Wide range of help available for children in the Isle of Wight
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A recent article is the Isle of Wight County Press told how families with a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit at St Mary's Hospital would be offered extra support from a new outreach service called Island Support for Families and Babies.
As well as offering families assistance with financial and other practical matters to be dealt with, the service also provides emotional support to families at what can be a very difficult time.
Families with children who are unwell and/or disabled can fortunately also turn to a number of other organisations which exist to assist Island residents who find themselves in this situation. The organisations detailed below all provide vital support in a number of ways.
The Family Link Scheme, is run by the Isle of Wight Council, and is a member of a national charity called Shared Care Network. The Family Link Scheme provides carers to help support children with a disability or a serious, chronic medical condition. This might be in providing the child with short breaks in the carer's home, or helping the child with a specific leisure activity, thereby helping the child by promoting variety of activity and personal contact, whilst at the same time also providing their regular carer with a break.
Caring for disabled children can be very challenging; another organisation that looks to provide support for parents of disabled children is Face 2 Face Isle of Wight. They offer a befriending service, with one-to-one emotional support, either in person at their monthly drop-in meetings, by telephone or by email, from trained volunteers whose own children have additional support needs.
The Isle of Wight is also home to Isle of Wight Mencap. The group is affiliated to National Mencap, but is independently funded and run for children, young people and adults on the Isle of Wight with learning disabilities, and their families. Isle of Wight Mencap provides help in lots of different ways but essentially aims to make sure that those they help can lead the life they want to, regardless of their disability.
Isle of Wight Rainbow Club is a support group that was formed on the Isle of Wight in 2007. The group runs sport and activity sessions, family get-togethers and days out, as well as funding training courses and providing a growing library service of books and DVDs to its members.
Parents Voice is a group of parents who want to make their voices heard in terms of the provision available for their children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Similarly, Isle of Wight Parent Partnership helps to ensure that parents can play an informed part in decisions about their children's education and that successful partnerships are built between parents, schools and local authorities.
These groups are just a few examples of a number of groups on the Isle of Wight, all of which play an important role in ensuring that children with disabilities and their families receive the support they need to lead happy and fulfilling lives as members of the Island community.
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