DIY SOS: The Big Build with Children in Need

 
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27/09/2013

DIY SOS: The Big Build with Children in Need

Perspex Distribution donated over 150 squares of Perspex® cast acrylic colours to ‘The Little Miracles’ Project as part of  BBC’s charity ‘Children in Need’ featured in the BBC One special programme 'DIY SOS: The Big Build with Children in Need’ and was used as part of a life changing transformation to the centre for disabled children in Peterborough.

The project was completed and ‘revealed’ on 27th September 2013.

 

The project:

‘Little Miracles’ is a parent led centre, support group and charity for children with additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions based in Peterborough. Set up by Michelle King in 2010 after she was refused access on public transport because of her son Oliver’s medical equipment; Little Miracles now helps 700 families and has over 2500 children registered to use the centre. All of the children the centre helps either have additional needs themselves, or are the siblings of a disabled child. The centre run a non-exclusion policy and many of the children that use Little Miracles have been turned away by other services that could not cater to their needs.

What started out as a coffee morning for mums with similar issues quickly became a registered charity working out of a small commercial property, and a lifeline to the many families that use it. A staggering eighty three percent of the families that use Little Miracles live below the poverty line, and as such all of the services they run are free of charge. For many of the children that use the centre, Little miracles is the only place they are able to communicate freely, make friends, and most importantly-be themselves.

 

The build:

Little Miracles currently works out of a small semi-industrial space which they have to vacate in October. Fortunately they are in the process of being gifted a 2 ½ acre site which includes a 1970’s concrete prefab.  The prefab is old, very run down and at the end of its natural life. While the new site is bigger than the Charity’s current property, the building is not fit for purpose and will cause significant problems to many of the families who desperately rely on the help given by Little Miracles.   There are no disabled toilets, access ramps or changing facilities, and the existing climbing structures are unsafe and have been condemned. The building contains asbestos, is not secure and has none of the sensory equipment so many of the children depend upon.

This is set to be our biggest build yet. In order to make a real impact, we need to demolish the existing space and build an entirely new centre using a timber frame structure. The new premises will have full wheelchair access, a dedicated sensory room, space for counselling, an office, workable disabled toilets, a working kitchen and an area for the kids to eat, along with distinct spaces for both the young and the older kids that attend the centre.

Outside the centre is set in two and a half acres with woodland, antiquated climbing structures and a football pitch. These children need a safe space to play with accessible equipment, sensory stimulation and space to run around. The site currently backs onto a main road with no stopping restrictions, and so a car park is another must for the parents to use.

With the help of the local community, trades and companies we intend to fully rebuild the centre both indoors and outdoors to provide a safe place for these children to play for many years to come.