The Stroud charity will use the £3,000 grant to raise its public profile and launch a fundraising campaign.
Launched just four years ago by parents with children with disabilities, Allsorts now has more than 160 families as members.
The charity supports families who have children aged up to 24 with any disability or additional need (with or without a diagnosis).
It organises events and activities for the entire family, from inclusive sports sessions, family days out, youth clubs for disabled children, and a group for siblings.
“Our members say that Allsorts makes normal possible,” said Rachel Levay, manager of Allsorts, who has a daughter with a disability.
“We are led by families for families. Allsorts aims to make their lives easier. We do that with a positive approach and by supporting each other.
“This grant from the town council has enabled us to bring in some help to move Allsorts to the next level, to get known better locally for the great work we do, and to give us a more secure future in the local community.”
The town council also awarded a £1,593 grant to Gloucestershire Deaf Association to promote lip-reading classes for Stroud residents.
The grants came from the council’s Community Support Fund.
“The town council believes it has an obligation to support projects which enhance and enrich the life of the community,” said town mayor Amanda Moriarty. “We would encourage more organisations to apply for grants if they have a need.”
The next deadline for grant applications is May 12, 2014.
Fact file on Allsorts
- It supports families who have children aged up to 24 with any disability or additional need (with or without a diagnosis).
- There are 160 member families (about 600 people), two special schools and a primary school.
- Activities take place across Stroud District for all members of the family.
- Allsorts has a Friends Scheme, so people can support the charity.
- A donation of: £30 will pay for an activity like martial arts at our Youth Club; £50 will pay for a music therapy session for up to 25 children; £100 will pay for a sensory hydrotherapy session for 9 families; £1000 will pay for 10 trampoline therapy sessions for 8 children a session; £17,000 will pay for a week’s holiday at a fully accessible outdoor activity centre for 60 people.
- To make a donation or find out more, go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/allsorts
Case study: Allsorts
For Debbie and Jem Bullock, the arrival of their daughter Gemma changed their lives for ever.
Gemma, who is now aged nine, has complex disabilities. She was diagnosed with Aicardi Goutieres Syndrome, axial hypotonia with spastic quadriplegia and global developmental delay a few months after her birth.
For the Stroud family, which includes 12-year-old son Ben, Gemma’s diagnosis had a profound effect.
“In the early years of Gemma’s life, the whole family were put on an emotional roller coaster, trying to come to terms with the reality that Gemma would be fully dependent on us for the rest of our lives,” said Debbie.
“Often the attention had to be focused on Gemma and her needs. As a young child Ben was not getting the full attention he needed. The whole family suffered due to the emotional and physical impact of caring for Gemma.”
Debbie and Jem say Allsorts has made a huge change to their family. The charity has provided a variety of activities and events that they can all take part in.
Gemma has enjoyed Rebound Therapy and swimming sessions, all orgainsed by Allsorts at St Rose’s. Ben, as part of the Allsorts Siblings, enjoyed a chance to go a husky sled running.
“Allsorts has been a great help for our family. Knowing that there is a dedicated support group in our locality has really made a difference to all of us,” said Debbie.
One of the family’s highlights is a trip organised by Allsorts to the Calvert Trust, an inclusive outdoors activities centre.
“We all stood in amazement as Gemma scaled the climbing wall, abseiled down the vertical drop and sped down the zip wire on her own,” said Debbie.
“They were proud moments for all the family and at that point we realised that having a disability should not have any boundaries, and it spurred us all on to get involved fully in the activities.”