Amy Dunn from Stockport shares the positive impact joining Rainbows has had on the life of her six-year-old daughter Ella.
“Having such fond memories of my time as a Brownie and Guide, I was very keen for my daughter Ella to be part of the Girlguiding community.
“Ella has Down’s syndrome and so often we come up against barriers and challenges in trying to allow Ella to take part in activities and be included with her peers. But sending Ella to Rainbows has been incredibly easy, unlike a lot of other activities we have signed her up for or tried to include her in before.
“At Rainbows there’s been no individualised educational plan to agree upon or meetings to be had, no funding or one to one support to be found, no conditions on how and when Ella can take part. The onus is on inclusion and giving Ella the supervision she needs has been taken on 100% by the Rainbows team and not passed back to me as is so often the case. It’s so refreshing to drop her off just like every other parent does and collect her again later in the evening. The leaders ensure she is safe and supervised and able to get involved in whatever activities they are doing during that hour.
“Ella has been attending 1st Norris Bank St Martin’s Rainbows for nearly a year and she’s done all sorts of activities – playing team games, planting bulbs, attending joint end of term parties with Brownies and Guides. Her first legible independent writing of her name happened one week at Rainbows.
“Ella tells me she loves Rainbows and loves making things. Being a Rainbow has given her the chance to meet new people and make new friends outside of school. It’s given her an extra opportunity to be included, to learn, grow and to have lots of fun in the process.
“The guiding movement states a commitment to be accessible to all and it's been fantastic to see that ethos of inclusion working well in practice. It proves to me that inclusion can happen and can work well.”