Project information

Little Stars

Little Stars is a parent and baby/toddler group for disabled young children (3 months – 5 years) living in Surrey. All of the babies and children have permanent physical and/or learning disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, hydrocephalus, and spina bifida.

April 2017 - March 2018

Charity information: White Lodge Centre

White Lodge Centre logo
  • Need

    Need

    Little Stars was started 10 years ago in response to feedback from parents. Because these children look different, behave differently and are often fed differently, they are often shunned by society, isolated and unable to access mainstream parent and toddler groups. This group aims to support the family and pre-school siblings of young disabled babies and toddlers.

    Solution

    At Little Stars parents and carers benefit from emotional and practical support gaining strength, confidence and knowledge from each other. This can range from sharing ideas about incorporating physiotherapy into everyday play, to learning what support is available from social services, to simply chatting over a coffee with other parents who are experiencing what they are going through and realising they are not alone.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improved social development for the disabled babies and young children who attend Little Stars.

    Activities

    » Run a weekly session throughout term time. To include learning sign language, developing language skills and participating in singing sessions.

    By observing the babies and young children at play. Talking to parents. Asking parents to complete a questionnaire to monitor effectiveness of the project.


    Aim 2

    Improved emotional development for the disabled babies and young children who attend Little Stars.

    Activities

    » Baby massage sessions that strengthen the emotional bond between disabled baby and parent.
    » Sign language classes that enable child and parent to communicate possibly for the first time. Siblings can also learn how to use sign language/
    » Providing opportunities for pre-school able-bodied siblings to play with other able-bodied siblings who are experiencing what they are going through.

    By observing the babies and young children at play. Talking to parents. Asking parents to complete a questionnaire to monitor effectiveness of the project.


    Aim 3

    Improved physical development for the disabled babies and young children who attend Little Stars.

    Activities

    » Swimming in our hydrotherapy pool aids muscle relaxation and by supporting the body, the resistance of water helps to strengthen the muscles.
    » Baby massage sessions help strengthen the muscles as well as relieving constipation which a common condition experienced by many disabled babies.

    By observing the babies and young children at play. Talking to parents. Asking parents to complete a questionnaire to monitor effectiveness of the project.


  • Impact

    Impact

    At Little Stars parents benefit from emotional and practical support gaining strength, confidence and knowledge from each other. This can range from sharing ideas about incorporating physiotherapy into everyday play, to learning what support is available from social services, to simply chatting over a coffee with other parents who are experiencing what they are experiencing and realising they are not alone. Success will be defined by the number of families that we are supporting.

    Risk

    There is a risk that no families attend the sessions resulting in a financial risk. However we are effectively marketing the project which is promoted by leaflets in Chertsey, Staines, Woking and Cobham, Sure Start and Children’s Centres; in St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey; on the Surrey County Council web-site; through the Birth Reflections Nurse at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey Health Visitors and word of mouth.

    Reporting

    We use social media, Facebook and Twitter to share success stories. We also send out a twice yearly newsletter and quarterly e-newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,412

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,883 Salaries 2 play workers for 40 weeks per year
      £1,214 Hydrotherapy Pool Heating costs
      £2,205 Central Costs 40 weeks at £50 a session
      £1,110 Activities To include refreshments and marketing
  • Background

    Location

    Little Stars is held at our respite centre - Treetops at White Lodge Centre. White Lodge Centre is situated on a 3 acre site in Chertsey, Surrey and is surrounded by woodland and sensory gardens. We have our own on site hydro therapy pool and sensory room.

    Beneficiaries

    Learning your baby/toddler is permanently disabled triggers a grieving process which in turn, for many parents, leads to clinical depression and isolation from previous friendship groups. We will support any family in this situation in Surrey and the surrounding areas.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have successfully run this project for 10 years. The buildings are purpose built, easily accessible, with specialist equipment for feeding and toileting. Eg some of the babies/children attending Little Stars are gastro-fed, via a tube to the stomach, so sterile conditions are paramount. Oxygen facilities are also available for those babies/children needing this facility. We also have onsite a hydrotherapy pool, sensory room and specialist play area.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Annie Burnham

    Annie has been delivering Little Stars for 10 years and is absolutely passionate about the families, disabled babies and toddlers that come to us.

    Acktar Carter

    Acktar has been delivering Little Stars for 10 years and is absolutely passionate about the families, disabled babies and toddlers that come to us.

Toddler benefiting from hydotherapy.

Toddler benefiting from hydotherapy.

£190

Pays for one Little Stars session.