Niall has recently turned two years old and he and his family access Dingley’s Promise through our Family Support Offer. Niall has physical and developmental needs, which are awaiting official diagnosis and also has a sibling with Autism (ASD).
Niall’s family’s first contact with Dingley’s Promise was via Paula, our West Berkshire based Family Support Worker. Paula organised a friendly and informal home visit with the family and was able to offer them an understanding, non judgemental ear, as well as reassurance and advice.
As a Dingley’s Promise Family, Niall’s parents have been able to access a variety of home learning resources throughout lockdown, including social stories, educational activity ideas, storytime videos made by centre staff and much more. Niall’s family also have access to online Zoom based stay and play sessions, parent/carer coffee mornings and are part of a community of families that share experiences and support each other.
Paula keeps in regular contact with Niall’s family through 1:1 phone calls, and is also available via text and in person support, should they require it. Dingley’s Promise is committed to always being there to support Niall’s family and respond to their individual needs.
Niall particularly enjoyed attending our garden Stay and Play session at the West Berkshire last year, and his brother was able to come along and join the fun too! They both have attended further sessions, giving them the chance to play, interact and make friends with their peers, improving their confidence and communication skills as well as being a time of respite for both children and parents. Niall is currently on the waiting list for our West Berkshire Centre.
We recently spoke to Niall’s parents to find out how support from Dingley’s Promise is making a positive difference to their family;
What was your family’s situation before you came to Dingley’s Promise?
Before contacting Dingley’s Promise we had been thrown into a whole new world of understanding what it means to live with children with complex disabilities.
How did you find out about Dingley’s Promise?
A health visitor recommended Dingley’s Promise to us.
What was your experience of joining Dingley’s Promise like?
We instantly felt welcomed. We had a home visit initially from Paula, the Family Support Worker, who was very friendly and helpful in explaining the service and how it could help our son’s needs.
What effect has our services had on your child?
Our son has had the opportunity to have another safe environment to play and explore.
What effect have the services had on you as a parent?
It has been hugely beneficial over the pandemic to know that someone is available on the end of the phone to talk to – at times Paula has been a huge support in my house!
How is your Niall doing now?
He’s happy and generally healthy.
What would you do if Dingley’s Promise did not exist?
We would consider homeschooling until he was old enough for a SEN school that would be suitable.
Finally, what would you say is the best thing about Dingley’s Promise?
It’s a warm and welcoming environment that gives children and families a safe space to be themselves.
Thank you to Niall’s family for talking to us, we wish them all the best and are proud to be able to make a positive impact on their family.
You could help us make a difference to the lives of more children like Naill, and their families, by choosing to support Dingley’s Promise. Donating just £60 could pay for one of our Family Support Workers to visit 5 local families who are on our centre waiting lists and in need of outreach assistance and advice.
Donate here: https://dingley.org.uk/online-donations/
If your family, or a family that you know could benefit from our support or would like to know more about our Family Support Offer, please visit our Family Support webpage and get in touch!