We’re a charity for special needs and disabled children, promoting inclusion and improving life skills and opportunities through respite clubs, outreach and advocacy
Embrace launched in August 2014 with a parent support group. The parents told us they needed some respite support so later that year we set up a Saturday club for the children to make friends and give their parents a break.
In Feb 2015 we moved into the Hive at Eastbourne Mencap and were happy in our new home for a year. Eastbourne Mencap then gave us a week’s notice that we have to leave as they needed their building back for themselves. It looked likely that Embrace would have to close and the children would be left with nothing. We searched all local community centres that would allow us to hire just for the Saturday, but there was nothing available that would accommodate the children’s needs that would allow us to rent on those terms.
The trustees found a suite in The Old Printworks and moved in there, taking out a long lease. Our new landlords were very supportive and within the year offered to build us a bespoke Embrace Centre out of an old garage they had. They even supported us with it financially to an extent. The Embrace Centre is now a thriving charity both in the community, online and at the centre.
Our CEO and founder has become the Eastbourne Borough Council disability champion and the lead member for Equality and Community Safety for the Council. Embrace are also a multi award winning charity with partners all over the country and a huge amount of local support.
Since the pandemic there have been lots of changes to how Embrace operates, but we haven’t lost our driving force ‘because no child should feel alone’.
What We Do:
Embrace has a number of exciting development projects which directly reflect the need of the families and young people we support and care for. The projects are based around:
Developing independence and life skills
Providing our children with occupational, behavioural & speech therapies, counselling and practising mindfulness.
Developing communication skills, equality and understanding to the families we support.
Supporting families to appeal for the right support from completing EHCP forms and benefit advice to school appeals.
Providing much needed day respite, sessions when the care package has seen a 25% drop in care and respite allowance our service is needed more than ever.
Supporting children who are still shielding, isolated or not in school with our homeschool packs tailored to the needs of each child.
Outreach to families beyond Sussex who need advice or support, our furthest clients are in Manchester.
How you can help:
We are asking for donations to go towards our total target of £25,000 raised through events and funders to create an accessible multi sensory communication room ‘Magic Room’, which will be computer and projection operated. This safe environment and fully immersive room will help the children with additional needs attending the Embrace centre to thrive again. It will help us support our children by creating engaging learning and communication experiences from a range of communication aids supported by the digital system. We will be able to develop personally designed sensory play to optimise children's experiences and will provide therapeutic benefits such as music, speech and language.
During the pandemic families and children we support and many others in the community were left without the services they need for regular care or support and became more isolated than ever. Embrace offers support to both parents and children, by installing the magic room we can slowly build that support again, develop communication skills in children and reach the forgotten families within our community by giving them a safe, clean and calm environment which for some still, is their only support contact.
We will be the only pre-book community magic room to support new ways of communication and play. We will work with therapists, other local respite and care charities who, along with Embrace’s children will use the room to support their therapy and care work which will lead to more collaborative work in the future. Exploring digital communication and supporting therapy has derived and thrived since the pandemic, contact is still limited and staying safe is imperative, but learning, play and therapy needs to continue especially to the communities most vulnerable.
After a successful injection of core cost funding from the lottery to bring us back after lockdown which means we can now start the funding for the Magic Room, which we know will provide an amazing communication experience to the young people and families we support.