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Charity Overview

Scope exists to make the world a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. It provides support, information and advice to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year, raising awareness of the issues that matter. Two thirds (68%) of families with disabled children do not feel accepted by their local communities.

With support from ICAP Charity Day 2015 in the Amsterdam office, Scope has been able to reach even more families of disabled children and support the one in 15 families in Europe who have a disabled child offering help during difficult times, so that they can give their child the very best start in life.

The charity provide:

  • Someone to turn to – through its national helpline and Information and Advice workers.
  • Someone who’s been there before – through its parent befriending network, Face 2 Face. 
  • Someone to make a change – through its advice and training, such as the sleep solutions workshops. 

Project Summary

In 1990 Scope launched a national helpline which supports over 25,000 people per annum with information, advice and emotional support. The donation from ICAP has been put towards a team who provide up to date information for Scope’s advice pages online which were viewed over half a million times last year. Scope take a practical approach, supporting individual enquiries around benefits, finance, housing, education and employment, as well as those emotional calls where a parent first receives a diagnosis for their child and doesn’t know where to turn. 

We are so grateful to the team at ICAP Amsterdam for all their support, through their efforts we will now be able to help families to provide the best start in life to their children and fulfil their potential. Thank you so much
Tamsin Baxter, Director of Fundraising, Scope

Scope’s expert Information and Advice team offer high quality information and support on all aspects of disability. They receive referrals from doctors, through the helpline and the local communities, as well as running local information and advice sessions on specific topics. For families in particular need, the charity provide home visits over a number of months, offering a listening, non-judgemental ear and refer parents to support networks.

Scope’s work is the difference between feeling that you’re completely on your own and feeling that you’ve got somebody on your side. I feel really privileged in the job that I do because people let you into their lives and their family’s lives, generally speaking, at really awful rock-bottom tough times, and for people to trust you like that is a really humbling thing. I quite often get people saying it’s just so lovely to be able to talk to somebody who they can feel safe talking to without being judged
Ollie Rees, Scope Information and Advice Worker

ICAP’s support has also help fund the charity’s Face 2 Face Parenting Befriending Networks. Scope reached over 3,000 people through its Face 2 Face service last year, offering parents of disabled children one-to-one emotional and practical support from a local network of trained befrienders, who are themselves parents of disabled children. Susanne joined her local Face 2 Face group which has explored emotional support through setting up a writing group for parents called Paperweights. They published an anthology of stories in their local community to highlight the unique challenges and joys of raising a disabled child.

I got Mia’s diagnosis in the middle of an open-planned office, it felt like my whole world had ended. Something went through my mind - Oh you’re not a REAL mum now - I went through two periods of illness due to stress. [The local Face 2 Face service] has changed my life. Scope helps to change people’s lives for the better
Susanne, Mother to Mia

“Yes we face problems, every day. I had to give up that job. My daughter’s care needs are so random and the appointments with all the professionals so numerous I can no longer work 50 hours per week. My job no longer fitted my life. So now money is tight, but my life is at last starting to fit me. My daughter has helped me connect to my heart.” – extract from Paperweights Anthology. 

ICAP Amsterdam support has also funded the continuation of training and workshops called Sleep Solutions. Scope’s Sleep Practitioners are trained to use cognitive and behavioural techniques to address disabled children’s night time sleep patterns, benefiting not only the child but their other family members too. Sarah is one mum who was experiencing extreme sleep deprivation. For five years her daughter Florence, who has autism, would regularly wake up to seven times during the night. It meant Sarah was often surviving on just two hours sleep and her family was suffering. “Scope’s Sleep Solutions was ground-breaking for me, absolutely ground-breaking. I came away from the Sleep Solutions workshop excited and empowered. The results were incredible.” 

Thanks to ICAP Amsterdam Scope will ensure that the right support is there for parents who have a disabled child, so that they can become stronger and more resilient, and provide the best start in life for their child.