Based in Barnet in North London, Aidexcel have been working tirelessly to support services to their local community. Their focus is supporting parents and carers with children ages 0-25 who have mental, physical or sensory disabilities through advocacy, advice, guidance and training. Great pride is taken to support parents and carers cope with their challenging situations, making sure that through the parents being supported, their children will be getting the help and support they need to excel.
Little Lives UK is proud to have supported Aidexcel with funding for 10–16-year-olds Fencing Lessons for Disadvantaged Children. The three month project will support seven disadvantaged young people, specifically those with Autism Spectrum Condition and with challenging behaviours. The aim from the hour-long weekly sessions, delivered by Fighting Fit Fencing, will be to help to improve the participant’s physical fitness and body awareness through emphasis on fun, self-discipline, confidence and exploration of the physical limitations of the body. The programmes aim is to enable young people to work on their own skills at the same time as co-operating with others in their community and developing meaningful and lasting friendships and social skills, as well as developing strategies to address personal anxiety and achieving a state of calm. All of the skills learned through this project can then be transferred into everyday skills.
Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, some disadvantaged haven’t had the chance to socialise with people from their own age group for a long time, so this programme will also help to alleviate the loneliness experienced by some.
During the 2019/2020 academic year, it was reported that less than half of children (44.9%) met the Chief Medical Officer guidelines for taking part in physical activities or sports, making projects like this even more vital to the health and wellbeing of the community. Young people living with difficulties face a huge number of challenges, such as processing sensory information such as movement, texture and sounds, making seemingly ordinary situations feel overwhelming and can isolate the children and their families if the correct support is not given.
Aidexcel have also reported that the number of referrals to them for support has increased when the provision for social services is decreasing. Along with this, the first hand impacts that isolation periods have had on the young people of the community has been apparent, especially where mental wellbeing is concerned because of the lack of social interaction with others in the same position or of a similar age. Reports of loneliness resulting in a lack of confidence have had a knock effect on young people’s self esteem and idea of self-worth during the lockdowns.
Along with the fencing classes, Aidexcel have been vital in supporting parents through the lockdowns who have struggled with the ever-changing situation for their children and the lack of other much needed social services.
Amazing work carried out by Aidexcel has really made a difference in their community and Little Lives UK are pleased to be part of the support.