Lack of Appropriate Leisure

84% of disabled children in the UK can’t access regular leisure facilities (Contact a Family 2014).

92% of parents feel that their child with complex needs did not have the same opportunities to play as their non-disabled peers (SENSE – A case for Play 2016).

In Bristol 84% of parents said there was a lack of leisure facilities for their disabled child.

95% of parents interviewed in Bristol want access to an exclusive setting with required equipment and support to be able to play with their children (Incredible Kids, 2011).

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65% of parents with children with disabilities report feeling isolated frequently or all of the time and 72% of these families experience mental ill health (Contact a family, 2011).

In Bristol 44% of parents reported feeling isolated and want to meet other parents of disabled children, and of those 71% found this a severe to extreme problem in their lives (Gympanzees Research 2016).

51% felt it was important for their child to meet others with SEN (Gympanzees market research 2016).

The Health Dilemma

Disabled children are ½ as likely to be active than their non-disabled peers.

Children with disabilities are double as likely to be obese than non-disabled children.

Inactivity has been shown to be as ‘deadly’ as smoking (Lancet 2012). It is well known to have a negative effect on health and well-being – leading to

  • Reduced life expectancy from conditions such as stroke and diabetes,
  • Heart and lung disease,
  • Obesity,
  • Sleep problems
  • Certain cancers
  • Osteoarthritis etc

Children with ADHD and Autism often have specific exercise needs. If they are not able to access the appropriate activities, they will find it harder to control their challenging behaviours, struggle with concentration and with coping with their daily lives.

Children with physical disabilities generally start experiencing pain and a reduction in their function and ability to be independent in their early 20’s due to the strain on their muscles and joints which could be alleviated through appropriate strengthening.

Appropriate input, as advised by a physiotherapist, can help to reduce this chronic pain and improve physical independence. Input from an Occupational Therapist can provide appropriate movement to enable children with ADHD and Autism to function better. With the strain on the NHS, services are reducing and parents are often left without the support or input they need. While some families can turn to private therapists, most cannot and the opportunity for the required exercise in the community is slim, if available at all.

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"We absolutely loved the pop up gym, genius idea - wish it was available all the time. Managed a full 50 min tutor session afterwards...that’s the power of sensory integration - usually 15 min max!"
Tara Northen
Facebook - August 2018
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Brilliant session! Both my my children were able to play. And play with each other. Staff are great. Positive! And everything is possible! Xx
Charlotte Deegan
Facebook - August 2018
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"Amazing place! My 6 month twins absolutely loved it and fell asleep straight after- brilliant! 🙂 An opportunity to meet others in similar situations as you. Very friendly and welcoming staff, clean environment and facilities, easy parking, breast feeding friendly, stimulating for young people and overall excellent.👌🏽"
Emma IsAraisin
Facebook - August 2018
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"Jaiden who is 6 and I visited our 1st session today at Gympanzees, it was absolutely brilliant and Jaiden loved it. It was very relaxed for both of us and everyone was very understanding of all the children’s needs. I would fully recommend Gympanzees as there is nowhere else like it!"
Nicola Boyle
Facebook - August 2018
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"Today my 6yr old son and I attended the first Pop-up Gympanzee Activity Centre session. In my mind I knew what to expect, I’d watched all the videos and followed all the updates but I still wasn’t prepared for the amazing feeling I came away with."
Dawn Hicks
Facebook - July 2018
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"This was our 1st visit with our 2 boys and it was fantastic, both boys had great fun, there is so much for them to do. We will be coming back every week! I hope this can become permanent as it is very much needed as it is the only place to cater for a full range of disabilities and the people are lovely."
Rob Hole
Facebook - July 2018
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