Through sadness comes joy
1Step2Step were sad to hear that their dear friend Laura Whitehead passed away in August from complications of her cerebral palsy. Laura had similar difficulties to the children that 1Step2Step work with to support their progress. Laura greatly helped Nicola to understand the difficulties of the condition and the value of communication.
Laura’s family were very kind to collect donations at her funeral for 1Step2Step. This was a kind gift which we, as a charity, didn’t want to use in a general way, but to make it into something special for the children in Laura’s honour. We found that the donation was enough to cover the buying of a swing bench.
The orphanage had one, but it was on the other side of the orphanage complex and it was hot to walk them there. We were able to get the orphanage bosses’ permission to buy one to have near the ward where our children live. This means we can go swing on hot days (very common weather type), and possibly go too on rainy days and get there quick, if we don’t have much time and when a swing is the relaxing thing a child needs.
On the DAT study tour, we saw how swings were a major feature in many of the schools, so it’s great that we can do this more often.
Already it’s been used to calm a crying child after medical treatment, as a place to watch traffic and practice communication with staff and children passing by. The type of swing we have has a platform between the two benches which face each other. This means a wheelchair can be placed on the platform and from the supported comfort of their chair, they can enjoy the vestibular movement. Also I have a ‘GoTo’ seat which can be attached to the bench, so one child can sit supported without being held.
On the swing bench is a plaque in honour of Laura with a sweet picture of her. This is so her memory will live on and she will not be forgotten.
This bench is a lovely place to sit, but it’s so much more and will bring great happiness and assist the children’s development. We thank all who donated and to Laura’s family and loved ones for blessing us in this way.