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Charity Highlight: Kangaroos

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Kangaroos Fun Disability Club is based near Haywards Heath and provides a range of activities for children and young adults with learning disabilities. The activities they offer give these young people the opportunity to have fun and enjoy a social life with their peers. This is something they may otherwise have difficulty experiencing. Kangaroos offer a wide variety of inclusive social and leisure activities all year round, whilst being supported by the experienced staff and volunteers.

The vision of the charity is to ensure that those with learning disabilities can exercise their right and enjoy all that they can from the experience of leisure, play and recreational activities. They offer a safe and supported family centred environment to their members and do their best to push boundaries by offering the opportunity to build independence, confidence and self esteem in a fun and friendly environment.

Kangaroos was established in 1994 by a group of parents whose children attended Court Meadow School in Cuckfield. This school specialised in supporting children with learning difficulties. It was felt by the parents that their children should be able to access similar school activities as mainstream school children and so a playscheme was set up on Saturdays. This has now expanded and currently offers support to over two hundred members ranging in age from six to thirty-five.

The name Kangaroo was chosen by chance when one parent commented that the children were so happy, they were bouncing around like kangaroos. The group celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019 and managed to raise £100,000 to mark the occasion. 

They have used the money raised to create some very special memories for their members with a range of day trips, overnight stays and mini breaks.

As the children have grown it made perfect sense for the club to grow with them, which meant growing from a children’s charity into something more inclusive. The group became very aware that as the children grew there were even less opportunities for them to socialise and have fun as adults. Such strong friendships were developed by the children that they didn’t want to leave the club and as a result the charity realised it needed to evolve with the needs of its members. Kangaroos had become such a big part of their lives that it was impossible to take it away from them as they moved into adulthood.

If you wish to support Kangaroos in any way either with a donation or as a volunteer, you can find out how by emailing info@kangaroos.org.uk or check out their website www.kangaroos.org.uk. Volunteers are a very important part of all charities and make an enormous contribution. There are lots of positive reasons to volunteer at Kangaroos from expanding your understanding of other peoples lives to making a difference in the community. You will also make new friends as well as learning new skills and capabilities. For those looking to go to university, working as a volunteer can be added to your CV and help you stand out from other applicants. 

www.kangaroos.org.uk

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