Group story time 2
Goodbye Chelsey (Katie kissing)

 Stepping Stones Children's Centre provides services for pre-school children who have an emerging or diagnosed disability. At Stepping Stones, children take part in activities both in a group, and working one-to-one with a project worker. Play workers are also on site to facilitate play and learning opportunities and to be with children between one-to-one sessions. This facility is available to all families in Swansea who are referred by health professionals (since attendance is based on disability), and no other similar facility exists within the area.

Friends of Stepping Stones is an organisation which was started by families whose children attend or attended the Stepping Stones project, and who want to provide fundraising and support for the Centre. FoSS has existed since 2000 in its current form, and obtained independent Charity status in March 2009.

Stepping Stones should be available to all children in the Swansea area with a disability, but due to funding restrictions this is not possible and therefore the referring health professionals must decide amongst potential attendees. Even once this has been done there are still waiting lists. However, more staff at Stepping Stones means that more children can attend the project, and so FoSS is trying to improve staffing levels in order to ensure that the maximum number of children can attend the project.

FoSS is an organisation that collects funds on behalf of Stepping Stones and gifts these funds to the Centre for appropriate projects.

Since 2000, FoSS has provided a people carrier to ensure that all families have the opportunity to attend regardless of means, provided 2-3 year fixed-term project worker posts, and provided funding for two extra afternoon sessions to be run.

The volunteers who give their time to FoSS are valuable because most of them have a disabled child in their family, making time even more precious and scarce, and yet they still find the time to help FoSS. Whilst there is no doubt that the Stepping Stones project could survive without FoSS, it is definitely true that FoSS plug a gap for Stepping Stones that would not be managed any other way. We are committed to maximising the service to the disabled children and families of Swansea to allow as many as possible to attend and receive as great as possible a benefit from attending.

We know from experience (of our own children attending) how valuable the Stepping Stones project is, and many of our children would not be where they are today without the help of all the staff at Stepping Stones. We want that service to be available to everyone who needs it, and that is why we do what we do, often spending time and energy "above and beyond the call of duty" to give the disabled pre-school children of Swansea the best start in life that they can have. Because there is no price you can put on that.

The Friends of Stepping Stones Committee are:

Angela Hill-- co-chair
Adele Morgan-- co-chair
Jonathan Morgan-- vice chair
Amanda Richards Parssa-Nykoo-- secretary
Lindsay Glover-- treasurer

We welcome Gill Worrall as Methodist Church liaison.

Would you consider joining us? We would always like to have more regular attendees in our meetings and no experience is necessary! Please see News or Events for our next meeting date. No need to contact us in advance (but feel free to if you'd like), just come to Stepping Stones at the time and date specified.

steppingstonesaerial

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