By KATE HUNTER
At some point, most kids will have a sleepover with their friends. But for kids like Lara, who has special needs, sleepovers with friends are rare. The level of support required means nights away from their parents aren’t an option. So while mainstream kids are unrolling sleeping bags and warming up the Wii, they’re home with Mum and Dad. Again.
And Mum and Dad could use the break. Many parents of kids with special needs never get a night ‘off’. They’re tired and stressed and worry their children are missing out on experiences every kid has the right to enjoy.
My friend Kath Coory (Lara’s mum) saw the need for real options for families of children with special needs. So she started Bestlife, which offers sleepovers for small groups of kids. It’s not emergency respite, but regular overnight stays where kids can learn life skills, make friends and have fun in a supportive, safe environment. It’s a brilliant initiative that’s way overdue.
Sadly, the 16-week pilot program is coming to an end, and donations are needed if it’s to continue, and hopefully expand so more kids can participate.
This story from the Queensland edition of the 7.30 Report explains it all. (Look out for Kath and Lara).
So Bestlife can continue to offer the service, they need your donation. Every cent goes to pay the experienced, qualified ‘Team Leaders’ who co-ordinate the program and support the children during the sleepovers. To find out more, and to donate, please visit www.bestlifefoundation.com.au