Imagine a place made to meet the unique needs of local parents and kids who need that extra bit of support. Just such a place is found right here in Wingecarribee Shire thanks to Highlands 4K, a charity dedicated to special needs for disadvantaged families, and grant funding through Council’s Community Assistance Scheme.
“We’re here to provide more of what these kids enjoy, based on a deep understanding of their individual abilities and special needs,” says 4K Board Member, Danielle Johns.
“The Club House” was created by The 4K over a year ago after we noticed a gap in local play activities and holiday care for kids with disabilities or other special needs.”
It’s a welcoming and inclusive space where families and caregivers can connect while their children play. “Kids with sensory processing issues can find it challenging to be in a mainstream play setting with other kids,” Danielle explains. “They may be sensitive to a lot of noise, or not be as able to do certain things that other kids can do, and it can be difficult for them to be understood when they find themselves in a stressful situation that other kids might find enjoyable.”
A grant through Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Community Assistance Scheme will support 4K’s efforts to break down these barriers to play and inclusion. “With this funding, we’ve equipped ‘The Club House’ with a diverse range of activities tailor-made for kids aged 4 to 16 years of age, such as sensory art, music-based movement, a technology library, sensory toy library, silent disco and gentle stretching exercises,” Danielle says.
Not forgetting the needs of parents and caregivers, a plethora of useful support services are offered, such as informative sessions on Self-Care, Resilience for Carers, and Shining a Light on the NDIS. Moreover, there is a parenting support group and referrals to external services are available. For convenience, all of these programs can be accessed at the 4K Club House, shop 8, 40 Station Street Bowral (Bowral Mall).
Having a facility like this in our Shire helps to minimise isolation for these families and provide the children with engaging recreational activities while making helpful knowledge and information readily available. “We can assist families with gaining access to the NDIS and connect them with relevant support for their individual needs. It’s a very secure and welcoming place to come to and get the support you need, free of charge,” Danielle says.
“The opportunity to secure grant funding from Council has enabled us to build on the idea of a one-stop shop for families with special needs and fill ‘The Club House’ with wonderful toys and equipment.”
If you would like to get in contact with 4k and find out about The Club House, head to their website, www.the4k.com.au.
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