KIDS at 50

Welcome to KIDS’ 50th Anniversary

For 50 years, KIDS has worked alongside disabled children, young people and their families.

We’ve directly helped many thousands of children and young people, supported their families and worked creatively to provide support in the way that’s right for each individual We’re delighted to share examples of our achievements over five decades; stories from families we’ve supported, young people who have used our services, trustees who have guided our work and staff who have dedicated their working lives to championing the needs of disabled children.

We have a gallery showcasing some of the events we’ve organised and from some of our services over the years, messages of support, and a timeline (coming soon) illustrating a snapshot of some of our achievements in each of the decades.

As the anniversary year progresses we will be adding more content so please do check back regularly. And if you spot a gap or have a story to share we’d love to hear from you!

Michael has worked for KIDS for over 18 years across play and leisure projects in Hackney. He shares why he’s so passionate about working with disabled children and his memories over the years.

"I started working for KIDS back in 2002 and my journey initially started at KIDS Hackney Adventure Playground. During my time as a full time playworker, I had the chance to work with a great team of dedicated people. Together, we helped lay the foundations for what would be the only local  playground accessible to supporting children and young people with disabilities.

My passion for working with disabled children came from my own personal experience with my brother, who was partially deaf. Growing up, I began to realise that there was a lack of support for disabled children and their families and this is what led me to build a career in this field.

My career journey with KIDS

After my time as a playworker, I took on the role of Short Breaks Coordinator, helping to develop KIDS’ short breaks service in Hackney. Over the years, I have witnessed KIDS has grow from strength to strength. For example, when I first took over the project, the service only provided short breaks for 10 families in Hackney and now we support for over 100 families, expanding our service to the neighbouring Borough of Waltham Forest.

I also worked part time as a Home Learning Practitioner, which enabled me to support parents of children, who had been recently diagnosed with a disability. I worked in partnership with the families to help the children, aged 0 – 5 years old, setting weekly achievable goals to enhance their child’s learning, through fun, planned activities. This helped the children with their personal development and abilities.

Making lasting memories

Looking back, I have seen KIDS flourish including being recognised locally and nationally within the disability sector. It’s great to be a part of KIDS, an inclusive charity committed to providing quality services for children, young people and their families.

Some of my fondest memories with the children and young people involve intense football matches, talent shows and crazy water fights. But most of all, seeing the children have fun and enjoy themselves.

What I enjoy most about KIDS is being part of a caring, collaborative organisation that gives me the chance to support children and young people through their personal journeys in life. The work we do gives them the opportunities to have fun, socialise, experience activities, learn and develop and make their own choices."