14th September 2012
Hastings Direct has just made its first community programme — A Helping Hand — award to Special Kids Bexhill.
Hastings Direct's A Helping Hand makes financial, professional and physical support available to the local community. Each month Hastings is able to offer either professional support from its 1,300 +staff, or physical support with team building days. In addition, Hastings has made a small monthly grant available to support local funding.
Special Kids Bexhill is a non-profit organisation which co-ordinates activities in the school holidays for children and young adults with special needs. Sharon Minter, chair, Special Kids Bexhill approached A Helping Hand to ask for a contribution to the transport costs for forthcoming trip to the Natural History and Science museums in London and was delighted to receive £295 towards the travel costs.
Sharon: "We were so delighted when Hastings Direct told us they could help with travel costs. Without this money, quite simply the trip wouldn't happen. When you are raising a child with special needs there are many expenses and very little money is left for treats and days out. The money from Hastings Direct's A Helping Hand will make not only make the trip affordable for our families, but for mums like me with a son who would not cope with the journey via train and tube due to his sensory needs — it makes the day out possible.
Any local charity, good cause or individual in need can apply directly to Hastings for support. All applications will then be assessed each month. Applications which are then selected will receive donated resources — physical, professional or financial.
Jay Wootten, chair, A Helping Hand: "We are delighted to be supporting Special Kids Bexhill. Sharon eloquently spoke about the rejection some children with special needs can feel when attending events in mixed groups. The work the organisation does to ensure children with special needs, their siblings and families enjoy a day out without being subject to unwanted attention is vital and we were happy to help.
"The response to our new programme from the local community has been overwhelming. Where resources permit we will try and help as many good causes as possible — please keep your requests coming in."
If you know of a local organisation in need of A Helping Hand, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
Special Kids Bexhill was set up in September 2010. The aim of the group is to provide suitable activities, in the school holidays, for children and young adults with any type of special need. There are also coffee and chat meetings held every other Monday morning (term time) and once a month in the evening. They provide a valuable place to offer support and sign post parents to anything which may be off help.