We are committed to helping SEN children and their families.
Who We Are
Partnering to build a world where all children are treated equally, regardless of any abilities or disabilities.
— Our Mission
Extraordinary Links exists to provide a safe, nurturing place for Disabled and SEN children.
— Our Story
Our founder, Gill, decided, after her child was refused a place at a well known, international children’s group, that the only way she would find this sanctuary of fun was to provide it herself, and set up Extraordinary Links. While setting up this group, Gill discovered a few facts which changed certain aspects of her idea.
‘I came across some research by SCOPE, which contained some rather shocking statistics (in my opinion!)
- 37% of families with a disabled child were on some kind of income related benefit (only 12% of families with no disabled children had the same benefit)
- SCOPE estimated that the extra costs for disabled people was roughly £500 a month, with 1 in 10 spending an extra £1000 a month.
If you couple all of this with an increase in the cost of living, it would be safe to say that raising a child with a disability is not only more expensive, but likely to push a family into real poverty.
Due to this, my idea changed slightly, I did not want money to stop people from being able to benefit from a group that I mean to ease there worries.
I decided to provide a free safe space for disabled and SEN (Special Educational Needs like Autism, ADHD, Sensory issues ect) children to be themselves and play. A space for their families to find support and create extraordinary links.’ Gill Crea (Back her Business 2020)
— Our Vision
Gill recruited three other parents to help with this idea, who our now the trustee’s of Extraordinary Links.
All of our trustees have experienced how difficult it is for our children to find a community that understands them, and we wanted to break this cycle. When we had children we tried to find our parenting ‘tribe’. A group of like-minded parents who would understand our child, not judge them and us, and would accept our families. Traditional groups didn’t give us a safe feeling, and did not have the resources we need for our family and most importantly our children. We decided the best way to do this was to take a holistic approach.
The children who attend Extraordinary Links are provided a fun, safe space. With resources such as a dark den, sensory toys, inclusive activities created with them in mind. All the activities we offer are also offered to any siblings as sometimes they can be overlooked as well. We provide a space in which parents can find likeminded parents, a friendly ear to listen, resources which can help their families and signposting to organisations to offer specialist support.
Between us, we have 7 children, all with different needs. We’re here to help.