Movers & Shakers appeal Socialising and engaging in your favourite hobbies is what being a child is all about; however, for children with disabilities it can be difficult to find opportunities to ‘hang out’ with friends. This is why, in 2012, United Response teamed up with Woodlands School for children with special educational needs to run an after school club called ‘Movers & Shakers’. Thanks to donations, it is able to run until the end of 2014 but to ensure it continues next year, we really need your help. When one young boy with autism first attended the club, he would run around banging windows and doors and was not interested in taking part in the group activities. After a few sessions, he was able to sit down, have a drink and a biscuit, and join in activities for a short period of time. Recently, he was even able to sit down at a ‘movie night’ and watch a film – something that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks previously. The club offers children the chance to relax, take part in sport, games and other social activities, and have fun with their peers for two evenings per week during the school term. Through attending the club, children become more focused, energised and full of confidence, and parents also benefit from having some time to themselves or with other siblings. According to the father of Laurent, another boy that attends the club, Movers & Shakers: “gives Laurent a chance to ‘wind down’ with his peers after the rigour and regimentation of a school day. It promotes a beneficial tiredness that helps him to have a good night’s sleep.” Another parent tells us that her son “loves having the time and space to interact with his friends in a non-classroom environment. I am very conscious that he never has friends over to play (like his siblings do) because of his friends’ special needs, so if it wasn’t for the club he wouldn’t get such a basic opportunity.” Donations to this appeal mean we can keep the after school club running, offering both children and parents the opportunity to unwind and relax. Please help Movers & Shakers to continue into next year, by making a donation today.