Stick ‘n Step
Who we are
Stick ‘n’ Step is a registered charity in England and Wales that works with over 100 children and young people with cerebral palsy (and other motor disorders) from across North West England and North Wales providing access to free weekly conductive education sessions.
Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination, caused by injury to the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth. In the UK, cerebral palsy affects about one in every 400 children.
A diagnosis of cerebral palsy not only affects the individual children but also their family members. Caring for a child or young person who has cerebral palsy takes adjustments and planning, and since cerebral palsy affects each person differently depending upon the type and severity of the disorder, some may have to make more adjustments than others.
What we do
Children and young people attend our centres in Wallasey or Runcorn on a regular basis to take part in group conductive education sessions. Sessions are delivered by a team of highly-skilled professionals including qualified Conductors, Classroom Assistants, and Teachers. This team of professionals is also supported by a team of volunteers.
Conductive Education (CE) is based on the premise that people with motor disorders can learn to better control their movements. Recent research into neural plasticity has proven that the human brain is capable of learning and adapting even after a substantial injury. CE, therefore, combines elements of both education and rehabilitation and employs a wide array of strategies that are based on current evidence and best practices:
- CE sessions at Stick ‘n’ Step are led by professionally trained practitioners, called conductors, whose main role is to instil in the children a sense of self-worth and confidence to achieve their full potential. Parents often comment on the conductors’ enthusiasm and positive outlook which motivates children to strive for independence in everything they do.
- CE sessions always include physical exercises in the lying, sitting and standing positions. We call these task series, as they are designed to help children find solutions to their movement difficulties. The tasks they practise are directly related to activities of daily living: the movements needed to lift a spoon to the mouth, tie shoelaces, get out of bed, grasp a lego block or take steps. These movements are first perfected during the task series and then applied during real-life experiences.
- CE sessions are delivered in a group setting, which acts as a powerful motivator: children learn from and inspire each other, and their learning is enhanced through positive interpersonal relationships. They gain so much from sharing their experiences with others who have similar strengths and difficulties. Parents also value the opportunity to spend time with other parents and not only share information but also provide each other with emotional support.
- Although children work in a group, it is recognised that they all have unique abilities and challenges and may be at different levels of development. A high adult-to-child ratio ensures that children receive just the right amount of help they need to learn and then apply new skills. Activities are always differentiated and designed for the specific needs of individual children.
Conductors at Stick ‘n’ Step work to ensure that all children are fully engaged during their sessions. They promote active learning through age-appropriate activities that include play and music. Although sessions are highly structured to maximise learning, children have lots of fun, enjoy their sessions and are motivated to learn.
Conductive education is not a service that is offered by the NHS, the level of support and services offered for children with cerebral palsy varies widely depending on their postcode and the local health service that they fit into. Many of our families have told us that, if their child did not attend Stick ‘n’ Step, they would only have access to a health professional on average once a month and that would end at the age of 16.
Why we need you
It costs in the region of £7000 per child, per year, to provide access to the free weekly group sessions that we provide.
We need to raise £750,000 per year to deliver our services annually and we do not receive any statutory funding. We rely on the generosity of local people, businesses, communities, grant-making trusts and individuals like you who are willing to take on a fundraising challenge.
Skydive for us!
The deposit is £50 and we ask you to raise a minimum of £400.
Thank you so much!
Stick ‘n’ Step contact: Sarah Johnson
Phone: 01516 380888