Kent FA appeal highlights importance of play

15 April 2016

A family using Demelza is urging people to get behind the charity’s joint appeal with Kent FA to refurbish its sensory soft play room. Hallie, five, has osteopetrosis, a rare genetic condition which means she is blind and has brittle bones. She and her eight-year-old brother Logan really enjoy the chance to play together at Demelza Kent, our hospice in Bobbing, Sittingbourne.

“Hallie loves the soft play room, especially the ball pit and the interactive music kit,” said dad Ian Robb.

Mum Megan Janes added: “We can’t really relax if we take them to a public play centre because we can’t let Hallie go off in case the other children knock into her. At Demelza she knows her way around the soft play room and she can have her freedom.”

The Kent FA appeal needs schools, youth and adult football teams, and businesses throughout the county to sign up and take part in some champion fundraising activities related to the beautiful game – with prizes for those that make it to the top of the league.

As well as refurbishing the soft play room, the appeal aims to fund a
team of nurses to provide around the clock care to children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

The importance of making play facilities accessible to children with complex needs is highlighted in a report by Sense, the charity for deafblind and sensory impaired people.

Following a public inquiry into the provision of play services for children with multiple needs, the report concluded that lack of access means they miss out not only on having fun but on emotional, social and physical development.

Demelza’s Director of Care, Beth Ward, said: “A lot of the work we do at Demelza is about giving the children in our care the chance to live a full life – and that means being able to have fun like any other child.

“For them, the soft play room is somewhere to have a great time, but for their families and our care team it’s also an important therapeutic resource. That’s why we are so grateful to Kent FA for supporting its refurbishment.”

Check out the Kent FA Appeal fundraising packs and fun resources to help get you started by clicking here