Molly is 9 years old and lives with her mum, dad and little sister Jessica. Molly is currently undiagnosed but has a range of a disabilities including microcephaly, developmental delay, hypertonia, ataxia, hyperactivity, epilepsy and is non-verbal. 

Molly is chief welcomer at Swings & Smiles and is a friend to anyone that walks through the door. She attends weekly family play sessions, respite and cooking club, whilst Jessica really enjoys going to the SIBS group. Mum Kellie is also a play leader at Swings & Smiles and explains the huge change that it has made to the whole family.

"Before Swings & Smiles I had become very isolated.  Just walking down the street with Molly was a huge task for me as I found it very daunting and upsetting when people would stare and make horrible comments. We never went to any play centres or children’s groups as they were not appropriate for Molly and other parents with children the same age would stare. I became very depressed and started suffering with depression and anxiety.

We came to Swings & Smiles for their open day and since day one we have felt comfortable coming to sessions with Molly. It’s lovely that Molly and Jessica both love coming here and I have made many new friends and get so much advice from other parents. The staff always go above and beyond for all of the families, they have been our rock with all the help and support they have offered.

Swings & Smiles is the only place that we can take Molly where it is fully accessible and safe and we aren’t judged, she beams with happiness when we tell her we are coming to play. Jessica loves coming to the sibling support sessions and it is helping her gain confidence and understanding about her sisters disabilities. It is so important for Jessica to know that she is not alone and she is gaining so much confidence from this extra time just for her. 

I have also been working at Swings & Smiles for 3 years now. I work part-time and I am so thankful to work for such an understanding, caring and wonderful team of people. Laura puts everything into the charity and is such a pleasure to work for which has helped me gain some new confidence that I had lost.

If it wasn’t for Swings & Smiles we wouldn’t have anywhere to go. We would be isolated and myself and the children would not have gained the wonderful friendships that we now have. We would not have support and this is what is so important to us."

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