HUNDREDS of disabled children and young people will be able to find more friends and have fun thanks to a grant of £15,000 to the Allsorts Gloucestershire charity from the Freemasons. 

Isolation, accessibility and confidence can be just some of the challenges disabled children and their families face. Stroud-based Allsorts aims to offer a choice of meaningful activities which will help form friendships, and equip families with new skills and knowledge.  

Allsorts Gloucestershire is for families who have a child or young person with any additional need, aged between 0-25 years.

They welcome children who have life-limiting conditions, neuromuscular disorders, autism and learning disabilities, as well as those who may be awaiting a diagnosis.  

Allsorts is based in Stroud in the county’s first purpose-built Toy Library and Play Space.

Multiple activities take place in the Activity Hub on a daily basis including baby and toddler groups, parents and carer support sessions, family fitness sessions, yoga, sensory dance, sensory motor skills, sibling groups, gaming club and the Toy Library. The Hub provides everyday fun, reduces the social isolation of families who have disabled children, and gives these families the opportunity to try new things.  

As well as the children themselves, Allsorts also offers support to the wider family – parents and carers, grandparents and siblings.

A recent member survey showed that 78 per cent of families said Allsorts has helped them try new things, 83 per cent said Allsorts has helped their family to have more confidence to form friendships and 100 per cent said they would recommend Allsorts to another family. 

The grant from Gloucestershire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. 

Allsorts CEO Jane Jones said: “We’re very grateful to Gloucestershire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow local disabled children and young people to find friends, have fun and learn new skills and knowledge for

the future. The confidence the children develop can last a lifetime.” 

Tim Henderson-Ross of Gloucestershire Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Allsorts Gloucestershire, which does a fabulous job helping disabled children to find friends and enjoy themselves, as well as providing support for the whole family."