Potential Kids are looking for a miracle as 2019 begins.
At the end of last year they were faced with their biggest challenge to date.
But before I explain I want to talk a little bit more about this unique service that they provide for families locally.
I did review our first stay and play session last year (you can read that by clicking here) as it will explain why this place is so magical for families.
To summarise, Potential Kids is a voluntary, non-profit organisation based in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, aiming to help young people on the Autistic Spectrum or with ADHD, their siblings and families by providing social and activity groups.
It is a safe and warm environment which we have been able to access.
This Christmas season we have been feeling very isolated and have been mainly housebound.
It is difficult to access parks, busy attractions and family activities because the risks are often too high and also we may face the onslaught of judgemental remarks from the general public.
Many people can’t see when your child has a disability that appears ‘invisible.’
This group has been a lifesaver for us and has given our family access to play and socialise with like-minded people.
My eldest daughter loves going as she says she feels understood there.
This Christmas I had to tell her that it was the last session and that they had to find a new home.
To see her devastated face was just completely heartbreaking.
I have been bombarded with questions ever since but she can’t comprehend my answers.
As a mother, I too feel desolate – how do you explain to your child what is happening when it impacts you as the parent just as much?
At last we finally tap into a service that helps our family from feeling socially discarded, but our trust is soon disabled, as time and time again the help and support we find useful suddenly gets pulled away.
We are hoping this won’t be the case for Potential Kids and that their resilience will just help them bounce back to find a new venue.
You see, this isn’t the first time they have been faced with dramatic challenges.
When they were due to launch (at their current site in Beaconsfield Court) it got vandalised so badly that they had to start the process all over again.
That takes some utter determination from volunteers, who too have their own amount of personal challenges to overcome, but with the goodwill of the community it became possible.
I guess that’s what we are all hoping for now – for someone, somewhere to help this fantastic group so that they can relocate and replicate the work they were endeavouring to do.
On Christmas Eve, Susanna Mateu, one of the directors recorded an interview with BBC Three Counties as they wanted to air the story.
Susanna spoke so positively and with the tenacity she always brings to the voluntary work she dedicates her time to.
The producer asked if any parents would be happy to do a live interview on the morning it was broadcasting and I said I was happy to do it – even though my voice sounded extremely nervous on the day!
Here is a quick link to the catch-up program – you will have to move forward to about 1hr 8mins for the start of the two interviews and to hear the full story (sadly it will only be available on catch up for a temporary basis).
There is a gofundme page that has been set up to help this organisation find a new base – please do help by donating or simply sharing over social media to raise awareness.
For more information on Potential Kids and a link to the petition – please click here.
I will sign off with a selection of some of my own special pictures taken at Potential Kids and I just hope we get to make some new memories sometime in the future.
Thank you to Angela, Susanna and all of the wonderful volunteers for their hard work – what an inspirational bunch you all are.
This is not the end for Potential Kids, but instead, the start of a new direction.
Much love, Danielle x