Tue 19 Apr 2016
As featured in our 2016 May issue of Palmers Green and Southgate LIFE magazine
Harriet Piercy and Jamie Ashton recently celebrated the 1st anniversary of Zebras Childrens Club, a social club they created for special needs children located in Enfield. Visit their website www.zebrasclub.org for more information.
We , the Co- Founders and Directors of Zebras Childrens Club C.I.C , are also parent/carers of a child aged 9.5 years old with Autism and Learning Disabilities, whom unfortunately received a late diagnosis, only two years ago.
Having been through many years struggling with main stream school, we eventually took the brave decision to withdraw our son and educate him at home. After 18 months he finally received a diagnosis and we are now lucky enough to receive home visits from an Educational Psychologist and he has been given a speech and language assessment. He has the mental age roughly of that of a four year old child.
We were told that if his behaviours, which at the time which were challenging, didn't improve the only future he would have was a care home and medication. We continued home schooling, and still do today, and began to notice changes and developments, all be it slow ones, with our son’s behaviours.
We both decided that it would be wonderful to start a small place where children like our son could come and play together, learning through play, life skills approach, which is what we are teaching our son at home and are witnessing such marvellous results from.
And so the hard work had begun, and with the support only from each other, patience and determination on Saturday the 21st of February 2015, Zebras Childrens Club C.I.C was opened to the public. Nick De Bois M.P kindly gave up his time and officially open the club for us.
Our son benefits from socialising, making friends, friends he never had at school, learning to accept other people, being around adults, just even getting out of the house. Whereas he had been house bound and crippled with daily anxiety.
Zebras Childrens Club C.I.C has been going from strength to strength. Receiving funding from Enfield Council, gaining valuable sponsorship from Metaswitch Networks who continue to support us, working in partnership with Enfield Voluntary Action, Ponders End Community Trust, F.C Enfield, and most of all providing a service for over 25 families who all are committed to attending and all state that there is nothing else like this around where their children can be accepted, develop, and have leisure and fun without judgement. The club helps parent and carers too as they have a chance to talk and share their experiences.
Recently we had a visit from Anna Kennedy OBE (as pictured) who was delighted with the organisation, she is a very inspirational women and it was amazing how her life mirrored ours and so many people who live with Autism on a daily basis. We were delighted to recently celebrate our first year of opening on Saturday 20th February with our service users and their families.
We are proud also to have recently opened a service for Adults called ZAG- Zebras Adult Group, which provides individuals with a chance to socialise, develop and enhance existing skills, have fun and enjoyment and become connected with themselves and others in a relaxed safe environment. We have high hopes for our adult group, this session takes place Fortnightly on Tuesdays 11.00 till 1.00pm and costs £6.50.
Our future plans are to develop a modest leisure/day centre for those with disabilities to use our unique services, a place where our son and others can work, gain Independence, and learn life skills.
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