Local churches bridge a gap in therapy services for children & families across the UK

Physiotherapy for an infant

Growing Hope has been awarded £258,000 by Allchurches Trust to enable children and young people with additional needs and their families to access the free therapy they need through the local church.

Growing Hope is expanding in order to support local churches to set up free therapy clinics across the UK, aiming to set up 20 clinics by 2030. Families of children with additional needs often do not receive the therapy they require – Growing Hope aims to bridge this gap.

Growing Hope is a national charity that supports the creation of local charities, which provide free therapy such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, children’s counselling, music and art therapy. Growing Hope aims to grow: hope for children through the provision of free therapy clinics; hope for families through groups for parents, carers and siblings where they have the opportunity to connect and share their experience; and hope in Jesus, through the opportunity to pray or be supported to access church if this is something families would like to do.

Growing Hope King’s Cross currently supports over 120 individuals each year, Growing Hope Brockley launched in 2020 and has already impacted 20 families and continues to grow. The grant from Allchurches Trust will be split across three years and will enable the national team to support the set up and development of Growing Hope clinics across the country with several more churches across the UK. This will positively impact the lives of children, young people and families with additional needs.

‘We know that additional needs (physical, learning, mental health and undiagnosed needs) can have a really big impact on day-to-day life. Sadly, there is not enough therapy provision available within current health services and families often report this. At Growing Hope, we want to bridge this gap.

The support of Allchurches Trust has come at an essential time for us as a national charity and is enabling us to take a significant step forwards in achieving our vision of seeing 20 free therapy clinics set up across the country by 2030.’ Dr Naomi Graham, Founder & CEO.

“I have to say that Growing Hope is a community more than a charity. They listen to you, they acknowledge your thoughts and emotions. You are a human being for them, not just a person with a problematic child.” Parent attending Growing Hope Clinic.

“We’re delighted to support Growing Hope with their vision to expand the number of free therapy clinics in churches across the UK. This will have a huge impact on children with additional needs and their families, who are struggling to cope without vital physical and emotional support. The pandemic has only increased this need and exacerbated feelings of isolation, and so we’re glad that our funding can help Growing Hope to extend its support at a crucial moment in many families’ lives.” Chloe Ewen, Allchurches Trust Grants Officer.

Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and gave more than £23 million to churches, charities and communities in 2020. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

Allchurches Trust have made a transformational difference to Growing Hope’s ability to develop as a national organisation which can grow hope in the lives of children and young people with additional needs, and their families across the UK. You can follow them @growinghopeuk or sign up to their newsletter to find out more