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Children’s cerebral palsy centre calls for better family support

Opening of PACEs new Early Years Centre, the Weston Centre at Stoke Mandeville - pictured is PACE chief executive Amanda Richardson

Opening of PACEs new Early Years Centre, the Weston Centre at Stoke Mandeville - pictured is PACE chief executive Amanda Richardson

A cerebral palsy support centre has joined forces with other charities to fight for a better deal for children suffering with the condition.

The PACE Centre, based in Aylesbury, is one of ten charities across the UK which is highlighting the need for more consistent help and support for affected youngsters and their families with the Action Cerebral Palsy campaign.

The physical disability is caused by damage to the immature or developing brain that occurs before, during or after a baby is born.

As well as experiencing difficulty with movement, children with cerebral palsy may also have problems with speech, learning and language.

There are currently 30,000 children across the UK who are affected, and one of the project’s main aims is to call for easier and earlier access to intensive support, help and advice.

PACE chief executive and ACP chair Amanda Richardson said: “We see every day the amazing progress that children with cerebral palsy can make, given the right support.

“But we are fully aware that only a small proportion of the 1,800 children born with cerebral palsy every year receive the early and intensive intervention that can transform their lives.

“By joining forces, we aim to get a better deal for all children with cerebral palsy.”

The consortium is fighting for:

> Every child with cerebral palsy in the UK to have consistent access to high-quality services, enabling them to achieve their full potential

> Higher expectations of the potential outcomes for children and young people with cerebral palsy

> The earliest possible identification, assessment and diagnosis for infants and very young children with cerebral palsy

> A national early intervention programme for young children with cerebral palsy, with ring-fenced funding

> Better guidance and training for professionals working with children with cerebral palsy

Louise Taylor is mother to 7-year-old Sonny who has cerebral palsy and attends PACE in Coventon Road, Aylesbury. She said: “When Sonny was born we were given details of a bleak and uncertain future, but he is now highly motivated and has made massive achievements since he started to attend PACE.

“Early and intensive support for children like Sonny really can benefit not only the child, but also all those around him.

“We also know that the financial support Sonny will need in the future is now significantly less, thanks to all the improvements he has made.”

For more information, visit the Action Cerebral Palsy website here.

 

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