For many people with a learning disability and their families, getting creative has been a way to stay connected and positive through the challenges of last year. National ‘Learning Disability Week’ will take place from 14 -20 June and this year is championing art and creativity.
Kevin Davis, Chair of Trustees at Grove Cottage says, “Learning Disability Week provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the past year, raise awareness for Grove Cottage and learning disabilities in general, as well as generating much-needed funds to ensure we continue to be there for all those who need us. “We are therefore asking the local community to support us this Learning Disability Week by:
- Going purple – wear something purple for the day and make a donation
- Get creative – make some purple cakes for a cake sale
- Give – donate to support our Learning Disability Week Campaign
“It costs approximately £400,000 per year to run Grove Cottage and although we are affiliated with The Royal Mencap Society, we run independently, and we receive no funding from the national body.”
Grove Cottage helps people like Vicki Washington and her son, Toby. Vicki says Toby would not be who he is today if it wasn’t for Grove Cottage. Toby has multiple varying additional needs: severe sight impairment, Global Development and Speech Delay, multiple mobility difficulties, feeding difficulties including multiple allergies and sensory processing disorder. He needs one-to-one support for day-to-day activities, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.
Vicky says, “As a family we were relatively new to the world of Special Educational Needs (SEN) but soon realised that Toby required specialist support to navigate his road map in life and to be able to adapt and overcome any obstacles he faced. This is how we discovered Grove Cottage.
“Toby started at the Special Needs Nursery when he was 3 years old; we were very apprehensive and unsure if we had made the right decision, but it turned out to be the best decision of our lives. The smiles and happy faces we would see daily, not only from the staff but also the other children were so heart-warming, let alone the smiles, happiness and progress Toby made each day.
“Toby is now 9 years old and attends the Cottage Kids Club on Saturdays and the School Holiday Clubs. Grove Cottage supported us fully even during the difficult lockdowns, by safely delivering activity packs to our home and reassuring us we were not alone and were still a part of this amazing organisation.
“This Learning Disability Week, Grove Cottage is asking the community for support to help them achieve a brighter future for more people like Toby. Donating to Grove Cottage will ensure that they can continue to help the hundreds of people with a learning disability – like Toby – whose lives have been changed for the better because of them.
“Grove Cottage will always have a special place in our hearts for all they have done and still do for Toby, and I cannot thank enough all those who support this amazing charity.”
To give a donation to Grove Cottage please go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/grovecottageLDW