KIDS is delighted to be launching a Healthy Living Programme supporting disabled children and young people across Hampshire, thanks to funding from the Simplyhealth Foundation.

The programme will run from KIDS House, our home-from-home offering disabled children overnight stays in Fareham, as well as at a number of our play and leisure clubs across the county.

As part of the programme hundreds of disabled children and young people who use KIDS’ services will have the opportunity to take part in regular healthy cooking activities, keep fit exercise clubs, and music and dance sessions. Disabled teenagers and young adults will also have the opportunity to attend discussion groups where they can bring any issues related to health, relationships and well-being to the table and build a peer support network.

The overall aim of the project is to improve disabled children and young people’s physical and emotional health and well-being.

KIDS Practitioner Chris Clarke, who will lead on the part of the programme working specifically with teenagers and young adults, said: “KIDS is one of the only organisations in the region offering disabled young people support with making safe and healthy choices when it comes to sexual health and relationships. It’s an area where disabled young people can really struggle to access information and express their thoughts and feelings, which is worrying as we know disabled youngsters are significantly more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse than their peers. We are grateful we will have the opportunity to help more young people in this important area of their lives.”

Roger Cotton, Head of Corporate Giving at Simplyhealth commented: “Periods of transition in life can be challenging for all of us. Add a physical, mental or learning disability to the equation and that challenge increases considerably. That is why Simplyhealth is delighted to support the sessions KIDS is running to help educate and prepare disabled children for their future independence to enable them to make the most of life through better everyday health.”