Making a Difference, One Day at a Time...
Below are just a few stories from the thousands of children we've supported over the past few years. With your help, we can continue to make a difference to the lives of brave children throughout the UK this year.
A Picture Tells a Thousand Words...
Visit or follow our Pinterest site to see pictures from some of the thousands of children we've supported.
4-year-old Teddi from Tamworth lives with Global Development Delay and Dysphagia and is unable to walk long distances unaided. The family was managing on low income so Teddi's life and leisure experiences had been extremely limited.
Mum Terri contacted Happy Days to ask if we could give Teddi a special day, so he could have new experiences and enjoy a break like any other child. Their situation had been further significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but we were able to work with the family and within social distancing guidelines to give them a really special trip to Gullivers Land in Milton Keynes.
Mum Terri said "Thank you so much Happy Days. Teddi was so much happier and relaxed. It's been a hard year and we would not have been able to afford to go anywhere without your help."
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we stepped in to help 168 children at Balsall Heath CATS, a disability group in Birmingham, with activity packs to give them happiness and hope and support their mental wellbeing in lockdown.
Group leader Naz said "During the most unprecedented and anxious time in many peoples lives, Happy Days were a vital life line. The weekly pack was a highlight for everyone and children would eagerly wait by the window to see what fun was being delivered by a friendly familiar face.
It is wonderful that Happy Days were still supporting their beneficiaries and thinking of different ways of supporting the most vulnerable and isolated of children, making them smile and encouraging them have fun in the comfort and safety of their own homes during such uncertain times."
Happy holiday memories from 6-year-old Max and his family who we supported with a woodland lodge break.
Max lives with Down syndrome and he had not been able to go away on a break for several years as his family were getting by on low income. They were thrilled to be able to spend a few days away at Center Parcs Woburn Forest.
Mum Julie said "Max loves the outdoors and trees and Woburn Forest was great for experiencing this. As it's so spread out, activities were comfortable and not overcrowded which they often are in the school holidays.
It was a very relaxing experience, the air was fresh and it was nice and quiet. Max is mainly non verbal but has been smiling and giggling a lot [since the holiday]."
After winning a holiday at work, Adrian Truman from Payment Sense decided to contact Happy Days and share his good fortune. Thanks to his support, we're now able to give a really special break to a really brave little girl this summer.
Aroob from Sheffield is 6 years old and has neurological disorder. She is unable to walk or talk, has epilepsy and requires a feeding tube. But this doesn't stop her being super happy and smiley as you can see from this photo of Aroob with her little brother.
We organised a family holiday to Legoland Windsor for Aroob and her mum, giving them a much needed break away from home.
Lakeside is a small SEN school in Welwyn, that supports children with severe and complex learning difficulties, autism and hearing and visual impairments, including those with life-limiting conditions.
We organised for a film crew to spend a day with the children so that they could make a movie about their school and be film stars for the day! You can watch their video on our YouTube Channel here
Head Judith Chamberlain said "Our over-arching aim for the children is to help them achieve the greatest degree of independence.. so it's all about providing different environments, different experiences. Independence gives children so much of their dignity and self-worth."
Shea, aged 14, lives with Down's Syndrome, a genetic disorder which has no cure and which causes mental and physical delays.
Shea attends an SEN school in Stevenage and studies really hard as when he leaves school he wants to become a fireman or a rockstar - Shea loves music! When we met Shea he explained that he was a bit sad as his older brother was going on holiday with friends, but because of his condition, he couldn't go with him.
We arranged for Shea and his mum to have a really special day at the Rhythms of the World festival, where he went backstage and met Los Pacaminos and musician Paul Young. Shea said he had "the best day ever!"
Henry, aged 7, from Warrington had a fantastic time at Haggeston Castle Holiday Park earlier in the year. Henry lives with autism, has speech and language difficulties and struggles to communicate with people, but he really came out of himself and overcame his fear of social interaction on his break
Dad Tim wrote to us afterwards to say "Thank you so much Happy Days, your supporters and patrons. We went on amazing trips to Lindisfarne, Chain Bridge Honey Farm, The Forbidden Corner and Kielder Water Forest Park. Henry was near ecstatic after his answers helped the Blue Team win at the 'Go Live' quiz. We are more grateful than words can say."
BDS Training in Lancashire supports isolated and disadvantaged young people, who also cope with a wide range of physical and emotional conditions.
We organised a residential trip to Blackpool, where they spent a week learning new skills and taking part in activities. For some children, this was the first time they had spent any length of time away from their parents.
Group leader Kimberley said "The children had a wonderful weekend, have made lifelong friends...and had a massive sense of achievement. They were allowed to be children again and leave their problems and worries at home. Without you this would not have been possible."
A heartwarming picture of Callum from Abergavenny who was thrilled when he met the Teletubbies on his family holiday to Minehead.
Callum, aged 5, has Ohtahara Syndrome, a very rare life-limiting epilepsy syndrome, and is wheelchair dependant. Despite suffering from regular seizures and infections, Callum has a huge amount of enthusiasm.
He needs a lot of care and so his brave 9-year-old sister Kelsey, also pictured, acts as a young carer.
Mum Amie was hugely grateful for their much needed family holiday, which they otherwise would have been unable to afford.
Five Acre Wood school in Kent is a special school for children and young people with profound, severe and complex learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder.
They spent a week away from their parents learning vital independent living skills, as well as developmental and social activities such as rock climbing, archery, kayaking and orienteering.
Teacher Jane said "Thank you so much for supporting our Key Stage 2 residential trip to Broadstone Warren. The students all had a wonderful time and everyone is so grateful to you for giving them this wonderful experience."