Squirrels short break unit

Norfolk Squirrels Short Break Unit Go Nuts for Christmas Party!

A short break unit for children with complex health needs has celebrated the Christmas season with a fun-filled, festive party, complete with a visit from Santa.

The Squirrels short break unit, which is run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), treated children and their families to a fun afternoon with a Christmas disco, songs and games, with the children also able to enjoy some creative face-painting designs.

The festivities, which were held at Aylsham’s ACT Centre on Sunday (December 7), were all topped off with a visit from Santa himself, who presented each child with a special gift.

Amie Daynes, Team Leader for Residential Short Breaks Children’s Services with NCH&C, said: “The Christmas Party at Squirrels is a focal point to our holiday celebrations.

“The children and young people that attend the unit are invited to come along with their families and can take part in a range of activities carefully tailored to meet their needs.

“The party is always enjoyed by all the families that come along, and the success of such events is a tribute to the hard work and commitment from all the staff at Squirrels.”

The residential unit acts as a home from home for children with complex health needs and disabilities, providing care for children aged between five and 18.

Sally Reeve’s daughter Isabel, 17, who has complex health needs and behaviour issues, spends five nights at Squirrels each month. Sally, who went to the party along with husband Paul, said; “Izzy loved the music and was clapping along!

“Her condition means she can become anxious but the staff were great and made sure she was involved. We even managed to stay for a couple of hours! It was a lively and fun afternoon for the children.

“The Squirrels staff are all so kind, knowledgeable and experienced, and have always been a big support to our family. We would have struggled to cope without them – they’ve been a lifeline.”

Caroline Flatt’s son, Sam, 17, who has cerebral palsy, has been using the service since he was two years old, and spends around four nights a month at the unit: “He loves going to Squirrels as he gets to stay with his friends and meet the other children there,” she said.

“The Squirrels Christmas party is such a great idea. Each year, Sam really looks forward to going as he loves Christmas carols and music, and meeting up with his friends.

“The staff are wonderful. Sam has a good rapport with them and thoroughly enjoys his time there.”

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