Swings & Smiles offers children with special needs and their whole family, including their parents, vital support to build and sustain important social networks and friendships in an environment where they don’t feel judged.

Through attending Swings & Smiles families are able to cope with better with stress and feel more confident. They are less isolated and able to develop friendships with other families of children with special needs and receive emotional and practical support from each other and from the staff at Swings & Smiles. 96% of parents said they felt less isolated as a result of attending Swings & Smiles in 2019.

We recognise the importance of supporting your mental health and wellbeing and offer specific groups and sessions at the centre to give parents the chance to prioritise their wellbeing. We aim to provide parents the opportunity to find support in an environment where they feel comfortable.

Currently we run a weekly walking group for parents on a Monday morning, starting from the centre the planned route gives everyone a chance to chat whilst getting in some steps. We also hold a monthly online quiz for parents to have the opportunity to socialise without the worry of sorting out childcare.

In the past we have delivered a unique health and wellbeing course for mums once a month where we explore practical ways that we can be kinder to ourselves and improve our self-esteem. At the sessions we've been joined by personal trainers, nutrition professionals and have even spent a couple of hours relaxing while completing activities such as crochet and pottery painting. This group only runs when we have sufficient demand, however, Kellie is able to spend time with individuals and run through some of the topics covered in the course.

If you'd like any more information about the support we can offer parents please email [email protected]

Small things make a difference, letting off steam over a cup of tea that someone else had made you, eating yummy biscuits and having an hour where your world doesn't seem quite as different to most of the population is vital for parental ability to cope with some of the things thrown at us. Nobody understands how tea and a biscuit in a place that understands can make a huge difference when it gets tough. 

Find out more about our support for siblings