The new charity Sky Badger will guide families with disabled children to the help they need. The Sky Badger website links all existing disabled children’s charities, social services, special needs resources and support under one umbrella. The site: www.skybadger.co.uk launched this week.
78% of families in the UK with disabled children or children with terminal conditions are kept in the dark for a year or more about what support is available to them.
A survey by new disabled children’s charity Sky Badger shows that only 9% of families are told about disability support within four weeks of diagnosis and a shocking 34% are never told about the help available to them at all.
With cuts to benefits and services, many families of seriously ill and disabled children are struggling to cope, even though help is available, because they just don’t know it’s there.
Sky Badger will help parents get respite care, so they can have a night of unbroken sleep or just a couple of hours’ break; it will help them find out about ‘make a wish’ charities, funders who will help them pay for mobility equipment, specialist insurance and counselling services.
But Sky Badger will do even more than that. It will show families where they can take their disabled child ice-skating, or rock climbing or on safari. Sky Badger exists to show disabled kids that great adventures are possible.
Sky Badger patrons include Professor Stephen Hawking, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Gerald Scarfe.
Gerald Scarfe told us: "My childhood asthma meant I spent a lot of time in bed and in hospital, and not much time with friends. I felt isolated and afraid. Drawing was my way of coping. I drew constantly, putting my fears down on paper. This was the beginning of my creative life. I believe that personal difficulties can push you to do great things, that’s why I am a patron of Sky Badger."
Four mothers founded Sky Badger. Between their 11 children, three are disabled and two have life-limiting conditions. The trustees include Celia Patterson, who worked at So Television, an independent production company that makes the Graham Norton Show.