We have supported Blooming Blossoms Trust since 2016. They are based in the South Tottenham area of London and are all about making the lives of challenged children richer. Our last grant in October 2022 was in support of their “Spare a Pair” programme which will provide warm winter coats, good quality shoes and socks for children in poverty.
We asked Hannah Singer to tell us more about what they are doing. This is what she had to say.
“Blooming Blossoms Trust understands that children don’t all fit in a box. We embrace the strengths that children have and help them harness their differences so that they can become the best form of themselves.
Blooming Blossoms Trust was set up by children at heart who outgrew children sized clothing. We felt that we were misunderstood as children. Today we are parents, teachers, and community members who regret our childhoods but are in prime position to understand the atypical child. We want to make their childhood safer and happier.
Some of us were gifted; yet our talents were either not recognized or supressed because teachers couldn’t handle our brains. School was torture, because our peers thought we were aliens reading encyclopaedias instead of playing soccer.
Our children are all different. One child is gifted, one child is learning disabled. Another comes from a broken home and is self-raised and raises her siblings and thus has a hard time accepting authority. Another child lives in a traumatic household and has brain brilliance but raw emotional intelligence. Some children, for no clear reason, feel like elephants in their classrooms. They fail academically. They are loners socially, and misunderstood by their families. They squeeze and twist themselves to fit the box, but usually don’t succeed. In this process they are hurting and desperate to be understood and valued for who they are. These children are slipping through the cracks in support systems; they do not need special schools or juvenile delinquency programs. They don’t meet NHS criteria for therapy or ECHP levels for a statement. This is a child on the playing field, when all the children are running right; he is fixed on a lady bug creeping out of earth.
This is story about David S. aged 9 and is typical of many of the children Blooming Blossoms helps.
David was diagnosed with dyspraxia (developmental coordination disorder). He struggled with handwriting and the effort he invested in forming neat and legible letters caused him to miss material and fall behind in class. Motor skills difficulty inhibited his ability to tie his shoe laces or zip his coat which affected him socially as other kids perceived him as weak and dependent. He also had spatial awareness challenges. When he would talk to a peer he stood so close literally before the child’s nose, which made him look queer and socially off and thus alienating peers.
Our therapist worked with him on a weekly basis using a sensory integration therapy approach. He also joined a group of kids his age at our centre in a Fine and Gross motor skill obstacle course which honed his motor skills and were a lot of fun. This year he worked really hard at his weekly therapy sessions and the improvements came slow but steady. He learnt to zip front facing zips. His handwriting is a lot more legible and less of a painstaking effort so he can concentrate on teacher while writing. His spatial awareness is improving too. Last week he had a first play date not arranged by mom. He feels so good about his new friendship with Harry and feels much more accepted in school by all his classmates.
We offer an after school and holidays program uniquely geared to different kids. Our projects include:
- Happy Haven Therapy Centre – where learning disabled children can access high quality therapy free of charge.
- Mad Discovery Lab – a science club for gifted kids,
- The Feeling Talking Walking Garden- a sensory garden for children with sensory issues.
- Literacy Literally Club for immigrant children and those with communication deficits.
We serve 80 children on a weekly basis and 40% during seasonal periods. 89% of these children’s families are reliant on means tested benefits and some have no recourse to public funds. Children come from London boroughs of Haringey and surrounding areas.”
We are proud to be associated with Blooming Blossoms and will be discussing with them how we can support their work going forward.