A Day in the Life… of Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre

November 1, 2012 No Comments »

Earlier this year, yourCardiff and the Echo launched a series of photography essays called “A Day in the Life”, charting 24 hours in the life of Cardiff’s public spaces, tourist attractions, charities, ordinary individuals, or anyone who wants to get involved.

This month, we spent a day at the Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales in Whitchurch -a specialist centre for youngsters with cerebral palsy, which is caused by brain damage in babies or children under the age of two.

Set up 20 years ago by four by parents, whose children had cerebral palsy and were receiving therapy at the Bobath Centre in London, the centre now sees more than 400 children with the condition, from newborn babies through to 18-year-olds.

After being referred to the centre by their doctor, each child has a four-week block of therapy focused around physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, or occupational therapy. Each therapist in the centre’s team of 12 is a specially trained Bobath therapist – working only with children with cerebral palsy and their families to meet their particular goals.

The centre costs around £900,000 a year to run, meaning they are constantly trying to raise funds. October was cerebral palsy awareness month, with many fundraisers based around the month’s “welly” theme. Events arranged by the six-strong fundraising team across the year include corporate breakfasts, vintage teas, rugby legends dinners, a Christmas market, an annual birthday ball, sponsored walks, sky dives and more.

One of the children who has benefited from the centre is four-year-old Ryley Morris, from Builth Wells. Born eight weeks premature, Ryley was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 12-months-old when mum Donna and dad Phil noticed he wasn’t developing properly, and could not sit up or support himself.

The family was referred to Bobath, and has been coming to the centre for therapy blocks for the last three years.

Mum Donna, 29, said: “Coming to the centre has put things in a different perspective – showing us the simple things we can do to improve Ryley’s every day living.

“He used to be very sensitive to noise and did not like sound, but therapy here means he’s a lot better with things like that, and we have a home programme which is useful not only for us but in school.”

You can find out more about the work Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales by visiting bobathwales.org or e-mailing fundraising@bobathwales.org

Got an idea for a Day in the Life feature? E-mail jessica.best@mediawales.co.uk

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