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Supporting Those Who Support Others

Aug 21, 2008
Looking after a disabled child is infinitely difficult. Once you get past the initial trauma of knowing that your beloved child has some disease or disability, you then have to get on with the practical side of everyday life. This has absolutely no comparison to what most of us consider normal life.

Everything in your world, as a parent, changes from that moment onwards. While a Mini may be a suitable enough car for a couple with one child, don't even think about it when you consider the paraphernalia that accompanies a disabled child. All their essential equipment will need nothing less than a people carrier to transport it around, as well as the difficulties of access with a wheelchair. So, the transport is one of the first things to change.

Adaptations will be made to the home to cater for easier manoeuvrability and for the housing of any special equipment and sometimes even a special fridge is installed for the stocking of medicines. After a while, the family will settle into a routine. But this routine never amounts to much more than 'managing'. This is where charities play a crucial role.

If it wasn't for charities, then disabled children and their families would be highly unlikely to get a holiday, or even a break, from their everyday coping existence. Without the backing of companies such as Mini, the lottery fund and even football clubs, these charities would not be able to keep running.

The problem is that the government has limited funds and these are usually ploughed into basic, essential healthcare. However, as many parents will tell you, the breaks that are offered through these charities make life that much more bearable and also contribute towards the health and happiness of the sick child.

Charities offer help to children from low income backgrounds who do not encounter the same opportunities as some children. They also assist those who have a limited lifespan, the 75,000 children who are actually listed as carers as well as children with learning disabilities. There are a vast amount of children that would not benefit from these charities services if it wasn't for the support of more financially secure organisations.

Children all over the UK have been enjoying the work of charities since the early Sixties and the more companies that get involved and are able to help out financially, the more the lives of these disadvantaged and disabled children will be improved.

Offering a better quality of life is what it's all about. For these children who, along with their families, get by on a mere existence, bringing a little fun and widening their social life brings untold advantages to these children. Much research has been done on the effects of endorphins, the feel good hormones, on a person's state of health and well being.

Sometimes, it is the small things that make all the difference. Some children live under a cloud of violence in their own home. Constantly threatened and/or abused, they will lack in their education and rarely see the fun side of life. These children are often taken by the non-abusive parent to a place of safety with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Charities will provide toys and books for these children to bring a little normality into their lives while they settle and re-adjust to another life, free from oppression.

Providing toys for these children is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundraising is a continuous necessity to make sure children of all sorts of backgrounds have some fun in their lives - who could begrudge them this?
About the Author
Childcare expert Catherine Harvey looks at how Mini support the work of children's charity, Kids Out.
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