Mad Hatter's Children's Charity provides fun, educational activities for over 2000 children every year, our biggest event hosting over 1000 children from special schools across the Midlands. We are also increasingly working with individual schools and groups, developing projects tailored to their needs, and help fund specialist sensory equipment, wheelchairs, therapy cycles etc., which help to increase children's independence and quality of life.
Would you like your school to get involved? Find out more about our current activities here.
Do you have an idea for a project in your school? Why not contact us?
Does your child or school need specialised equipment, or other needs? Find out about our grants.
Here are a few of the schools that Mad Hatter's Children's Charity have worked with.
Castle Wood School
Castle Wood School caters for pupils with a wide range of learning and physical difficulties. Throughout the school irrespective of disability all children have access to sensory experiences at various levels and staff are always researching ways of reaching the most disabled pupils and getting them involved independently.
Mad Hatter’s gave help towards purchasing toys and sensory items adapted for their children.Visit website
Friends of Pre school education service
Friends of Pre School (F.O.P.S) support the Coventry Pre School Education Service (P.S.E.S) who work alongside and support over 200 families in Coventry who all have a pre-school child with a range of complex disabilities and additional needs. The service provides learning and behaviour support at home, in early year’s settings and school nurseries.
A grant was given to help support a project to provide sensory feedback, develop their communication, cause/effect and cognition skills; switched activated toys and sensory equipment will be brought with the grant.
Hallmoor is a state-maintained special school for children with learning difficulties, though many have complex needs which include autism, sensory impairment, physical disabilities and a range of social, behavioural, medical and mental health issues. There are 230 on roll aged 4–19 years.
Cycles and adult stabilisers were provided; these help increase their confidence and self-worth; they can also develop a sense of independence with the ability to control and adapt to situations. A Barracuda Trail Buddy was also provided giving uncoordinated children the confidence to pedal while at the same time offering the sensation of cycling as an incentiveVisit website
Hamilton is a very small school with limited funding. The nature of their young people is becoming more complex and they are finding the need for resources that specifically target children with Autism to help them cope with the stimulating world they live in and help them gain more independence and improve the ability to be educated and ultimately improve their life.
Things such as weighted blankets, Bear hugs and ear phones will provide this opportunity to many of the children at Hamilton.Visit website
Penn Hall School
Penn Hall School is a maintained co-educational special school with a residential facility for 80 pupils from 3–19. Pupils have physical difficulties as their major disability, many with sensory and/or communication difficulties, and some with complex medical needs. Every pupil has a statement of Special Educational Needs.
Recently the school refurbished their ‘Soft Play Area’, funding coming from events such as the Annual Summer and Christmas Fairs, Quizzes and sponsored events. Mad Hatter’s provided a piece of equipment, a Laser Star Projector, which has the ability to transform the Soft Play Area into a calming and relaxing environment for any individualVisit website
Queen's Croft High School
Queen's Croft High School is a learning community for youngsters who find learning difficult. Pupils are valued for who they are and provided with exciting things to do. They have high standards of behaviour and high standards of care. Pupils are given the opportunity to achieve and the support to succeed in all of this and the national curriculum too. Although we run just like any other secondary school there are only 186 pupils.
A donation was given towards a residential trip to London, a rare opportunity to visit London and stay with their classroom friends to celebrate the end of their school education as most will join special needs courses at collegeVisit website
Queensbury School is a secondary special school which caters for up to 265 pupils aged 11–19 with moderate learning difficulties. Many students have additional needs such as communication disorders, including Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. All pupils have a Statement of Special Educational Need. Students also have ADHD, emotional and / or behavioural issues.
Sports facilities, mentoring spaces and sensory equipment are an issue and recently the school had to borrow sensory equipment. A donation was sent to Queensbury School to help with these issuesVisit website
Skilts is a Residential Special School for primary boys (age 5-11)with emotional social and behavioural difficulties with associated learning difficulties. They place great emphasis on the need for each child to develop the skills to be confident, adaptable, independent and self disciplined learners within a learning environment that celebrates success, promotes thinking and enables children to feel happy and secure.
