ELHAP: Helping disabled children to be happy, healthy and more resilient through the COVID crisis
ELHAP is providing adventure play to almost 300 children and young people with disabilities in East London through the pandemic. At our 5-acre adventure playground and wild woodland, they can fly through the trees on the zip-wire, build dens, go on bug hunts... and forget all about COVID for the day.
The pandemic has been challenging and, in many cases, deeply traumatic for many of our users. ELHAP has been a life-line to them throughout, providing friendship, fresh air, fun and normality at a time when so much of their lives feels abnormal. But many of our income streams have been decimated by the crisis, and we desperately need your donations to be able to continue supporting our community.
Help children with disabilities to experience the joys of adventure play and be happier and healthier through the pandemic.
Please donate today.
The Power of Play
Research shows that play is vital for healthy child development - it boosts emotional and physical well-being and helps build confidence, social skills, creativity and resilience. During Lock-down 2 the government has kept playgrounds open, recognising the power of play. But public playgrounds are "off limits" for most children with disabilities and complex needs due to accessibility issues and the risks of contracting COVID (many have health conditions that make them more vulnerable. ) As a result, they are effectively trapped at home outside school hours, feeling isolated and anxious.
Why we need your support
ELHAP has been a life-line to 100's of children and young people through the pandemic, providing adventure play at the weekends and through the holidays. We were over-joyed to welcome our users back after Lockdown 1 and we intend to stay open through the difficult months ahead. We have transformed our vast woodland site into multiple Play-Zones, which enable our users to continue enjoying the freedom and space of outdoor adventure play whilst staying safe within their support bubbles.
We will incur major costs over the difficult months ahead as a result of the measures we have to put in place to keep the children safe - from cleaning and infection control, PPE for staff, additional outdoor toilet and washing facilities, to increased maintenance of our grounds to ensure it is safe and accessible. This has come at a time when many of our income streams have been badly hit by the pandemic.
Our £5,000 target will give a fantastic boost help us cover these costs.
How we're making a difference
Here is some of the feed-back we have received from families, which gives an insight into how our work has impacted on their lives:
"My child was up at 4am this morning, because they were so excited to go to ELHAP!"
"ELHAP has been a Godsend for us. Thank you for being so great!"
“A big thank you for your wonderful support and kindness. Each and every one of you are heroes for coming into ELHAP during the virus pandemic and your effects and dedication are greatly appreciated."
“ELHAP re-opening has saved my sanity.”
Please do check out our website for more information www.elhap.org.uk and watch this inspiring 2-minute film https://youtu.be/BXA41FLTZ2g to get an insight into the fun, games and magic at ELHAP during the winter months!
On behalf of the 100's of children and young people and their families who benefit from our support, warmest thanks to you all.