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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Festival launches free resources to help SEND children

The videos and downloadable activity pack feature creative writing, dance, creative and physical movement, sensory drama and wellbeing activities.

Families with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) can now enjoy free resources thanks to a Huddersfield Literature Festival project, My Family Creates, which launched this week.

Created by local industry experts, Salma Zaman and Nisha Lall, the videos and downloadable activity pack feature creative writing, dance, creative and physical movement, sensory drama and wellbeing activities – all available for use by SEND families, schools, organisations and networks.

My Family Creates aims to improve confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing, and to reduce isolation for participants, while encouraging families to try new creative activities in the familiar setting of their own homes and to bond over shared experiences.

The project has released a series of videos that use Makaton for children to learn and interact with. Image: My Family Creates.

Huddersfield Literature Festival (HLF) is an award-winning 10-day Festival held annually in the spring. A blended Festival of 50+ digital, outdoor and venue-based events, HLF champions accessibility, diversity and under-represented groups.

Showcasing emerging writers and artists alongside major names, the festival offers a diverse programme of author talks, workshops, discussion topics, performance poetry, multi-arts performances, wellbeing projects and family-friendly events.

The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, has helped to fill a gap in provision for SEND families, many of whom have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

Festival Director Michelle Hodgson, said: “As a Festival we are committed to running projects offering support to those with access needs and we’re grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for helping to fund My Family Creates. These are wonderful resources that will be invaluable to SEND families.”

Project leader Salma Zaman, said: “SEND teaching and learning educational videos and Activity Packs created through the My Family Creates project will not only enhance the teaching and the learning experience of the learners but also help with gaining new skills and new learning opportunities.”

My Family Creates has the support of a range of local partners, including Castle Hill school, Caudwell Children, PCAN Kirklees, Shabang and Darren Tordoff, Inclusions Officer at Kirklees Council.

Any families, community groups or specialist schools in the area interested in finding out more about the project and willing to help evaluate the project can contact the project leader Salma Zaman at salmanishacreations@gmail.com.

The activity pack is available here and the videos are available to watch on YouTube for free, here.

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