A community group for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs has been awarded more than £17,000 in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
Valley Daffodils, which runs activities such as arts and crafts, music therapy, football and more, received two donations. The first donation, worth £7,150, will go towards running a host of virtual workshops, while the other donation, worth £10,000, will go towards swimming sessions.
Group secretary Carole Dunleavy said the aim of the group is “to create sessions for children and adults to have fun and socialise in a safe and non-judgmental environment”.
Ms Dunleavy said the group also helps members build confidence and forge friendships, as well as promoting independence and offering support.
Most of the disabled people involved with the group are aged between two and 26-years-old, but Ms Dunleavy said there are some members who are aged 40 and above.
Some of the adult members of the group have also been given the opportunity to volunteer with the group’s Volunteers in Training programme, giving them the chance to hone new skills.
But in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the group was forced to move all its activities online.
Things started back up again in July this year, but with limited numbers and coronavirus safety measures in place as the group moved into its new home at the Bargoed YMCA in Gilfach.
Ms Dunleavy said the new venue has allowed the group to do more activities, including pool, table tennis, video gaming, animal encounters and more.
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The group was founded in 2016 by Ceri Hooper, whose son has Down’s syndrome. She set up the group after feeling there was little for a family of someone with a disability or additional learning needs to get involved with.
The group is run by volunteers and relies on funding to cover the costs of running the activities and hiring venues.
Volunteers have also taken part in a host of fundraising activities to raise money for the group in recent years, including skydives and sponsored walks.
Before the group moved to Bargoed YMCA, Ms Hooper contacted Caerphilly Senedd Member Hefin David, whose constituency office is based at the YMCA.
Dr David said: “My daughter is autistic, so I am aware of how valuable the support of groups like Valley Daffodils can be. I’m delighted I could help Ceri and the group find a new location, so they could get back to being there for families who need it, as quickly as possible.
Now that we are based out of the same building, I hope we can work together even more closely in future.”
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