Menphys is a charity which supports disabled children, young people and their families in Leicester and Leicestershire. Our mission is to deliver a quality service that values the views and enables the voice of disabled children, young people and their families. We aim to provide a range of holistic and empowering services so that disabled young people can take part fully in their community and have the same choices, opportunities and experiences as other children. From clubs and activities to work placement opportunities, Menphys creates an environment where disabled children can develop independence and explore accessible activities which develop their ability rather than focussing what they are unable to do.
There is a significant need for out-of-school clubs and activities for children and young people with disabilities and much needed respite time for parents, carers and their siblings. Following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Menphys would like to provide immediate support to help disadvantaged families. Menphys would like to run two Saturday Clubs for 8-25 years old at our Menphys Hub, South Wigston, due to a growing waiting list and the current success of our Saturday Clubs based in Beaumont Leys. Menphys project coordinator Janice Billington will be delivering this vital service to special education needs and disabled children, young people and their families. Janice and the team are passionate about ensuring children and young people with additional needs get the vital support they need. Menphys pride themselves in providing a wide range of fun, needs – led activities designed to promote social interaction, communication and choice whilst developing confidence, self belief and independence skills within a friendly inclusive environment. These activities would include accessible sports, arts and crafts, cookery, gardening, Lego/K’nex, music, yoga and dance, sensory experiences, textiles, celebratory experiences (eg Mother's Day), film and theatre events and leisure use of IT. The funding will create opportunities and skills which children and young people with disabilities would not normally be able to experience at school or other clubs.
The outcomes for children and young people with disabilities attending the clubs are expected to include; increased independence, social engagement, interaction and social skills, new skills learned, improved self-esteem, confidence and positive emotions and increased physical activity levels. The clubs would promote interaction with others and aim to build meaningful friendships and gives parents more confidence to allow their children to try new things.
A further benefit of the Saturday clubs would be respite-time for families, which improves support and positive social, emotional and mental health benefits. The respite time also enables parents/carers to engage with their other siblings in quality activities and socialise with others to establish supportive social networks.
Volunteers who support Menphys services also improve their skills for their future opportunities, employability and community engagement whilst contributing to a much needed charity for the disabled community.
Following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Menphys have been forced to suspend all face to face services and have adopted our services provided to support special education needs and disabled children, young people and their families by delivering Homecare Packages. These packages include providing them with care and educational items with food packages for our most vulnerable families delivered directly to their homes.
These Homecare Packages are helping our families to stay connected and provide some level of respite for parents and carers by giving them free access to resources that engage, educate and entertain their children. The demand for our online resources has continued to grow and we are receiving more requests for home deliveries on a daily basis.