Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscle control and movement. It's caused by damage to the brain either before, during, or just after birth. Symptoms aren't usually obvious straight away, but as there's no cure, diagnosis can be a devastating blow.
That's not to say those living with cerebral palsy can't enjoy happy and fulfilling lives. The nature of the disorder does present many challenges of varying severity, but with the right support, those living with it can thrive.
Why Volunteer with a Cerebral Palsy Charity?
It's estimated that around 1 in 400 children in the UK are affected by cerebral palsy. That equates to as many as 1,800 new cases each year, which means a lot of parents and families are in need of support.
You can make a real difference when you volunteer with a cerebral palsy charity. You'll see exactly how your time and efforts help, and no charity can ever have too much support from willing volunteers. As well as bringing any skills you have to a particular role, you may also find that you meet lots of new people and find it a rewarding experience in many ways.
How to help Cerebral Palsy Charities
VOLUNTEER AS A PHYSIO
As cerebral palsy affects movement and coordination, therapies such as physiotherapy can make a huge difference in helping people stay independent. Physio is usually very expensive, while NHS treatment can be limited. If you're a qualified physio, lending your professional expertise to a cerebral palsy charity can be extremely valuable.
Working in tandem with physiotherapy, there are sports groups dedicated to helping children with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy. You may find you could volunteer with a Premier League football club that runs a team for disabled young players. Or you could use another sport or outdoor activity to help people with cerebral palsy stay active. As well as being great for their health and your own, you're likely to have lots of fun!
VOLUNTEER AT A RESIDENTIAL CAMP
You may live close to a camp where charities such as Whizz-Kidz give children the chance to have fun while learning new skills at the same time. Residential camps of this sort can be incredibly valuable to people affected by cerebral palsy, and many will have facilities that cater especially to their needs. Your role could be anything from administrative work, to outdoor pursuit training or helping in the kitchen.
VOLUNTEER IN A SHOP
Cerebral palsy charities raise money to directly support people with the condition in their day-to-day lives, as well as funding ongoing research. Shops can be a financial lifeline for charities, and you may find you meet some great new friends when you volunteer in one. Even if you can help for an hour or two each week it'll be much appreciated, but regardless of whether you have the time to spare, don't forget to donate your things rather than throwing them out.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
If you're volunteering with children, you'll need background checks before you can start. This is perfectly normal and doesn't usually take long to sort out.
Even if you only have a small amount of time free each week, you'll be able to do something to help a cerebral palsy charity.
Where To Get Started
By signing up to play People's Postcode Lottery, you too can support charities like Whizz-Kidz. As 32% of the ticket price goes to a range of good causes, you'll be making a difference each and every month.