Disabled children’s charity launches new range of toys to loan thanks to £100k donation
Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children has launched a new range of toys called Play Therapy Pods (PTPs) to loan to families with disabled children allowing them to play together.
The charity has invested in 186 new PTPs thanks to a generous £100,000 donation from the Marian Elizabeth Trust. This funding boost means that Staffordshire-based Newlife now has 589 PTPs available for families to use, which the charity says can transform children’s lives.
Running for six years, the charity’s PTP service has provided 6,000 loans of pods to children across the UK. Pods are a free loan of specialist toys for 12 weeks at a time, which provide distraction, relaxation, development and enjoyment to enhance the way disabled and terminally ill children play.
Newlife Senior Manager for Care Services Carrick Brown said: “Parents being able to play with their children, either to assist with their development or making memories together, is what we aim for with our Play Therapy Pods and seeing a child smile and communicate through the power of play, is priceless.”
The new range of pods include: Sensory Pods; Adventure Pods in five themes – Space, Animal, Underwater, Transport and Discovery; and Explorer Pods, which encourage visual, auditory and tactile stimulation. The Sensory Pods are suitable from birth, the Adventure Pods are suitable from 18 months and the Explorer Pods are suitable from five years.
However, the pods can be used by children of any ability and are newly themed so families can group toys together for easier play.
In addition, the new pods support communication needs. The Discovery Pods aid with developing communication skills like sign language and drawing, and the Explorer Pods help children apply these skills to interactions with loved ones and different roles within society.
According to Newlife, playing with specialist toys has allowed families to gain a better understanding of their child’s needs, improving family relationships while identifying opportunities for purposeful development. The toys also encourage some children to play with their siblings for the first time or speak their first words.
To coincide with the new PTPs, the charity has launched a free guide – Powerful Play – to give families tips and ideas on play. It can be downloaded here: https://newlife.support/PowerfulPlay
To find out more about Newlife, visit: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/play