The organization breeds and trains Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers to become service companions or for other individual and facility needs.
Dame Vera Lynn, "the Forces Sweetheart," established The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity in 2001 to support families with children under five years of age who have cerebral palsy and other motor learning impairments.
Since then, the charity has supported more than 550 families across southeast England.
Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects one's movement, balance, and posture, as well as their cognitive, social, and communication skills. Early intervention is vital to enable children to learn and develop physically, socially, and emotionally, forming the bedrock of independence that they can achieve later in life.
The early intervention services run all year round and enable parents to see their child's potential, and also helps them engage with and actively play with their child. The innovative and essential early intervention services follow the principles of Conductive Education.
Conductive Education is a holistic learning system, focusing on the child and their potential, using a carefully designed program to support the children to learn, with a focus on living as independently as possible in the future.
The qualified staff teach different ways of learning and functioning, supporting each child’s individual needs while challenging and guiding them to achieve their greatest potential. Conductive Education tasks are carefully developed to challenge children to reach their goals and improve their skills. Parents are also encouraged to apply these skills in their everyday lives at home.
The charity provides hands-on active sessions, outreach support in the home, and access to a parent support network. Children also have access to assistive technology and a dedicated sensory room.
Additional activities such as swimming, music therapy, and sensory sessions all support the development of the child. All the sessions are structured to the ability of each child and are either one-to-one or small group sessions.
Mack (pictured above) has grown in confidence since attending sessions a year ago. Before he visited the charity, Mack was not able to stand on his own. He recently took his first solo steps. Mack also attends swimming sessions; being in the warm water relaxes his muscles, helping him improve his flexibility and strength.
All services are offered free of charge and no formal diagnosis or referral is needed. The charity's future goals are to expand and extend the services offered so that as many families as possible may access this vital and much-needed service.
Established in 2001 by Dame Vera Lynn, the Forces Sweetheart, we have supported more than 550 families with children who have cerebral palsy and other motor learning difficulties.Learn More
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