offered to other local children with severe speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) who are supported in surrounding mainstream schools.

1.4 million children in the UK have long-term, persistent SLCN; of these children, 1% (140,000 nationally) have a severe and complex language disorder. I CAN’s Meath School supports children with this diagnosis who primarily struggle understanding or using language, and have problems developing and using the muscles necessary for speech.

With the support of BBC Children in Need, we will be able to continue running the Holiday Club, funding specialist staff and resources. The project will be providing activities designed to engage children with SLCN, developing confidence in their speech and communication abilities. The first Holiday Club ran on Monday 24 July 2017 and was attended by around 30 children each day.

Although language difficulties are these children’s primary disability, many also have additional yet associated difficulties. This combination of needs means that they struggle to take part in activities, to participate with other children or engage with adults, to manage their emotions or to self-care independently. In order to progress past these difficulties, children with severe speech and language disorders need specialist help and a supported environment.

Janet Dunn OBE, Principal at Meath School said; “We really appreciate the generous support of BBC Children in Need. The Holiday Club is so important for helping children with severe language needs to develop skills and confidence they need to help them transition between school and their local communities. We are excited about running this project straight after the end of term, to really engage with children at the beginning of the summer holidays. ”