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Cerebral Palsy Help Is Out There

May 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

When someone you love is diagnosed with cerebral palsy the world can suddenly seem like a very lonely place. You may feel like you're completely on your own and once the doctors have walked away you may not know who to turn to for help.

However, there is help out there and by searching around you can find all sorts of charities and organisations, both locally and nationally, with lots of ideas, information and relevant services to help you.

Firstly, you could try Scope and DIAL (Disability Information and Advice Line), a charity for England and Wales which offers a combination of national disability expertise and local knowledge. The group provides free, impartial information, and advice and support to disabled people and their families on topics including communication, education, leisure, therapies, money and work, and families and parenting.

Scope started out in 1952 under the name of the National Spastics Society, changing to the current name in 1994, providing workshops and day centres for people suffering from cerebral palsy. The society also developed special residential centres and schools.

Scope now employs more than 3,500 staff (around 700 of whom are disabled) who continue to uphold the ethos of creating independent education, living and working opportunities for anyone with cerebral palsy or a related impairment. The organisation is also a powerful voice in continuing campaigns for equality for disabled people.

The Stars Foundation for Cerebral Palsy promotes awareness of CP and raises funds to buy mobility, communication and educational aids for people with CP who are unable to get help by other means. The organisation is run by volunteers and is financed entirely by donations and fundraising.

Set up in 1953 by Dame Vera Lynn DBE and Wilfred Pickles OBE, the Stars Organisation for Spastics (SOS) worked alongside the Spastics Society in their infancy, but separated in 2001 to become an independent registered charity - changing its name to the Stars Foundation in 2008.

The concept was that stage, TV and film stars such as Leslie Crowther, Noel Edmonds, Dickie Henderson, David Jacobs, Sir John Mills, Bob Monkhouse, Sir Roger Moore, Sir Anthony Quayle, Sir Tim Rice, Sir Brian Rix and Sir Harry Secombe (who all chaired the charity at one time or another) should use their celebrity status to raise awareness and funds.

The charity offers grants to individuals and organisations all over the UK for items such as the purchasing of equipment for groups and individuals, to paying for the salary of special play assistants.

In Scotland, The Full Circle Foundation is a charity which helps school leavers and young adults with cerebral palsy to go through further education and into social and adventure programmes. The charity's goal is to have a centre, located in central Scotland, which empowers school leavers to take responsibility for their independence and to help them gain social and workplace integration.

The centre would hold up to 50 students and will focus on aspects of communication, physiotherapy, personal development, leisure, style and health and beauty.

For children and young people with hemiplegia, a neurological condition affecting one side of the body and sometimes described as a form of cerebral palsy, HemiHelp is a charity providing support and information throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There are some membership fees involved, but the fees give access for children with CP and their families to HemiHelp events and members receive a members-only magazine along with a pack which contains lots of information and listings of all sorts of relevant services. Plus there are a number of schemes run by the organisation to help those affected by hemiplegia to be able to get in touch with other families and associated groups.

There are also various regional charities to help families affected by CP, such as:

Cerebral Palsy Plus is a Bristol-based charity which offers free services to members (membership is free) and works with children and adults with CP and their families and carers. The organisation's motto is "listening to individuals" and its services are intended to address the emotional and practical needs of members who suffer social or physical isolation as a result of disability.

The charity aims to offer companionship, support and encouragement through a range of services which include an information and advice phone line, an evening club for adults, activities for children, a one-to-one outreach support scheme and a grants scheme.

In the capital, the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy offers a unique service for children and their families living in London. It focuses on educational needs and providing training services for parents, teachers, schools, learning support assistants and other professionals who work with children with cerebral palsy in mainstream situations.

Originally, the charity was established in 1963 by Peter Rigby as The Hornsey Trust for Handicapped Children, working with children with learning disabilities. However, eventually, the services provided by the Peter Rigby Trust were concentrated on helping children with CP. The charity's mission is to be committed to conductive education, pioneering in approach, encouraging to children, families and staff, enthusiastic about the services they provide, continuously learning about what they do, and supportive of those the group comes into contact with.

In Cumbria, there are two charities (which were once combined) offering services and support for families affected by CP. CCP (Cumbria Cerebral Palsy) is the charity which helps deliver the day care services at Lister House in Carlisle and CP Cumbria offers community support.

The charity offers outreach services to all of Cumbria and has a team of support workers and a free information service - all of which is funded by grants, income from local charity shop sales, and fundraising efforts.

If you need help, support or advice regarding cerebral palsy, the above charities may be able to help. If you want to find out about local support groups you should contact your local council or citizen's advice bureau.

There are also groups such as Headway, which raises awareness of all aspects of brain injury and provides support and services for those people affected by brain injury and their families and carers. While the Brain Injury Group is an organisation offering families affected by CP access to specialist personal injury solicitors who have a proven track record in cerebral palsy claims. They also offer help and support in finding local services for treatment, therapies and rehabilitation.

If you have been affected by cerebral palsy, help is out there and you absolutely shouldn't feel alone or unsupported.

For more about cerebral palsy and the help you could receive for your child, visit the Brain Injury Group website.

Source: EzineArticles
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