With countless “lockdown experiences” emerging across the country, nine-year-old Bodhi has a bucket list of things to do in a jar when all restrictions are lifted.
His mum Caren explained that the lockdown has not been without challenges. She said: “Although we home educate, and have lots of resources, we still found it a bit difficult to establish a routine and ensure a balance between education and fun. It is also difficult for us parents to constantly look after the house and kids – I honestly don’t sit down!”
Bodhi, who has with global developmental delay and autism, has been managing the lockdown by taking part in Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s online Short Breaks activities for children with disabilities. Under normal circumstances, these sessions are delivered on a weekly basis in Osterley and during the school holidays.
Yet the government lockdown has meant that Chris Tribe, Disabilities Manager at our Trust, has had to be creative in how he delivers physical activity for children while at home.
Chris said: “We’ve had to find new and innovative ways to engage with our participants and encourage them to stay active at home. Since the lockdown began, we have been creating and sending out weekly sports challenge videos for families to try at home, which have proved to be really popular. The next phase of the project will focus on delivering weekly online activity sessions for small groups, which will provide opportunities for the children to continue to stay active and also to socialise with other families from the project, who they may not have seen or spoken to for several weeks.”
And Caren has pointed out that physical activity for Bodhi is now needed more than ever. She said: “Bodhi has not had occupational therapy for over a year and this is not the first time we have had such big break sadly. Doing sport activities, which incorporate both gross and fine motor skills, is hugely beneficial. Because of his age, he now wants to do ‘regular’ activities, so sports can mean he is learning without him realising it!”
The Short Breaks project, commissioned by Hounslow Council, supports children with a disability with their confidence and development through a range of free sporting activities. Over the past year, the project has engaged with more than 150 children in Hounslow. For more information, email [email protected].