Marches Family Network is a small, well established, registered charity running sessions across Herefordshire which provide a wide range of social and educational opportunities to children and young people with disabilities and their siblings. The main aims of Marches Family Network, working with over 100 families, are to offer high quality respite care services, to empower young people with disabilities and their families, to support young people to reach their full potential, to raise disability awareness and to promote social inclusion.

The specialist short breaks sessions, run by Marches Family Network since 2016, are specifically supporting children and young people with multiple and profound disabilities. These sessions are tailored to meet the individual needs of the young people and offer vital respite for parents, carers and families, helping to strengthen family resilience. They provide a variety of activities at these sessions including sports, outdoor bush craft skills, arts and crafts, cookery, music and dance, and sensory activities.

Inclusion and access to opportunities are the main challenges experienced by the families they work with. The sessions ensure that even the most vulnerable children and young people in our county can access social and leisure opportunities and that they feel included and part of something.

The demand for these sessions has increased significantly over the last few years and there is very often have a waiting list of children wanting to attend. The grant given by the Brandon Trust has enabled to sessions to continue into 2020.

“Success (of the project) would be being able to deliver the sessions and for the children and young people to have fun with their friends. The main aim of these sessions is to provide children and young people with complex disabilities opportunities to do something fun with their friends. It may seem like a very basic aim but the opportunities are just not there for these children at the moment, they are being excluded from their communities through lack of appropriate, accessible provision. Success will be happy children and happy families.”   

                

And from the above pictures it certainly looks as though they are succeeding.