Dingley’s Promise receives funding from Comic Relief’s Change Makers

Dingley’s Promise receives funding from Comic Relief’s Change Makers initiative to tackle lack of early years spaces for children with SEND

Comic Relief has today announced a brand-new £9.1 million programme to support new initiatives that will deliver vital long-term support to thousands of vulnerable people across the UK during the Covid-19 recovery.


One of the successful recipients is Dingley’s Promise in Berkshire. The charity will use an investment of  £545,789 to design and deliver ten training courses to help early years practitioners be more inclusive of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and to facilitate the development of early years inclusion strategies in thirty local authorities. All of this will take place with a focus on parental input, on building the voice of the child, and on wider influencing of sector leaders and government. Children with SEND and children in the early years are among the most affected by the pandemic, and so this project will directly contribute to opening more spaces for them in the early years at a time that they have never needed early intervention more.


Catherine McLeod MBE, Chief Executive of Dingley’s Promise, said; ‘We are over the moon about being able to deliver this project. We are committed to transforming the early years for children with SEND, and want to change the fact that currently only 19% of local authorities have enough spaces for children with SEND in the early years. This project will build a movement for greater inclusion, and will open up spaces to allow more children than ever before to thrive in the early years.’


The Change Makers programme is launching twenty new initiatives involving 45 organisations, spanning all four nations of the UK, over the next five years. They will tackle serious issues that have seen increased demand for help throughout the pandemic including homelessness, domestic abuse and mental health. The programme aims to find innovative solutions to problems affecting vulnerable people that have been overlooked or under-resourced at a local, regional and national level.


Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, said: “It’s fantastic that through our new Change Makers programme we are able to support 20 ‘game changing’ projects that are working with thousands of vulnerable people and families throughout the UK. Each project aims to provide vital long-term support and make a real positive impact on communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”


For more information visit www.comicrelief.com/funding