When they started up almost a decade ago, securing huge grants from Children in Need looked a lifetime away for a Whitby charity.
But after significant hard work, dedication and a great deal of success, WHISH in Whitby will now benefit from almost £30,000 from a grant to be spread over the next three years.
“It’s good that local people can see that their money raised on Children in Need Day does in fact benefit lots of local children,” said Yvonne Harrison, WHISH’s project worker. “Some of it is for activity days in the school holidays, some for activities during term time, as well as evening sessions we run – it’s for a whole range of things.
“It’s about bringing the children together with other children and building friendships, reducing isolation and giving them confidence. Children then make friends and have exciting things to talk about when they go to school.”
WHISH aims to give families positive experiences and support in living with hidden impairments. These include autism, dyspraxia, epilepsy, ADHD and many others.
The charity offers a wide range of activities for children, including swimming, games, riding, social groups and many others.
Children with hidden impairments often miss out on activities that their peers take for granted because of their lack of social skills, anxieties and sensory issues.
WHISH offers members the opportunity to take part in these activities in a supportive environment enabling them to learn new skills, meet other families like themselves and increase their confidence and self-esteem. Children can learn new skills, have better balance and co-ordination, start to communicate with others and make friends in a safe environment where they are allowed to fully participate, regardless of their physical or mental ability.
Yvonne now hopes having the backing of Children in Need will help to boost WHISH’s profile. She said: “It’s a big charity that everybody has heard of and it gives people a lot of confidence. People think that if they’re good enough to get a Children in Need bid it reassures people that we are very well established now.”
The charity has also benefitted from other grants, including from the People’s Health Trust’s Active Communities Grant.
Earlier this year, WHISH celebrated the opening of a multi-sensory room, pictured, a place where youngsters can explore sights and sounds in a relaxed environment.
If you would like to find out more about WHISH, there’s the perfect opportunity to do so this weekend. They will be holding a craft fair and open day on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
They are based at St Hilda’s Business Centre on The Ropery in Whitby.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.