We are a small local charity established in 2002 by four young mothers who understood the challenges families faced in modern day life. We deliver a service for children with disabilities, children and families who live in poverty or are at a disadvantage and we offer an holistic approach to helping families meet the challenges that they are up against today in society such as poverty, financial difficulties, mental wellbeing challenges and parenting skills
30% of our children live in poverty in Neath Port Talbot. This needs to change! We want to be part of this change and make sure that children don’t continue to live in poverty.
The money raised will help fund one of parenting workers to continuing helping children and families that are finding it hard in this difficult time. Helping parents to upskill, retain or find employment. Supporting them with the care of their children and making sure the children get the best start in their little lives. Being there when nobody else is there.
We have so many support services that if they disappear so many families and children will be left without any help that will make such a difference to their families.
Sasha - explains all
Dear Fellow Parent/Carer,
It is always hard to start these things because you do not know how much info to put in, how people will take it, if the person reading this will believe the following words. This is because we have faced judgment in almost everything we have ever done on nearly a daily basis; but not here. With the many services at Building Blocks no matter what you or your child take part in there is not an ounce of judgement; just a friendly caring face with the knowledge and advice to help empower you to keep fighting, keep trying and to let you know you are not alone.
My son is on the ASD and ADHD Pathway and has separation anxiety. This makes our everyday life challenging and sometimes the joys of the outside world seems unattainable. Before and at the beginning of our journey I was branded a bad parent by my son's school, my friends, other parents at his school and I spent years believing this. Although, I never stopped trying to find ways to make it easier for my son, trying to learn everything I could, I reached breaking point and I needed help. I contacted TAF who then forwarded me onto Building Blocks.
At first, although I was in need of help, I felt lost and unsure what to say, to ask for etc… but the team were amazing. They knew the questions to ask, how to phrase them to make you feel that this is all going to be ok and to guide you towards the services you may need. From the meeting it was concluded that my son would access "Wellbeing for Me" and I would access "Forward Steps" as well as having some sessions off Julie Howes; the play therapist. I cannot express in words how this changed both our lives for the better.
My son's separation anxiety meant he couldn't really join in with leisure groups/activities because he would want me to stay and it took a couple of weeks for him to feel comfortable to even join in with the basics, like introducing himself. We tried loads of things but nothing worked, no NHS guidelines, no games, rewards or encouragement from the group leaders would help. Till we met Caitlin. Caitlin was my son's 1 to 1 at "Wellbeing for Me" she was so patient, understanding, supportive, caring and excellent at finding new ways to help my boy. We worked on ways for me to be present but apart, then she found a game he enjoyed and we used that as a method to make it easier for him to stay and for me to leave. When things got tricky again, Caitlin thought of using a timer with my face on, to make the abstract concept of time into a physical thing so my boy could understand. We now use the timer at home, in my son's school, out and about.
● He now goes swimming with an instructor...without me!
● He now can do time outs...without me hanging off the door!
● He can now do tasks...without me forcing him to sit and keep at it!
● He can now stop tasks...without him having a meltdown!
● He now has less anxiety around things if he knows a stop time!
● Most importantly my son has confidence in himself!
This and so much more is possible due to the continued support, resources, trying new ideas and purely not giving up on my son by Caitlin. We will forever be thankful to her and what she has done. As well as all the staff because if my son did not feel comfortable and safe there, no matter what was tried, he would not have stayed or been so at ease there. Don't get me wrong we still have bad days, the method doesn't always work or my son flat out breaks the timer but through "Forward Steps" I know I have other techniques available and I am right to believe in myself that I am not failing at parenting my son. Having access to the courses and sessions with "Forward Steps" was so empowering to know that what I knew was along the right tracks, I was given the correct/professional words to use in school meetings and most importantly they gave me the confidence to believe in myself. It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation to myself. We were free to use these sessions to talk about our own experiences and pass on our ideas in connection to the information we were learning about. All the staff were helpful, insightful and valued what we had to say which, I personally, have never really felt until I came to Building Blocks.
This whole package made me feel like a parent again. Made me feel more than a carer to a boy that can be hard work and will continue to face difficult times but as a loving mum that has the support of this fantastic service behind her. I wish this service could last forever yet, as you will find out the door is never closed. They make a point of saying: “if you ever need us we are on the other end of the phone”. This is massive to myself because I am a single parent with next to no family support, so just having a point of contact is vital in helping me not feel so isolated. I can not thank everyone at Building Blocks enough and I know you will get the support you need from them.
From, Sasha a fellow parent of Building Blocks.