Supporting churches to provide free therapy for families with additional needs

28 APR 2021

Growing Hope has been awarded £258,000 in funding from Allchurches Trust to enable children and young people with additional needs, and their families, to access free therapy through their local church.

Growing Hope is expanding in order to support local churches across the UK to set up free therapy clinics, with an aim to set up 20 clinics by 2030. Families of children with additional needs often don’t receive the therapy they require, and so with the support of Allchurches funding, Growing Hope aims to bridge this gap. 
The national charity works to support the creation of local charities, which provide free therapy such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, children’s counselling, music and art therapy. Growing Hope aims to grow: hope for children through the provision of free therapy clinics; hope for families through groups for parents, carers and siblings where they have the opportunity to connect and share their experience; and hope in Jesus, through the opportunity to pray or be supported to access church if this is something families would like to do. 
Growing Hope King’s Cross currently supports over 120 individuals each year, whilst Growing Hope Brockley has already impacted 20 families since launching in 2020. The grant from Allchurches Trust will be split across three years and will enable a national team to support the set up and development of Growing Hope clinics across the country with several more churches across the UK. This will positively impact the lives of children, young people and families with additional needs. 
A baby in physiotherapy
Dr Naomi Graham, Founder and CEO, said: “We know that additional needs (physical, learning, mental health and undiagnosed needs) can have a really big impact on day-to-day life. Sadly, there is not enough therapy provision available within current health services and families often report this. At Growing Hope, we want to bridge this gap. The support of Allchurches Trust has come at an essential time for us as a national charity and is enabling us to take a significant step forwards in achieving our vision of seeing 20 free therapy clinics set up across the country by 2030.”
A parent attending Growing Hope Clinic, said: “I have to say that Growing Hope is a community more than a charity. They listen to you, they acknowledge your thoughts and emotions. You are a human being to them, not just a person with a problematic child.” 
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, added: “We’re delighted to support Growing Hope with their vision to expand the number of free therapy clinics in churches across the UK. This will have a huge impact on children with additional needs and their families, who are struggling to cope without vital physical and emotional support. The pandemic has only increased this need and exacerbated feelings of isolation, and so we’re glad that our funding can help Growing Hope to extend its support at a crucial moment in many families’ lives.” 
Parents of young people with additional needs laugh whilst sat in a circle
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