The Yeovil Opportunity Group is a local organisation providing early intervention and support for families and children with a wide variety of additional needs, offering time, space and many years of experience to help change lives.
Within their supportive, caring environment, they are able to give all the necessary therapy and learning through play to young children, and their superb team of specialist skilled staff means that each child receives the individual 1:1 support they need each day, helping and guiding them with their learning and development journey.
Several members of our team had the privilege of paying a visit to the Yeovil Opportunity Group last month, where they were given a tour around their premises, an introduction to their history and what they do, and were also given the chance to meet and interact with some of the children, witnessing first-hand the superb care and attention they offer each child.
The Balidon Centre, where they are based, is purpose built with excellent facilities to cater for these children, with both a large and a small playroom, a music and therapy room, two outdoor play areas accessible from both playrooms, and kitchen area where the children have the chance to take part in hands on cooking activities.
The great main outside area has a whole variety of fixed play equipment as well as a vegetable and flower garden, and even has an area where indoors learning can be carried through to outside play.
The sensory room is a recent addition, which has proven to be an absolutely fantastic resource for the children to take part in a wide range of fresh, creative sensory experiences, vital to their learning and development journey.
Across all areas, there is a huge focus on hands on activities, where the children are encouraged to use their senses, learning by touching and handling objects and using images and signs. As, for many of these children, speech is one of the last things they will learn which can be extremely frustrating for them, often resulting in tantrum problems, this is a really great way for them to communicate.
Scientifically proven to have a huge positive impact on children with special needs, and in particular, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), sensory work and music therapy can massively improve social and communication skills through a range of interactive musical activities such as singing, playing instruments and listening to music, in addition to teaching basic social skills like making eye contact and turn taking.
Giving people who can’t easily communicate a way to do so, the Yeovil Opportunity Group help these children to overcome their difficulties and progress.
Although this group receives the same funding as any other preschool setting, they never turn any child away because their needs are simply too great. This often requires huge expenses.
Our Business Development Manager Graeme Melvin nominated this organisation for a Blake donation, having proved first hand their excellent support and care with his daughter Tegan, who has Downs Syndrome. Here he shares his own thoughts on the group:
"They are an amazing charity set up to provide pre-school children with any special educational needs, which includes speech and language therapy and physio, and all the other therapies needed to support individual children’s needs. Early interaction is so essential for these little ones.
They were such a great help and support to Tegan's needs and helped in the transition into mainstream school - she started there at the age of 18 months - she progressed in leaps and bounds. They continue this support for those special children. Definitely need our support."
Blake we were very happy to offer our support with our £500 donation. This, we were pleased to learn, will fund a new outdoor sensory garden with a whole range of exciting new equipment which will allow the children to take part in a whole host of new hands on, sensory activities to further their learning experience.
To find out more about Yeovil Opportunity Group, visit their website here.Posted: 07/05/19 by Stephanie Smyth