Staff Festival 2023 | Why your charity vote is so important

“We simply couldn’t do what we do without the support of events like this.”

Physiotherapy and physical activity play a vital role at SNAPS

Staff Festival 2023 | Why your charity vote is so important. February 2023

With voting in full swing for the 2023 Staff Festival charity, the most recent beneficiary from your fantastic fundraising efforts has revealed just how much this support has meant to them.

A total of £2,422.28 was donated to Special Needs and Parent Support (SNAPS) from the proceeds of the 2019 event.

This amazing amount, raised through the generosity of colleagues across campus, helped deliver vital physiotherapy for children with additional needs. This included funding treatment to help them achieve key milestones, such as sitting unaided, crawling and walking – goals their families are often told are unattainable.

The money has also helped SNAPS continue to provide a host of other support services for more than 80 families in the region.

Lisa Morton, SNAPS Head of Fundraising, said: “We’re so grateful to have been chosen as beneficiaries of the 2019 Staff Festival.

“It was fantastic to be a part of a day that not only celebrated the achievements of the University’s hardworking staff but also raised an incredible £2,422.28 for SNAPS.

“The funds raised from this event helped SNAPS to provide physiotherapy, swimming lessons, football sessions and vital support for children with additional needs and their families. We simply couldn’t do what we do without the support of events like this, so we’d like to say thank you once again.”

Rare and essential

The charity offers supportive and inclusive spaces, with the aim of reducing isolation and improving mental wellbeing. Sessions held at Penny Field and Broomfield Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres in Leeds also provide a place to get involved with activities like music therapy, boccia, sensory play and arts and crafts.

Rebound sessions help improve muscle tone and confidence through trampolining. This helps remove barriers to accessing such sporting activities, with a number of the children’s siblings joining in the fun as well.  

Lisa’s views are echoed by Professor Lucie Middlemiss, from the Sustainability Research Institute (School of Earth and Environment) at Leeds. Her son, Ralph, used the charity’s services on a number of occasions.

Speaking at the time, Lucie said: “We first joined SNAPS about a year ago when we heard about this fantastic little charity that helps to support families of disabled children through a weekly Saturday playgroup, offering physiotherapy at affordable prices.

“My son has a disability that affects his walking, and he got so much out of his hydrotherapy sessions at SNAPS. The charity also provided the chance for our whole family to meet other disabled children and their carers. We so often go to places where my son is different, but at SNAPS everyone is a bit different, making it an accepting and enabling community.

“The forum it provides – for children to meet other kids who face disability challenges and for parents to meet other parents that understand the challenges – is both rare and essential. Most importantly, SNAPS offers a high level of acceptance. There’s nothing lovelier than being surrounded by people who understand what you experience as a parent and who leave judgement at the door. There’s a super friendly and accepting atmosphere at all events, and a community of children with disabilities and their parents, where people can care and look out for each other.”

Register your vote

Voting for this year’s Staff Festival charity closes at 5pm on Friday 10 February.

Colleagues have one vote each to select their favourite good cause from the following shortlist:

  • Battle Scars
  • Candlelighters
  • Disability Rights UK
  • Hedgehog Emergency Rescue
  • Leeds Women’s Aid
  • Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)
  • Trussell Trust
  • Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity
  • Zarach 

More details about each of these charities appears in our Staff Festival charity vote feature.

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