Your Time Changes Lives

At Seashell Trust, we believe that anyone can play sport - and everyone has the right to enjoy it! In fact, for children and young people with special needs, physical activities (like running, cycling or swimming) are a great chance to play with other children - they're fun, with a clear structure and none of the pressure to make yourself understood and understand other people that might make children with learning disabilities, autism or other communication difficulties feel worried about joining in. 

Our CADS holiday programmes bring together children and young people of all abilities and disabilities, giving them a chance to have fun, spend time together and enjoy one another's company as equals! Since the very beginning, when one of our members of staff (who had himself grown up with a disabled sister and found that holiday activities meant sending them both to separate events because there was nowhere they could play together), CADS has always reflected our belief that people with disabilities are a part of the community, and deserve to be respected as such. That's why we're committed to making sure that our children and young people can continue to play with their brothers and sisters, as well as other children from the local area - no matter their levels of ability or disability, and our Sports team have worked with youth clubs around the country to train their staff so they are able to include all children.

It's an incredible undertaking, but one that makes a world of difference to our families. One of our primary school pupils who has autism and sometimes struggles to cope with unfamiliar people or routines loved the structure of CADS and used his visual schedule to understand what would happen next. Even being surrounded by lots of children and volunteers he didn't recognise didn't phase him, because he was so excited to join in with the sports!

One of our college students was delighted to meet so many new people - both amongst the attendees and the volunteers! Going to CADS broadened his social circle, gave him a chance to spend more time with his friends from college, and he was excited to spend time with even more people who enjoyed his company.

CADS is a massive undertaking, and it's one that wouldn't be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers. Over the course of the three CADS events this summer holiday, we had a total of 103 volunteers (27 of our regular volunteers and 74 from our corporate supporters Lex Autolease, Barclays, BNY Mellon, UKFAST and Royal London) donated a whopping 858 hours of their time! 

These volunteers helped set up activities, run some sessions, get equipment ready and gave some extra support and encouragement to those children and young people who needed a little extra help to join in. By spending time with our children and young people, our volunteers help broaden their experience of the world, introduce them to more people who value their company and, most importantly, make sure they can have fun with their brothers, sisters, friends and teammates together.

We were delighted to hear great feedback from so many of our volunteers about their time at CADS, and we hope that they know that their support makes a world of difference to the families who need us the most.

Interested in volunteering?

You don't have to wait for the next holidays to get the chance - all our volunteering opportunities are on our online portal with different activities to suit everyone! Whether you're interested in specific initiatives like our outdoor education, music sessions or CADS, or if you'd like to spend more time with our students and learn a new skill, there's something for everyone with our amazing volunteer team!