What is Unity?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Norwood has adapted the way it is delivering its Children and Family Services and is continuing to provide support to our valued service users and Jewish families, schools and children. To find out more please get in touch by calling 020 8809 8809 and a member of our team will contact you as soon as we can.

The philosophy of Unity is based on the recognition that all children and young adults need to enjoy their adolescence regardless of any disadvantages they may have.

Norwood has long recognised the importance of providing recreational activities for children and young people with SEND. Children with profound disabilities tend to lead restrictive lives and can become very lonely and isolated when at home. Outings to friends, relatives, clubs and other leisure facilities are few and far between because of the need of skilled carers, transport and suitable facilities.

Unity activities are not only enjoyable, but also offer valuable social and educational development for the children and young people who participate.

Learning to lose, hoping to win and abiding by rules are all lessons for life learnt through recreation. This encourages children to be independent and overcome their disabilities. Many activities not only improve co-ordination but also provide an excellent and safe outlet for excess energy. Team games are both fun and a valuable source of exercise, as well as teaching the importance of getting along with other people and working as a team.

Unity also provides parents with a much needed break from caring for the high needs of their children, allowing them undivided quality time with their other children whilst knowing that their child with SEND is safe, happy and being cared for by qualified staff.

For this reason, Unity is much loved by all who access it.

The service takes place at the Kennedy Leigh Family Centre and we have contracts to provide short breaks with some local authorities e.g. Barnet, Hertfordshire and Harrow.

What can Unity offer my child?

Unity’s clubs for 5–11 year olds and 12–18 year olds offer a huge range of activities, including:

  • arts and crafts
  • cookery
  • dance
  • drama
  • games
  • music
  • singing
  • soft play
  • sports
  • a sensory room
  • adventure playground

During the school holidays, Unity also arranges trips to:

  • museums
  • the seaside
  • specialist adventure playgrounds
  • swimming pools
  • theme parks
  • the zoo
  • and lots more!

If your child has epilepsy or additional health needs, we have staff to support them. They are also trained in tube feeding and in administering medication. If your child uses a wheelchair, the building where Unity is based is fully accessible. A hoist and changing bed are also available.

This year my son attended the Unity summer holiday scheme for the first time and he loved it there. It was a really calming atmosphere and very well organised. He was really happy to go in and just as happy when he came out.

Mum of child attending Unity’s summer scheme

How can my child benefit from Unity?

Unity provides fun and creative programmes to meet your child’s individual needs and encourages them to:

  • take part in all activities
  • develop and build their confidence
  • broaden their experiences
  • take on new challenges
  • make new friends.

Looking after Ruby is very full on because she needs help with everything . . . so her coming to Unity gives us all a bit of extra time to relax and recharge for the week ahead. Without Unity, we’d feel exhausted by the end of the weekend.

Ruby’s mum, Suzanne

How do I find out more?

For further information, please contact us on 020 8809 8809 or complete the form and we will reply to your enquiry.