Help Glow Baby Move To Our Dream Home

by Lauren O’Sullivan-Barnes in Hastings, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Help Glow Baby Move To Our Dream Home

Total raised £590

£10,000 target 12 days left
5% 36 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 30th June 2024 at 8:57pm

We are trying to raise money to support families by providing the best community space, and an inclusive play space for all.

by Lauren O’Sullivan-Barnes in Hastings, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Glow Baby’s Story

When my first born child was a baby, he was diagnosed as visually impaired and my world came crashing down. We were told he would not see our faces, he would only be able to see darkness and light. We were told he was blind. The newborn bubble had well and truly popped.

Although this time was tough, I decided to turn my pain into focus. I continued to provide visual stimulation and sensory play for Hunter, and month by month, we started to see an improvement.

It was like a real life miracle. Doctors couldn’t believe that our little boy was seeing the things that he was. A mixture between the visual stimulation and a late development of some of his vision meant that he was seeing, we didn’t know how much, but he was seeing something.

This experience gave me a real fire in my belly to help other families in similar situations, so I started to do my volunteer training with the local Children’s Centre (now called Family Hub). Unfortunately lockdown meant that things were up in the air for a long time and I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do, but eventually as life started to get back on track, the Glow Baby journey began…

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Glow Baby’s Evolution:

I started to run sessions for children with additional needs and disabilities with The Children’s Centre after the pandemic and we provided some lovely sessions and I made some amazing connections with some local families, some of whom I’m still in contact with now and continue to see at Glow Baby.

I also started running local groups in local venues to reach a wider community of people, I was now running groups for babies and toddlers of all abilities.

I felt it was important to have something on offer to support the development of local babies and toddlers, as well as offer mental health support and friendship to the parents and carers that came along. 

I continued to offer successful groups in Battle and Bexhill for a number of months. My father sadly passed away during the Summer of 2021, we used to talk a lot about my plans and dreams for Glow Baby. When I found out he had left me his pension, I knew what I had to do, to honour him and continue to help the community.

I began to search for a more permanent venue and found a venue with potential in the heart of Hastings. I transformed a building full of offices into a multitude of different play rooms suitable to support learning through play for the Early Years.

I opened successfully and have had nothing but amazing feedback about what we have provided for the local community.

I offered an SEN membership which gives a large discount to our families with additional needs, I also offered free vouchers to The Children’s Centre to be distributed to SEN families and disadvantaged families.


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Why do we need help?

Since opening, although we have done so much for the local community, and so many people love and rely on Glow Baby, our overheads continue to grow and make it incredibly hard to sustain Glow Baby in our current location.

We have also had a huge amount of damage caused by water over the time we have been in our current space, and we are struggling now to make it work with constantly having to repair and cancel sessions etc.

I have been hoping to find a forever home for Glow Baby that suits us better with an outdoor space that we can make beautiful. Being outdoors is so important for our littles and should be hugely encouraged. I have found my dream venue and I truly have a shot at bringing my ideas to life.

If I can have my own outdoor space it would help Glow Baby to be more sustainable in the Summer months, as well as being able to offer gardening clubs, teach children about growing fruit and veg, which in turn, promotes health eating too!

One if my main goals would be to design a fully inclusive and accessible outside playground area within the Glow Baby grounds. You would be extremely surprised at how difficult it is to find a park that offers equipment fully accessible to wheelchair and walker users. This is something I hope to be able to add to our Glow Baby forever home. Of course, I would not be able to fund this alone, and these many reasons, are collectively why I am beginning this fundraising journey.

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Funding Vision:

To summarise, we would love your help and support to make our dream become a reality. Please donate to help us to create our dream venue to support families with a beautiful accessible sensory room just like our current Glow Baby sensory room. A disability inclusive playground that allows wheelchair and walker users to have the best time as well as a splash zone for the children to enjoy water play in the summer time.

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We would make a beautiful gardening area for our lovely ‘Forest Friends’ gardening group where we would grow fruit and veg that we can actually use to promote healthy eating and sustainability.

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Once we manage to get everything up and running, we have the most amazing ideas to bring the community together and become a wonderful inclusive space for families with so much to support mental health throughout the whole family like free support groups, parent and baby exercise classes, our usual messy play and story time sessio

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Please help us to find a forever home that we can give the Glow Baby stamp and to help us move forward onto the next chapter. 

Rewards

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Open Play Voucher @ Glow Baby

I’d love to say thank you for your donation and supporting our dream by offering a FREE Open Play Session at Glow Baby which is a 1 hour 45 minute session in our play centre in all of our play rooms. The session is suitable for ages 0-5 years, and we have sessions available all week long, you can just message Glow Baby on social media to book

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