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Project information

Scope: Best Start in Life for Disabled Children

Disability shouldn't hold a child back. Disabled children should have the best chance to lead fulfilling and independent lives. Support our new services and build resilient, strong families who are equipped with the tools and emotional strength they need so their child can fulfil their potential.

January 2019 - January 2020

Charity information: Scope

Scope logo
  • Need


    Caring for a disabled child without adequate support can put a huge strain on a family’s health, relationships and wellbeing. 72% of parents of disabled children experience mental health problems, like anxiety and depression. Poor sleep further disrupts family life, with up to 80% of disabled children affected by sleeping disorders. This all negatively impacts the long-term outcomes of disabled children and their ability to fulfil their ambitions.


    Our Best start in Life Services support disabled children and their families with much needed information and advice. Our new services include:

    Sleep Right - sleep support for disabled children aged two to 18, including a bespoke sleep plan and a designated sleep practitioner. 

    Parents Connect - 6 week course for parents, so they can learn, share and meet with other parents in their local area.

    Navigate - A national one to one advice service, connecting parents of disabled children

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve parent and carers emotional wellbeing


    » Provide nation wide support through online and telephone mentoring of carers and parents, matching a families to individual mentors.

    What success will look like

    690 parents access the mentoring service, with 85% showing greater resilience on the Carers Star Tool.

    Aim 2

    Improve family resilience and knowledge of how to support their child


    » Deliver a 6-week course in classes to equip families with the skills and support network to raise their disabled child.
    » Our helpline and online community provides information, advice and support for families with new diagnosis or specific queries.

    What success will look like

    500 parents attend parent connect, with 85% of those completing the programme reporting reduced isolation and increased skills.

    Aim 3

    Improve health outcome for families of disabled children, with a particular focus on Sleep.


    » Deliver a 6-week course to teach families how to implement behaviour change techniques to help their disabled child sleep better.

    What success will look like

    750 families will get sleep support, with 85% reporting an improvement in their child’s sleep

  • Impact


    We aim to reverse the trend in isolation that parents often feel raising disabled children and provide opportunities for families to become stronger and more resilient in the long-term.

    Success for this project will be monitored by the percentage of families reporting an increase in resilience, a reduction in isolation and increased skill sets after completing the classes. For our sleep programme we will also report again the improvement in sleep for each family in the programme.


    Low participating numbers could impact the effectiveness. We will promote services through local partners (GPs, Schools etc), Scope's services (Online community, helpline), so that everyone who could benefit gets the chance to. Departing member of project staff could cause delays to projects, but we have robust recruitment plans to mitigate this risk, in addition to staff being supported by teams who could fill in when necessary to avoid any problems for customers.


    Each donor will receive an update on the Best Start in Life programme 6 months after the start, an invitation to visit one of our services to see the work in action in London or Leeds and an end of year report, with a summary of the families served and the nationwide reach of the programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £26,300 Digital and Telephone support National Mentoring programme costs, online and via telephone.
      £25,000 Parenting and Sleep Classes 2 6-week courses on parenting and sleep classes, in London, Leeds and Cardiff.
      £8,700 Organisational costs Rent, lighting, telephones, travel and training.
  • Background


    Our mentoring service will be delivered online and over the phone, enabling the project to have a national wide reach across the UK.
    Our parenting classes and sleep classes will initially take place in London and Leeds where Scope has established offices. In coming years and in line with our new strategy, this will aim to expand into Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff, with potential for other developments if there is enough local interest.


    Families of disabled children will be the main beneficiaries, as these services are primarily designed as a network of support for them. We know that parents are the best advocates and carers of their children, but that they often need support to find the right information and combat isolation. Carers and their needs are often overlooked, with the primary focus of support being children themselves. Disabled children will benefit from stronger, happier parents and carers.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Scope is a leading pan disability charity, with connections across the UK. We were founded by parents who wanted to achieve the best for their children at a time when disabled children often did not even get an education. Over 60 years later, this ethos of equality is ingrained into every aspect of our work, with years of knowledge and experience shaping how we design and deliver services with the 250,000 disabled people and their families we support.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lisa Quinlan-Rahman

    As Executive Director, Lisa heads a team who ensure that disabled people and their families - are at the heart of Scope's work.

    Donnella Briden

    Attraction and Experience Lead, Responsible for driving recruitment to our best start in life services and designing a programme to suit all needs.

    Toby Greaves

    National Delivery Manager - Projects & Services with a particular focus on parenting and sleep services.

Now is the time to support disabled children and their families


could support a family whose disabled child has an ongoing struggle with sleep