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Small grants scheme - individuals, groups and organisations encouraged to apply

People are being encouraged to apply for grants of up to £10k to help increase the number of opportunities and activities across Wiltshire for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND).

Published 10 November 2023
Jenny singing

Wiltshire Council has invited groups, organisations and individuals to apply for the funding which can be used to buy or increase the things needed to start a club or activity for children and people with SEND, such as resources and materials.

Deadline for submissions is midnight on Sunday 7 January 2024.

Applications will be assessed in January 2024.

The small grants scheme was established after parental feedback and aims to create more opportunities for children and young people with SEND in their local communities, providing greater access to clubs, activities and other groups. The approach is aligned to the council's business plan to ensure children and young people have the best start in life and to provide opportunities for all young people to engage in wider society and the council.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: Anyone can apply for these grants. You may be an individual, a voluntary or community parent led organisation, a charity, a co-operative, or a school looking to offer new or additional activity. The most important thing is to increase the availability of opportunities and activities for children and young people with SEND in the Wiltshire area.

Parents' and carers' thoughts and ideas are a key thread running through our current SEND strategy and their feedback led to us setting up this pot of funding. We now want more groups and programmes to benefit from this funding so please do get in touch with your ideas of how it can be best used for SEN children and young people in your area.

Last year twelve individuals and organisations received funding to provide activities for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and we have some great examples of where having this additional funding has meant schemes can buy additional play equipment for their SEND programmes. For example, in Barford St Martin's they were able to purchase additional SEN equipment so children with SEND can play alongside their peers safely.

Grants were awarded to 4Youth, Fairfield Farm School, Kandu Arts, Leigh Park Community Centre, Ludgershall Stay and Play group, Roche Court Trust, Springfield Community Campus, Take Part, Wiltshire Canoe Club, Yes you Can, and Wiltshire Outdoor Learning Team.

What some of the grants have been used for:

  • The Leigh Park Community Centre community garden project for young people with SEN of all ages, is now open for enrolment to learn and contribute towards a community garden. The project will include designing the garden, learning and resourcing about the different materials, plants and vegetables needed to create a sustainable garden, including sensory items and allotment. community gardens encourage people to become more socially and physically active and to develop stronger ties to their community. Gardens provide nutritional value through the growing and consumption of fruit and vegetables, in addition to relief from stress and inactive lifestyles. All young people will need to be supervised and it is open to schools, groups and families. To register your interest, please email: office@lpccwestbury.org.uk (opens new window)  (picture of the land before work starts provided)
  • Inclusive Play Sessions are being run at Springfield community Campus in Corsham for neurodivergent and/ or disabled children aged twelve and under. Parent/ carers need to accompany children. The play sessions are available to offer a safe and nurturing environment, for children to play in ways that they prefer, without judgement. A focus of the play is based upon sensory needs, with play activities and equipment that meet these needs. Sessions must be pre- booked by calling Springfield campus on 01249 468460 in the week prior to the session, as places are capped to ensure safety and enjoyment for all.
  • Session one- runs on the first Saturday of each month from 3pm to 5pm and is aimed at children who are comfortable within an active environment. This session has a bouncy castle, as well as the regular play equipment.
  • Session two- runs on the third Saturday of each month from 3pm to 5pm. This is aimed at children who need a quieter environment with fewer children. This session has a large sensory tent, as well as the regular sensory play equipment, construction activities and art.

Facebook group which publicises sessions and activates https://www.facebook.com/groups/611253470610194 (opens new window).

  • Rachel Harris set up the Ludgershall stay and play group after finding that there were no local SEN groups in her area. She said: "The children love coming to the club to play and just be children with no one judging them and the adults enjoy a cuppa and a chat with other adults in the same situation. It means so much to the children to have new equipment and toys to play with. The group has grown so much, and the children have now come to rely on the group which runs every fortnight. The children have come out of their selves so much and have grown in so much confidence. Friendships have been made amongst parents and children alike."
  • Barford parent Emma Claydon who set up a new playground said: "Having a facility within the village that enables children with additional needs to play alongside their mainstream peers provides a perfect forum for the children to integrate, socialise, learn new skills and have fun."
  • Yes You Can Wiltshire said: "The SEND small grants scheme has allowed us to order fencing to make the outside area safe, as well as various new pieces of equipment that the children can use. We are very excited to open our outside area soon".
  • Fairfield Farm College were awarded two grants for a Living Well Social Club' and a Local Lunch Club. Feedback from young people: "gets me out the house to meet new people. I like the pub visits, playing pool and skittles", "I like the dancing", "I like that we do different things in different places", "It's got a community atmosphere", "It's fun, we have a laugh with our friends. I go every week", " It's good fun" and "I am happy on Steps. I like that Steps challenges me. Where else would I go that challenges me and helps me become independent. I may have a learning disability, but I don't want that to hold me back from doing things I want to do. I like Steps and I am doing well".  

For a full article on the previous Small Grants Scheme, please visit:  Small grants scheme makes a big impact for SEND families in Wiltshire

For more information about the scheme including how to apply please visit Getting involved, or contact:

CandF.Commissioning@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window)

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