07 February 2019
Formed in 2001 by Dame Vera Lynn, the charity was set up to deliver an early intervention service at Ingfield Manor School for families with very young children with cerebral palsy and other motor impairment. Fast-forward to 2018, and the charity has moved to a new location and expanded its service offering, and now supports over 40 children and their families across Sussex. The charity offers a range of early intervention activities using a movement-based educational approach; to help children with cerebral palsy and other motor impairment have more control over their posture and mobility, as well as helping to develop their social and communicative skills.
The CALA Homes Community Bursary Scheme was launched in February 2018 and invited local charities, organisations and groups across Sussex to apply, towards a project that would benefit their local community. Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity was a chosen recipient of the funding, towards their music therapy sessions which are proven to benefit children with the disability.
Nicki Dennis, Sales and Marketing Director for CALA Homes (South Home Counties), comments: “We are thrilled to be able to provide Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity with this well-deserved donation towards their musical therapy programme, which will provide vital support to young people with cerebral palsy and help them to improve their motor skills and social interaction. By doing so, we hope it will help them and their families live full and rewarding lives together. Community is at the heart of our ethos at CALA Homes, and it’s wonderful to find a local charity that embodies this so perfectly.”
Helen Bournat, Business Development Manager at Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, adds: “Each year, 1800 children in the UK are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, with many who struggle to carry out motor tasks such as holding their heads up, sitting unaided and moving around independently. A diagnosis of cerebral palsy means, for many families, they are no longer on a life path they expected. Often, the adults and children can feel isolated and alone. That’s why our activities are so important and enable families on similar paths to come together, socialise and most importantly improve the prospects for their children.
“The generous donation we have received from CALA Homes will enable us to introduce a group music therapy session, alongside the one-to-one sessions we currently hold. Most of us take for granted access to musical opportunities and the potential for socialisation and communication this brings. For a child with cerebral palsy, music therapy serves as a fun family activity that develops the children both physically – by moving to the music – and also improves their self-esteem as they learn new skills.”