Shropshire charity centre reopens to deliver one-of-a-kind therapy for children

A Shropshire charity which was forced to close its centre due to the coronavirus pandemic is welcoming children with movement difficulties back to benefit from its unique and life-changing therapy.

Amelie at The Movement Centre
Amelie at The Movement Centre

The Movement Centre staff and volunteers are delighted to be able to deliver Targeted Training – the only therapy of its kind in the world – again at its base in Oswestry.

The centre had been closed for five months, keeping in touch with families and providing sessions via video and phone calls during that time.

Since the end of September, with Covid-safety measures in place, children have returned to gain more control of their movement through Targeted Training. Consisting of a six or 12-month course of tailored physiotherapy, the therapy includes the use of a specialist standing frame, and has been proved to transform the range of movement of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities affecting their mobility.

Children can gain head control so that they can interact with those around them, become able to sit unaided so they can play with their toys – and for some children it can lead to gaining the ability to walk – giving them the chance to enjoy all the opportunities and freedom this offers.

David Vicary, Chair of Trustees, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome families back to The Movement Centre.

“It’s been a difficult year for everyone and as a charity we’ve really felt the impact, having to close our centre, for the first time in almost 25 years. Due to closing and Covid-19 we’ve seen a drop in therapy income of more than 65 per cent.

“Our charity makes a fundamental difference to children with movement difficulties – and to not be able to deliver Targeted Training sessions at the centre has been extremely hard.

“We’ve kept in touch and delivered sessions by video call and we’ve loved still supporting the children, albeit from afar – seeing their faces has brought a lot of joy to the year.

“But it doesn’t beat seeing everyone again at the centre and we couldn’t wait for the day they could return to continue with the therapy. To be back, seeing it changing lives, is beyond measure – that’s why we’re here.

“We look forward to seeing more faces here at the centre – old and new – in the coming months.”

The families of the first children back described their joy at returning.

Gemma Watabiki, mum to Amelie, said: “The first course Amelie did with the centre has helped her in so many ways – physically she is much stronger, she is now able to sit independently for around 30 seconds whereas before she could only sit with a lot of support. I think the biggest change has been in her personality, she has gained so much confidence.

“I’m honestly so grateful we found The Movement Centre; the patience and understanding everyone there shows us is incredible. Being able to come back after lockdown was so exciting – we know she will continue to get stronger with the support of everyone there.”

Shelley Tostevin, mum to Lukas, said: “We first came down to The Movement Centre in February. We were due to come back to collect the standing frame in April but lockdown hit. We are so glad that we have been able to get back down to The Movement Centre and start the Targeted Training therapy for Lukas. This therapy will hopefully get him stronger on his feet, making him much more independent.”

David added: “We need everyone’s support more than ever so please get in touch if you can help The Movement Centre, whether as corporate sponsors or individuals.”

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