Rebecca and her parents have been Reach members for many years. Rebecca shares her experiences as a young girl at Reach Activity Week (RAW) a residential week for Reach children and her advice now as an adult in her twenties.
‘For me, Reach meetings have always been a safe place, where I could be myself with other children who were just like me. I knew that no one would be staring at my hand and I could share my own experiences knowing that everyone understood exactly what I was talking about. Similarly, my parents have expressed how the meetings allowed them to relax more when I was playing, as they knew none of the other children would upset me over my hand (like at school or in the local park).
As a ‘disabled’ child, you are used to a lot of (well-meaning) people trying to do things for you, and not giving you a chance to try it yourself. RAW allowed me to develop my independence; it was a place where I could challenge myself and really prove that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. As a leader, it is just as amazing to see how each Reach child grows in confidence in their own abilities, year on year.’
My advice for Reach parents
‘My best piece of advice is not to be afraid to ask questions. No question is a silly one, and my parents have told me that, not only did it help them to figure out how best to deal with issues in the future, it reassured them that they weren’t the only parents to have worried about particular issues and that they weren’t on their own.
Reach is full of older families, who are always willing to share their own experiences and advice so make the most of them!’