Last week, for World Cerebral Palsy day, I visited Stick’n’Step, a Wirral based charity that helps children who have cerebral palsy and their families. I went to check on the progress of the inspirational Harley, one of the children that Stick’n’Step works with.
Children with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy may have difficulties in controlling muscles and movements as they grow and develop. Stick’n’Step uses a method of conductive education that originated in Hungary and is about active learning, and helping the children reach their full potential.
Stick ‘n’ Step offers free sessions that incorporate play, mobility tasks and songs to develop functional skill. Many of the conductors who work with the children are from Hungary or have been trained in Hungary, and the lack of clarity from the Government around the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK is especially concerning.
After eight years of Tory austerity that has stripped our vital public services to the bone, charities that provide such invaluable support such as Stick’n’Step have an increasingly important role to play.
The charity, which has recently opened a new facility in Runcorn, and which offers free sessions to children from as far away as North Wales is funded entirely through donations and other projects, such as Comic Relief. They receive no Government funding, and are currently working with 72 children and families, although they would like to expand to help even more children.
I will therefore be continuing to call on the Government to provide clarity for charities such as Stick’n’Step about what Brexit will mean for them, and to ensure that they receive the funds necessary to carry on their vital work.