Bethany was born prematurely in 2009. At just nine months old she was
diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. She also suffers from associated learning difficulties, hearing loss, developmental delay, hypotonia, speech delay and sensory needs.
When Bethany was only five years old we were very lucky to hear about the Foundation, through an acquaintance whose daughter also attends. In those early days, we only accessed Wolfprint Dance, although since then we’ve been involved in so many of the wonderful clubs and camps the Foundation offers.
Bethany attends Wolfprint Dance weekly, Wolfprint Art, and the newly-formed Learning Disability RL. Each school holiday she also attends the Total: Sport and Wolfprint Dance holiday camps.
Over the years, the Wolves Foundation has meant so much more to us than just a dance class or a sports session. As well as being physiotherapy and occupational therapy wrapped up in fun, the clubs offer Bethany that vital opportunity of making and spending time with friends in a safe and supported environment. A place where we can feel confident that she is supported cared for and engaged in the fun every time we drop her off. These huge benefits don’t even begin to touch on
the vast number of new skills Bethany has learned through her time with the Foundation, from building her core strength by balancing on an opposite hand and knee (thanks Wolfprint Dance!) to building her confidence around large groups of people. From working on her pincer grip in Wolfprint Arts to scoring under the sticks at the HJ Stadium as part of the world’s first Learning Disability Rugby League game and so much more than I could possibly list.
Without the Foundation, where would Bethany have those experiences? Learn those skills? Make those friends? The staff and volunteers are what make all that possible, giving their time, care, and support to make sure that every club, camp, and the event is accessible, but above all fun, for every child, young person or adult that attends. Bethany has bonded so closely with the staff, who are always unfailingly cheerful and enthusiastic, she loves them all (although secretly Ollie Murphy is her favorite!)
The Foundation has always, and continues to, work tirelessly to promote
inclusion for all and extend the opportunities for our disabled loved ones to have experiences that have previously been inaccessible. It’s seeing that incredible work up close for so many years which prompted me to apply to volunteer myself. It’s a cliché but I wanted to give something back to the organisation that has given us so much. I’ve really enjoyed spending time volunteering with Wolfprint Arts, getting to know the children and young people who attend and seeing their skills develop.
Watching friendships form and grow and seeing happy faces when they complete a piece of art they are pleased with or during our (very popular!) messy play sessions! I hope, as my own children grow, I’ll be able to dedicate more time to the Foundation. Their work is so vital to the disability community of Warrington and I hope to continue to contribute to the incredible work they do.