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The Chester Bluecoat Charity is delighted with the impact made after awarding BIRD, The Brain Injury Rehabilitation & Development Charity, £5,000 in 2022.

Based just outside Chester, BIRD works to improve the lives of children and adults in the local area who have learning difficulties and brain injuries. This supports people who might have suffered a stroke or head injury, or those who live with a condition such as autism, cerebral palsy or attention deficit disorders, amongst others. The vast majority of people who BIRD supports are aged under 11. Established in 1982, there has been unprecedented demand for their services in recent years, exacerbated by pressures on the NHS, meaning some families are waiting over a year for a diagnosis assessment. A delay in treatment could have a big impact on a child’s development and create communication problems which in turn could lead to them struggling in school.

The grant given to BIRD was towards a therapy project to support 20 disadvantaged children of pre-school age who have communication, physical and/or learning difficulties. Many of the children struggled with their co-ordination, meaning things other children take for granted, such as using cutlery and dressing, was a challenge. Some had trouble sleeping, maybe only managing 2-3 hours sleep a night, which has a massive impact on their parents and siblings. A lot of the children struggled to express their needs, leading to frustration and meltdowns.

The children benefitted from a physical therapy programme where, after an initial individual assessment, the families were given tailored development reflexive rehabilitation to carry out at home. They then attended an appointment every other month with a trained specialist to ensure the programme was working for the child. This lasted for 12 – 16 months, depending on the progress made.

A parent whose son participated in the programme said “We can really see outstanding results! He has dramatically improved his attention and concentration, improved his social interaction skills and his understanding and comprehension abilities have increased significantly.”

The programme showed great results with 90% of the children involved reporting improvements in their daily activities, including with communication skills such as eye contact, better sleeping patterns and improved emotional well-being.

Another parent commented “We would like to share our story to raise awareness of BIRD and hope that more parents in our position can benefit from what we feel are genuinely life changing improvements. At the outset, we couldn’t have hoped for the results we have seen, and now we have a completely different little boy from the start of our story with BIRD”.

To find out more about how The Chester Bluecoat Charity could support your organisation, call our friendly team on 01244 345 787 or email