Hands up to support disabled children

HANDS UP: Jean Wilson, manager of New Hope Worcestershire, with their mascot Emily Elephant, has formed the Hands of Hope campaign to help raise money and awareness for their children to enjoy their activities Picture by John Anyon 2514626201.

HANDS UP: Jean Wilson, manager of New Hope Worcestershire, with their mascot Emily Elephant, has formed the Hands of Hope campaign to help raise money and awareness for their children to enjoy their activities Picture by John Anyon 2514626201.

First published in News

HAPPY faces are being doodled on the palms of people's hands as a show of support after a charity's first brush with prejudice towards its disabled children.

Upset support workers from New Hope, based in Wells Road, Worcester, decided to turn the negative experience into a positive by creating the campaign Hands of Hope.

People are asked to take pictures of smiley faces drawn on their hands to show they support disabled children's right to access any leisure opportunities of their choice.

They can also make a donation by text messaging HAND79 £2 to 70070 to help fund days out for families with disabled children and children with complex health care needs.

Jean Wilson, founder of New Hope, said: "We support our children to have the same opportunities as their non-disabled peer group do.

"We want to create happy childhood memories for the children we support, enable our children to achieve and lessen their sometimes felt social isolation.

"Recently we experienced our first brush with negative attitudes towards our children within the public domain and it was very upsetting.

"We don’t need to go into detail, suffice to say our support workers were very upset and shocked at the attitude they encountered as were the parents concerned.

"Luckily the child concerned was not aware of the discrimination faced as support workers were able to protect the child.

"This experience has served to make us even more determined to support our children’s rights to access any leisure opportunity that is appropriate to their needs and abilities."

Already, people have been sharing their pictures on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Mrs Wilson added: "We want people to draw a smiley face on their hand, take a picture of it and then share it on Facebook and or Twitter.

"This indicates they are “happy” to support our campaign.

"Obviously we need as many people to see this as possible to highlight the fact we are supporting our children’s rights to access any leisure opportunity they choose to when they choose to."

To join in, send your pictures to jean.wilson46@yahoo.co.uk, on the New Hope Worcester Facebok page and to the charity's Twitter account @WorcsNewHope.

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