A special needs child is exactly that – special. A gift of a special soul to love, care for and nurture.
The Gateshead Kehilla is blessed with numerous wonderful organisations dedicated to providing the gold standard in educational and social provision for children with additional needs. Haskel, an Outstanding and trailblazing school, is the place they call home during the day, developing their talents, abilities, and personality with excellence. And after school hours, devoted organisations such as Splash provide extra-curricular activities and enriching experiences for the child, as well as his or her siblings.
However, a need was identified for family support during Yomim Tovim and holiday time, when the above-mentioned organisations are not open. With the added parental responsibility of caring for their other children during these times, and the special needs child at home requiring even greater resources of time and patience, it was becoming clear that there was a serious gap in provision for special needs children, and Zero Limits was born.
Zero Limits aims to plug the gap by stepping in during a time when familial caring responsibilities are amplified, by providing crucial support for the families via full ‘day camp’ style activities. During the summer holidays, 12 kids attended full-day activities, cared for by a staff of dedicated, unpaid volunteers.
At Zero Limits, not only are children safe and looked after, but families receive crucial respite and ‘headspace’ to allow them to recoup the energy, stamina, and fortitude to continue caring for and nurturing their child with additional needs during a fraught and busy time of year. Planning for a summer program and the upcoming Yomim Tovim are already in the pipeline, with a 10am-7pm program of activities planned, as well as a Yomtov and Chol Hamoed program. Parents are full-throated for their support for Zero Limits and the impact on their improved ability to face challenges with equanimity and strength.