Brighton Pebbles offers access to children's activities and play centres for those with special needs.
Being the parent of a disabled child can be an isolating experience. Many mainstream play centres are unable to accept children identified as having special needs, so families struggle to connect with others.
But Brighton Pebbles is one group aiming to change that, by offering weekly drop in sessions, events and activities exclusively for families with special needs or disabled children.
Run as a local Brighton & Hove charity by parent carers, the group particularly welcomes children with major learning disabilities, severe autism and challenging behaviors.
A National Lottery grant has helped Brighton Pebbles create facilities including soft play, a sports hall, sensory area, outdoor space, plus boxes full of dressing up clothes, toys and games. Importantly, there is also a café space for parents to sit and have a hot drink and a chat.
Lottery funding also allows the centre to employ playworkers to help with each session and encourage the children with various activities.
Sessions are scheduled for weekends and school holidays, and there are regular days out, short breaks and holidays slotted in throughout the year. Plus, monthly parent lunches and evenings out are organised, so carers can get together to share experiences and support one another.
The volunteers at Brighton Pebbles recognise the difficulties and loneliness that can result in being excluded from everyday activities – for both parent and child – and are working hard to create a place where families can be supported, understood and allowed to have fun!
For more information about Brighton Pebbles support group visit their website