Charity of The Year
The student body has voted! The Students’ Union is pleased to announce that Challengers is this year’s RAG Charity of the Year.
Challengers is all about delivering inclusive fun for disabled children and young people aged 2-25 years old. Play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young adults are few, recent studies have shown that a staggering 51% of disabled children have been intentionally excluded from play. Families with a disabled child often live complex lives and they sadly face isolation and social exclusion due to a lack of mainstream and accessible facilities.
Challengers was created in 1979 as a response to the complete lack of play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people in the Guildford Area, we started a 5 o’clock Swim Club. This was immediately popular not only for disabled children to have the freedom to try something new and challenge themselves, but for the parents who could take a break from being a career and see their children having fun and making friends. 39 years on, we have expanded our services and we now provide play and leisure opportunities for over 1,400 disabled children and young people.
2019 is a big year for Challengers as it is their 40th birthday, and would love as much help and support as possible to celebrate this, and keep breaking down the barriers to play.
Play is essential to all; children learn, develop and make friends through the use of play. Through making sure that every child, regardless of their impairment, has somewhere to go to challenge their impairments, make friends and most importantly have fun doing the activities they want to do – Challengers make a difference to young people’s lives! This is achieved by running an incredible range of activities: getting messy baking, creating art, turning a sensory room into a space ship, visits to the farm, drumming workshops and many more.
Not only do Challengers create a beneficial impact to the disabled children and young people that they engage with, but also to the families we support in the local community such as Chichester. Back in April 2017 Challengers opened a brand-new youth scheme at Westgate Leisure Centre that supports 25 disabled children and young people aged 13-18 years old on Saturdays.
In previous years the SU have donated between £1000-£2000 to the charity of the year. If Challengers were to receive a similar donation they have indicated it could provide up to 100 hours of play for local disabled children and young people. The activities organised are planned in consultation with the young people themselves and in turn, the support each young person receives is tailored to make sure they are able to access and engage with the activities that they would like to take part in.
If you would like to find out more about the Charity, please visit disability-challengers.org. If you would like to get involved with RAG or run your own event to support the Charity of the Year please contact Casper, Volunteering & Activities Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charity registration number: 1095134