SPDC Announced as Mayor of Sandwells Chosen Charity

Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children is delighted to announce that the new Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Julie Webb, has chosen SPDC as one of her charities for the forthcoming year.
Diane Rai, our Manager and Linda Lloyd, our Events Co-ordinator attended the Mayors reception where SPDC were formally introduced as one of the Mayors charities.

Diane Rai gave a speech at the Mayors reception:

Good evening. My name is Diane Rai and I am the Manager of SPDC – Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children. I am honoured to be here this evening as one of the Mayor’s chosen charities for the coming year, and I’d like to thank the Mayor most sincerely for choosing us.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about SPDC. The organisation was started in 2003 by a group of parents in Sandwell who all had a disabled child and were frustrated at the lack of play and leisure opportunities for them. Those families wanted the same as everyone else – to go swimming, go bowling, go to the cinema, have days out and so on. However they encountered lots of problems trying to access mainstream activities and so they decided to get together and start organising some activities themselves, bringing families together to support each other and have some fun. The group started with the ethos that it’s really important that families have the opportunity to spend quality time together and have some good times to strengthen bonds and build up resilience, so that when the bad times come along families are much better able to cope.

SPDC has gone from strength to strength in recent years. We became a registered charity in 2008 and we are now seen as a leading provider of play, leisure and sporting opportunities for disabled children in their families in Sandwell. Last year we worked with over 250 disabled children and their families and supported those families in accessing a huge range of opportunities. Our motto is ‘fun without limits’ and that sums us up perfectly. We support families to push the boundaries, come out of their comfort zone and achieve more than they ever thought possible. We hear a lot of negative things about family life in Sandwell and it’s true to say that life is often difficult, even more so when you have a child with a disability. However what we see is families supporting each other, enjoying being together and really developing as a family unit. If anyone is the room has an interest in children with disabilities, their siblings who are young carers or parent carers I would urge you to get in touch with us and if you can spare an hour or two come and see us at one of our events or activities. You will be amazed to meet our families and I can guarantee that you will leave with a smile on your face. I’d like to thank at this point members and officers from Sandwell MBC who have supported SPDC over the years and believed in our work – without that support we wouldn’t be where we are today.

I am privileged to be doing my job and working with the families we work with. I joined the organisation in 2007 on a part time one year contract and here I am, still here – no one’s told me to stop! I am as passionate today about our work as I was on the day I joined – even more so probably because I have seen what a massive difference we have made to so many families’ lives over the years. It’s simple really – we believe that the family that plays together, stays together and that’s what we see over and over again.

I’d like to finish with some words from one of the families we have worked with recently where following a family trauma a grandmother had taken on looking after her 2 disabled grandchildren. She said:

“Without SPDC we would be socially isolated. My granddaughters wouldn’t have progressed so far without this club and the activities. We have developed new friendships and have even started to meet up outside of the club. This has helped improve our physical and mental well-being. SPDC are helping our girls have a happier childhood and build happy memories.”

Thank you for listening and I hope we will be able to welcome some of you to our events and activities over the coming year.’