Project: Providing free access to a wide range of leisure activities for children with special educational needs and their families
Fund: General Fund
Absolutely Leisure is a charity putting smiles on the faces of families with children and young adults with additional needs by providing free access to leisure activities across the county. Many of these families often experience emotional and practical pressures that restrict the opportunities available to them which can lead to a variety of problems.
This may include social isolation, mental health issues, and the inability to get their children active leading to a decrease in physical health. Another key barrier to entry to these leisure activities is the price – many of these families suffer from financial difficulties which means they simply cannot afford them. Absolutely Leisure work with communities to provide free access to a huge variety of exciting leisure activities creating memories that will last a lifetime.
With support from Heart of Bucks, the charity was able to purchase and distribute over 2,000 vouches for leisure sessions across Buckinghamshire. Some of the activities included: performances at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre and Odeon cinema, swimming at the Aqua Centre, and tickets to Gulliver’s World and the Bucks Goat Centre. Users were surveyed to establish how their children’s needs affect their access to leisure facilities prior to the vouches being distributed. 86% reported their access to leisure activities was negatively impacted and many families reported financial restraints that meant they simply could not afford them. Without support from Absolutely Leisure, these families were left with little hope of providing their children a fun day out to blow off steam.
What difference do the vouchers make?
“Thanks so much for the family activities you provided over the last few months in particular the visit to the Bucks Goat Centre. These have been the only days out for my son (who was very low functioning autistic) since the start of Covid. The Goat Centre was a perfect venue for him, enclosed, with animals, and not crowded. Not having to pay for entry mean I had the money for a cake and drink for him. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much it meant to me to be able to take him out confidently and leave the house.”