Christmas appeal

Mia doesn’t like the dark. Will you help light up her Christmas?

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Mia doesn’t like the dark. Will you help light up her Christmas?

You can help a child who is deafblind experience the joy of Christmas

Each week, two-year-old Mia attends a group called Mini Magpies, which Sense Children and Family Support Worker Nicky runs at Manor Lodge for pre-school children and their families.

Mia has a very rare condition, which causes epilepsy and severe developmental delay. Her condition also affects her motor skills and muscle tone, so she’s unable to feed herself and it’s unlikely she’ll ever be able to walk.

Mia also has a visual processing condition that means although her eyes can see, her brain is unable to process the information. She can distinguish between light and dark, but she can’t see detail, so going into darkness can be distressing for her as she struggles to understand what’s happening.

Mini Magpies sessions are held in the centre’s sensory room – one of Mia’s very favourite places. The room is filled with twinkly lights, stimulating UV lighting, fibre optic strands and sensory toys.

The sensory room is where Nicky discovered that Mia responds to sparkly lights - like the snowflake light you can see at the top of the page. Special lights like this are an important part of the sensory room at Manor Lodge, where children like Mia can learn to interact with the world. But it takes lots of time, hard work, and the wonderful support of people like you.

A young girl lays on the floor looking up at a man and woman holding glowing lights beside her

Will you give a gift to help light up Christmas for a child who is deafblind or has complex disabilities, like Mia?

A man cradles a young child in a swimming pool

Weekly sessions in the hydrotherapy pool are also hugely important for Mia. The warm water in the pool at Manor Lodge relaxes her tense muscles, and she often feels so comfortable that she falls asleep! Mia loves to be in the water, but the temperature in standard swimming pools is too cold for her. This is why the support of people like you is so vital.

Having the time in the sensory room and hydrotherapy pool each week is massive for Mia and I always feel she gets a great deal from it. Attending Mini Magpies each week is something the whole family looks forward to and it’s a big part of Mia’s life now. It’s wonderful for our whole family to have somewhere we can go together, where everyone understands Mia and her needs.

Andrew, Mia's dad

Will you support Sense this Christmas with a gift and help another child like Mia receive the specialist, tailored support they need? You could help light up not just Christmas, but their entire world.

Your amazing kindness and generosity is helping Mia to be the fabulous little girl that she is, so I hope you’ll give a gift again today to support another child like her.

Thank you so much for your support. We wish you a very Merry Christmas.

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How your money can help

Your one-off donation

£15 could pay for a set of 10 LED smiley star lights. Mia loves sensory lights, and the gentle glow of the stars could stimulate the little vision she does have.

£50 could help pay for a pop-up sensory pod. Filled with sensory materials, and sparkly lights, these pods provide a great home alternative to the sensory rooms at Sense Family Centres.

£100 could help to buy a UV bag of treasures, packed with lanterns, shakers which glow under UV light and other sensory toys for children who are deafblind to enjoy.

Your monthly donation

£10 a month could help towards the cost of a Christmas Family Day, where a Sense Family Centre is transformed into a sensory winter wonderland for children who are deafblind to enjoy.

£15 a month could pay for hydrotherapy sessions for children like Mia, where they can enjoy all the therapeutic benefits of the warm and comforting water.

£20 a month could help parents learn the best ways to communicate with their children who are deafblind this Christmas and all year round.