Wooden Spoon Wales’ helping hand still felt 10 years on

THERAPY rooms funded by Wooden Spoon Wales almost a decade ago are continuing to help improve the lives of hundreds of young people with cerebral palsy and other allied neurological conditions each year.

The charity’s £7,000 donation to Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales in 2011 helped to modernise the Cardiff hub’s treatment suites, which are used to provide tailored care to its visitors.

Over the course of the past 12 months alone, Bobath has delivered 1,682 therapy sessions throughout Wales and treated 286 babies and children.

Arabella, this issue’s cover star, is among those who have benefited. Born ten weeks premature, Arabella endured an incredibly tough start to life; suffering with complications with her heart and bleeds on both sides of the brain.

After nine weeks in hospital, she was finally allowed home but still required oxygen to help her breathe for a further six months. Arabella’s parents then noticed she was only using her right hand and, following discussions with their NHS community physiotherapist, she was referred to Bobath Wales.

“When we arrived at Bobath for our first visit, we had mixed emotions,” said mum, Amanda. “We didn’t want Arabella to have any physical disability but we were immediately put at ease. The two physiotherapists who assessed Arabella were incredible and meeting with Glenys, the family support officer, was also a huge support. They were able to give us emotional support, more than they probably realise, in addition to giving us an individual programme to work on at home with Arabella.”

Since her first visit, Arabella has had blocks of specialist therapy, each consisting of five sessions over two weeks, every four months. She has just turned two and is meeting all the milestones and goals set out for her by the therapy team at the centre.

“The impact that Bobath has had has been huge,” continued Amanda. “With every block of therapy, Arabella’s development has progressed greatly. Without Bobath we really don’t think Arabella would be where she is to date.”

Arabella’s Bobath Wales therapist, Gosia Jon, added: “During Arabella’s most recent block of therapy we set a goal for her to be able to use her hands in a more co-ordinated way, ready for her starting pre-school next year. We practised a number of tasks, such as taking her shoes and socks off, assisting with putting her clothing on, painting, gluing and carrying large items. I am delighted to see Arabella exceeding her goals at the end of her sessions.”

This story features on page 10 in the latest edition of Spoonews, if you would like to read the full magazine please click here.

To help more children like Arabella, you can give regularly and become a member of Wooden Spoon for just £5 per month, or make a one-off donation here.