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Helen, Owen's Mum

"For us as a whole family PALS has been an absolute godsend in so many ways. My son Owen, who is now nine, joined when he was about six and it was the first time he had accessed a social activity without his mum or dad tagging along! He has an absolute brilliant time with PALS and his needs are well supported.

Not only does Owen have great fun going out and about with his peers, he has made some good friends, but it gives us some much needed respite and enables us as parents to focus on Owen’s siblings who quite often get over looked.

Owen has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, he is a wheelchair user, non-verbal and has epilepsy, he has very complex physical needs but cognitively is very able. PALS is the only group which really supports his needs and gives him the cognitive stimulation he needs. 

Without PALS, Owen would spend all of the school holidays with me and at the age of nine this is not healthy for him or me."

Jane, Rufus' Mum

"I have seen the tremendous impact attending PALS has had on Rufus, it has built his confidence, self-esteem and enabled him to participate in activities which without PALS he would never have accessed. To see the absolute joy on his face, when he is able to take part in an activity where for once he isn’t struggling along at the back, is priceless to see."

Catherine, Amy's Mum

"Amy joined PALS when she was nine, before then she was a child who lacked confidence and found it very difficult making friendships. 

Amy had never before had the opportunity to attend days out with other children, without me going along too.  When I was there, Amy often clung to me and didn’t really get involved, joining PALS and having to go to events by herself has enabled her to blossom into a child who now wants to know when and where the next event will be.

As one of the older children now in the Fun Factory Group, Amy helps the younger children with the activities and also helps the volunteers and manager.

Amy was recognised in 2014 at the PALS Annual Awards Dinner, it was amazing to see her collect her award from Richard Benyon, thinking how far she had come thanks to PALS.

I would recommend PALS to any parent. Initially I was concerned about sending Amy off by herself, but that step has enabled her to grow in confidence and has shown us as parents that she can do more than we originally gave her credit for.

The group gives the child their own identity, they help to plan the activities and get to make great friends along the way."