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Have an Affordable and Inclusive Christmas!

Here are some tips, tricks and locations in and around Solihull that can make the SEND community a little more comfortable this winter!

Most people will be finding this Christmas very hard for a vast number of reasons. Not only will money be a struggle, as well as it being a hard time for people suffering with loss, loneliness and negative memories surrounding the holiday. But also, being part of the SEND community. It is a period of disturbed routine, and a lot of overstimulating aspects such as loud noises and lights. So we thought we would list a few things that may help a few people this festive period. So many people will be going without not just gifts this year, but basic necessities such as food and a warm home. Here are a few Solihull sources that may help you if you are being heavily affected by the cost of living crisis this Christmas: Solihull Food Bank This link will not only let you know what you need to do if you are in need of a food bank, but if you have the financial room or time to donate or volunteer. Birmingham Foodbanks Here is a link to a list of foodbanks that are available over this Christmas period. Winter Warm Hubs Here are a few Solihull warm hubs available this winter. If you are looking for affordable ways to gift this year, then why not try out second hand buying? Sites like Vinted, eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Depop are all affordable online shops that you can buy great quality items for a fraction of the retail price. You can also converse with sellers and see plenty of pictures to ensure their condition and quality. Or if you would like to get out and about, why not pay a visit to a charity shop to do some Christmas shopping? To get inspiration for bargain gifting, check out Tik Tokers The Budget Mum and Jamie Rose. Of course, there is always the option to bake and make this Christmas for your loved ones. Baking some yummy festive goodies to give out to family members are always much appreciated, as well as being a fun Christmas activity! Or... making a gift! Wreath making and bauble decorating is again not just a fun thing to do, but is also a thoughtful keepsake for your loved ones. Making bath bombs and scrubs are also super affordable and easy, and make a great present! There are also plenty of things to do in Solihull that are designed for individuals who may get overwhelmed or find it hard to navigate mainstream Christmas activities. It is a period of time with lots of different colours, sounds and smells that are different from the norm... So hopefully if you have a SEND loved one these resources may make the festive period a little easier. Birmingham Bullring Accessibility Guide This will give you all the tips and tricks on how to navigate the Birmingham Bullring if you need accessible options! Dobbies Quiet Grottos Does your loved one want to visit Santa, but feel as though they can't because of the overwhelming music and lights? Why not enquire at your local Dobbies Garden Centre about their quiet hours with Santa's grotto? Spencers Retreat SEND Christmas This event is safe, relaxed and understanding, allowing children with SEN to be able to enjoy a Christmas event without the overwhelming sensory overload! Winter Funland at the NEC These events are great for SEN children and their families, we have even used it as a trip before on our own Christmas events! Relaxed Pantomime Performances A few different theatres have relaxed showings of their pantomimes, as they can often be overwhelming for SEND children. If you are looking to attend a pantomime in the area, make sure to call up the venue and ask to see if you are able to access a relaxed performance! Santa Event This Christmas event is open to all individuals with SEND as well as their siblings and carers! Touchwood Solihull Touchwood has a quiet hour every single week to create a calmer and quieter shopping environment for individuals with SEND. Atwell Farm Park They have exclusive SEN mornings with no music and a low attendee capacity. There are also plenty of disability access and policies for carers. And of course... there is the Inclusive Sports Academy Christmas Camp! We are holding a four day extravaganza from 19th-22nd of December full of inclusive activities. It will include two in house sessions as well as two trips out. If you would like to join the waiting list, please go over and visit our Class for Kids booking system. What should you expect from our Christmas camp? Let's take you back to last year where we kick started with a trip to Cadbury world, which was a yummy day full of all things chocolate! We also had a trip out to Winter Funland at the NEC, which went down a storm with all of our participants. Another hit that we will be repeating this year is our annual Christmas Party! For any enquiries surrounding this camp, please either email or call 07743713161! *Please note that due to funding, children who are eligible for free school meals will be prioritised for our camps. We hope we have provided you with some cost effective, SEND friendly tips and tricks for the winter. Let us know any more that you may have in the comments and most importantly... Merry Christmas!

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