Transforming Lives Appeal
“ At Seashell Trust, we’re here to make things happen. The day when a vulnerable or disabled child or young person comes to Seashell, is the day everything changes. We can make a real difference to the lives of those suffering with a combination of deafness, blindness, autism, physical disabilities, multiple learning difficulties or significant brain damage, And now, we want to do more, for those who need us the most.” Mark Geraghty, CEO & Principal
Sometimes, making things happen, means making big choices. To help us continue and extend our work, our big choice has been to create the very first National Centre of Excellence that will help us to reach out to many more families across the UK, earlier and more effectively.
The Seashell Trust vision is that by 2020 we will be able to support any child and family in the UK that needs the specialised help we provide. The new centre will enable us to do more than ever before to transform the lives and communication skills of children with the most complex needs so that they and their families can enjoy bright, positive futures.
To achieve this we are embarking on a major transformation plan that by 2020 will see £20 million worth of investment. Our first step is to provide new homes and new services to reach out to hundreds more families in need, requiring £10 million of investment by Seashell and people like you. We are committing £2 million of our charity’s own funds.
Right now, our priority is to attract the support of likeminded individuals and organisations with the ability to make leadership gifts, share their business acumen and influence others to establish the foundations of our campaign.
We have set the bar high but without this level of ambition many of the UK’s most vulnerable children are in danger of being left behind. We hope you will feel moved to become one of our founding campaign partners to help us achieve our vision.
The next part of the journey is to create a new centre of excellence to transform the lives of the most vulnerable and disabled children and young people.
Why is it so important? Because the numbers of those in need are growing and intervention at the earliest opportunity is absolutely key to their future prospects in life.
And because our new centre will enable us to support many hundreds more children and families than we do now.
Seashell Trust aims to become the UK’s foremost centre of its kind. By 2020, we will be able to support any family in the country who has a child with complex, challenging needs and disabilities.
Currently in the UK, there is a lack of early intervention programmes, coordinated family-focused care or appropriate specialist treatment.
The new centre will help with all of these issues, enabling the country’s most vulnerable young people to experience better life outcomes and become valued and valuable members of their communities.
For instance many of our residential homes are out of date, because they were designed over 50 years ago to house able-bodied deaf children, not to support children with complex needs. To meet those needs, the new centre will include 17 purpose-built homes providing highly specialised residential care.
Our £20 million appeal will enable us to:
Ensure greater dignity, independence and security for those whose only option is to live away from a traditional family environment by building 17 new homes
Establish comprehensive outreach and early intervention programmes to support more families in need.
Maintain our outstanding OFSTED ratings across all areas of our operation
Create a national residential assessment centre to provide holistic assessments from as early as birth onwards
Provide excellence in teaching and learning by constructing a new Royal School Manchester to cater for the needs of the children/young people who will be referred to Seashell in future years
At Seashell Trust, we’re passionate about what we do and proud of what we achieve with every student. We can and do make a difference, every single day. For us, there is simply no substitute for seeing someone released from a life of isolation and inability to communicate and instead, enjoying the fullest life they can possibly lead. Our exceptional staff to child ratio, which in some cases can be as high as 3:1, enables us to provide each child and young person with a tailored programme of care and learning. The difference this makes can be empowering and life changing.
“We knew if Evie got the expert help in deaf blindness we would learn ways of helping her to communicate. She is now making progress in every aspect of her life. The whole world is opening up to her. I don’t know where we would have been without the help of Seashell. It's changed our families' lives and Evie’s and I want her to stay at Seashell forever.” Evie’s Mum
Evie was referred to Seashell by her local authority for a residential placement when she was 8 years old. Evie has CHARGE Syndrome which means she has a severe hearing loss and is blind in one eye with impaired vision in the other. Evie also has physical, communication and learning difficulties.
When Evie was born she was very delicate and required surgery and spent long periods of time in hospital. When she came to Seashell she had limited mobility and required a wheelchair and her nonverbal communication was limited to reaching towards items of interest; she was unable to express her wants and needs.
After 18 months of intensive support at Seashell Evie’s life had been transformed. She is now able to walk without the use of a frame, use stairs and is beginning to communicate with her family through pictures and technology. Whilst her disabilities will always be challenging, Evie now enjoys a level of independence which before Seashell was unimaginable.
The possibilities of what can be achieved with the most vulnerable and disabled children and young people in our communities have never been so exciting.
At our National Centre of Excellence, we will create a national assessment and early intervention service bringing together specialists
in education, medicine, therapy and care to provide coordinated functional assessments in babyhood and early childhood. Families
will stay in special accommodation on site, allowing professionals to observe and interact with children in an environment that recreates
their home circumstances.
With profound and multiple disabilities, getting assessed as early as possible is crucial. Our assessment and early intervention service will enable us to recognise and respond to the needs of babies and children with the most severe and complex disabilities as soon as possible, making children more likely to reach their full potential and less likely to require full time care away from home.
For the first time, families will also be able to take advantage of an innovative programme of web-based face-to-face consultations, helpful parent-to-parent support and the latest research, practice and learning.
Our experienced team will be able to help increasing numbers of students to develop new life skills, from personal health to citizenship, home management and travel.
It’s an approach that works. The numbers of our college leavers returning to their home communities and undertaking meaningful and rewarding supported work is growing.
Our vision is to make the future a better place for the people we support. With your help we can greatly improve their quality of care and their quality of life. At Seashell Trust, we’re dedicated to making that happen.