A groundbreaking service using toys to help children with physical and learning difficulties is expanding into the community thanks in part to more than thirty thousand pounds worth of grants from Radio Clyde's Cash for Kids. Run by the Centre for Under Fives (a voluntary organisation) in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and part-funders Glasgow City Council, the new "Toys On The Road" facility is being launched at the Glenfarg Child Development Centre in Possilpark Health Centre tomorrow (Tuesday).
The service comprises a mobile toy library catering specifically to the needs of young children who need special support. All the youngsters using the new Toys On The Road will be under the age of five and users, with their families, of the Glenfarg Suite. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Glenfarg Suite is an assessment centre for children who have additional support needs, and all toys have been specially selected by the specialist therapists working there. Parents whose sons and daughters use the Glenfarg Suite can now borrow specially selected toys to use at home.
Aileen Macdonald, Manager of the Centre for Under Fives, explains how the new library should benefit the children: "The specialists at the centre use toys as one of their tools to help the children's development. Because the children are under the age of five, it can be really helpful to use specially adapted toys to help things like their co-ordination or their motor skills. Visually impaired youngsters, for example, use special tactile toys, so to be able to continue the work of the Glenfarg Suite at home is going to make a real difference."
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Consultant Paediatrician at the Glenfarg Suite, Dr Lucy Reynolds, said: "At Glenfarg we support children with a whole variety of difficulties, from cerebral palsy to vision or hearing problems to autism. We advise on all sorts of activities for families to do to help their child fulfil their potential, but if the activities are boring it's a battle to get them done. Introducing the right toys can transform tedious therapy into a game. It can be expensive and time-consuming trying to fund the perfect toys to suit the needs of each child, so we're absolutely delighted that the Toys On The Road service will now be available for the families we support".
The launch of the project at the Glenfarg Suite is the second in a planned series of four which have made possible in large part due to a £34,500 donation from Radio Clyde's Cash For Kids. Paul Cooney, Radio Clyde's Managing Director and Trustee of Cash for Kids, said: "We're very proud of Radio Clyde's Cash for Kids and the generosity shown by the people of Glasgow and the West of Scotland. It's a daunting task to try and help as many children as we did last year but rest assured every pound and every penny raised this year by listeners and readers goes to help children like the ones with physical and learning difficulties who need these facilities at Possilpark Health Centre the most".
Glasgow City Council's member for the local area is Keppochhill Councillor Bailie John Gray. He said: "This is a fantastic resource for children in the North of Glasgow who have learning or physical disabilities. It will also provide tremendous support for their parents, who will be able to make the most of play to encourage their child's development. I'm delighted the Council has provided financial backing for a project that could make a significant different to a lot of young and vulnerable lives."
Notes for Editors
* The Centre for Under Fives is a voluntary organisation which provides services commissioned by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow City Council, among others. The Glenfarg Child Development Centre is an NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde facility which uses some services of the Centre for Under Fives.
* Please assemble at 9.50am at the main entrance to Possilpark Health Centre, 85 Denmark Street, Glasgow, G22 5EG. For the avoidance of confusion, the entrance door itself can be found on the corner of Denmark Street and Allander Street.