A donation was given for the replenishment of much needed sports and IT equipment for use in both classroom and residential housesVisit website
St Rose's School
St Rose’s School provides education, therapy and day and residential care for children and young people with physical disabilities. Most of their pupils have associated learning and communication difficulties and some have complex health needs.
They do everything they can to make sure their children don’t face additional challenges in their school day. A team of experienced therapists are employed directly by the school to work alongside education and care staff. Collaborative therapy and sharing that knowledge is integral to the work of the school.
A grant was given towards the purchase of a communication aid for a student at St Rose’s. This student has no natural speech but a very strong desire to communicate. It is essential for him to develop a variety of alternative communication strategies that he can use independently, throughout his lifeVisit website
Woodlands School is a 2–19 ‘special school’ and the students have a wide range of learning difficulties. Many of the students are on the cusp of reading and recognizing letter sounds but need some creative, multi-sensory ways of accessing this learning.
An application for funding for sensory equipment to enable students with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties to access subjects, particularly English was sent to us and Mad Hatter’s were delighted to helpVisit website
St Martin's School
St Martins School is a LEA maintained Community Special School for pupils aged 11–16. The pupils at St Martins primarily have Learning Difficulties and some associated Emotional/Complex Needs.
An appeal was sent to us for help towards creating an outdoor environment where the students could develop the skills to manage their own behaviour. The school wanted to provide breath taking sensory equipment to encourage the personal development and independence of children with special needs. The equipment can help develop fine motor skills and address sensory needs, group activities and social inter-action skills. For some students being in a classroom can be very stressful, some of the students come from dysfunctional backgrounds where there is chaos and come into school with great anxiety, fears etc. Time in a sensory room would allow these students to talk or just reflect in a safe environment their own feelings and emotions, giving them time to think of ways to cope and deal with them in an appropriate manner.
Venturing outdoors is a whole new sensory experience. Simply the feel of grass against skin provides a wealth of sensory input. Actively exploring the outside world helps the development of balance, co-ordination, social skills, communication and much moreVisit website
National Institute of conductive education
The National Institute of Conductive Education teaches children and Adults with movement disorders strategies to gain greater control over their movements leading to increased confidence, skills and a higher level of potential. To achieve they use a systematic programme of conscious movement strategies called Conductive Education. Alongside direct services they also offer accredited and non-accredited training programmes for families, students and professionals.
“Over the years we have had an increasing number of children who have such a severe disability that they are not able to communicate. Due to their physical needs they are equally not able to access many communication devices and this can leave them feeling isolated and alone. Whilst staff work hard to try to enable each child to communicate it is not satisfactory when the child can only answer yes or no and the communicator has to try and ‘guess’ what the child wants to say.
Recently we have had a few children who have the ability to use their eyes to communicate and we have been doing this with a spelling board. In this way the child can use their eyes to point to a letter or a symbol and we can then communicate with them more effectively. This process hover can be slow and is of course reliant of the skill of the communication partner.”
We provided an ‘all in one eye gaze’ for the institute to help the children to be more able to communicate. The purchase of this equipment will enhance the life opportunities for many children now and in the future.We strongly believe that each child should have a voice which counts and this would enable them to meet this goal.Visit website
Woodfield School is a school for children with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. They attach great importance to providing their pupils with structured cooperative play.
They really do believe that every child matters. The safety, well-being, social and academic development of the students who attend the school are of paramount importance.
Their belief that ‘Together We Will Achieve’, covers each individual’s development relating to the critical areas of social responsibility, academic success, emotional stability as well as personal accountability.
A request was made by the school for some specialist scooters for use in the playground. Being able to use scooters responsibly by respecting other users of the playground and being aware of the dangers of recklessness are skills they try to promote.Visit website