I CAN awarded £36,700 by BBC Children in Need

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I CAN, the children’s communication charity, is delighted to announce that BBC Children in Need has awarded the charity a grant of £36,700 over three years. The grant will fund a summer holiday club for I CAN’s Meath School in Ottershaw, Surrey and will help make a difference to the lives of children and young people with speech language and communications needs (SLCN).

The grant will help fund I CAN's ‘Holiday Club’, which offers primary-aged children attending the specialist school the opportunity to develop their confidence, independence, and social skills through a planned programme of activities in a supported environment. The project, based in Surrey, is run by specialist staff and volunteers and is also offered to other local children with severe SLCN who are supported in surrounding mainstream schools.

1.4 million children in the UK have long-term, persistent SLCN; of these children, 1% (140,000 nationally) have a severe and complex language disorder. I CAN’s Meath School supports children with this diagnosis who primarily struggle understanding or using language, and have problems developing and using the muscles necessary for speech. These children are likely to find the world a noisy and confusing place that they can neither understand nor participate in.

With the support of BBC Children in Need, I CAN will be able to continue running the Holiday Club, funding specialist staff and resources. The project will be providing activities designed to engage children with SLCN, developing confidence in their speech and communication abilities. The Holiday Club is set to begin on Monday 24 July 2017.

Although language difficulties are these children's primary disability, many also have additional yet associated difficulties. This combination of needs means that they struggle to take part in activities, to participate with other children or engage with adults, to manage their emotions or to self-care independently. In order to progress past these difficulties, children with severe speech and language disorders need specialist help and a supported environment.

Janet Dunn OBE, Principal at Meath School said; “We really appreciate the generous support of BBC Children in Need. The Holiday Club is so important for helping children with severe language needs to develop skills and confidence they need to help them transition between school and their local communities. We are excited about running this project straight after the end of term, to really engage with children at the beginning of the summer holidays. ”

BBC Children in Need funding relies on the energy and commitment of thousands of fundraisers and supporters across the UK who donate their time and money to support the Appeal. Whether its cake sales, wearing pyjamas to school or having a song and dance, every penny of the money raised goes towards supporting projects across the UK.

All grants go to projects working with children and young people living in the UK who may be affected by homelessness, neglect, abuse or poverty, or those who have faced challenges in their lives such as serious illness, disabilities and psychological disorders.

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