Shining Stars is a voluntary parent led playgroup for children under 5 years old with additional needs. It is a place for parents to get support, advice and to meet others in similar situations.
The group is run by three volunteer parents that have children with additional needs so have lots of experience and knowledge; as well as an understanding of the isolation and the issues and concerns that parents may feel.
The leaders are Tina, who has a 7-year-old son with complex medical needs, autism, global developmental delay and other issues, Karen has a 7-year-old daughter with Down’s syndrome and Uma has a 7-year-old son with autism.
The group has use of many sensory toys, role-play, a ball pit as well as many other indoor and outdoor toys. Weekly activities include painting, messy play and paper crafts. Makaton is also used.
Trevor from CareTech Plc’s Acorn Way nominated the group for a community grant. Acorn Way is a purpose built, five bedded short break service for children based in Telford. Trevor, through his work and contact with service users at Acorn Way, was aware of the need for the Shining Stars group.
The CareTech Foundation was able to award a grant of £2,500 towards play items for the group.
“Thank you to Trevor for nominating Shining Stars and the CareTech Foundation for the wonderful grant of £2,500 which will allow us to purchase toys appropriate to disabled children. We have so far purchased a Tubie, trampoline, recorder buttons and water channel stands and are in the process of choosing some fibre optic sensory lights and projector”.
Here are some of the items purchased;