Swings & Smiles was set up as a charity in 2007 by Sian Cook, whose daughter Amy gave her the inspiration to provide children with special needs and disabilities a place that they would be able to go with their families and play. 

Swings & Smiles set about fundraising to build this centre and in April 2014 opened the doors at the Phoenix Resource Centre, subsequently moving in 2017 to a more suitable site, A Place to Play in Thatcham, West Berkshire. The centre opens seven days a week supporting children and young people with special needs and their families during the day, after school and by visiting other organisations through an outreach service. Since opening in 2014 Swings & Smiles has supported increasing numbers of families, and in 2019 provided over 1560 hours of support to 317 families.

The charity relies on fundraising to provide this service and Swings & Smiles has been very fortunate to be supported by many individuals and organisations over the years. Watch our video with Founder Patron Clare Balding below. 

Read stories from Swings & Smiles families