16 Nov Soft play centre holding ‘Mellow Monday’ play session to help raise fund for a support dog for Clacton six-year-old
Six-year-old Beau Bell from Clacton-on-Sea was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in January this year. He experiences sensory overload, finds social situations hard and is easily overwhelmed.
Mum Sable Shaw, 27, is raising funds for an autism assistance dog from autism assistant dog organisation, Supporting Paws, for Beau. Sable and her supporters have already raised over £4,600 and hope to raise a total of £8,500 to cover the dog and all of its essential and specialist training to support Beau. One event included Clacton Pier being lit in blue especially for Beau and to support autism awareness.’
Soft play centre PlayPalz in Clacton hold ‘Mellow Mondays’ every Monday afternoon – sessions aimed at children who find the usual noise and rough and tumble of soft play overwhelming, plus their siblings and carers. Music is lowered or turned off, there are no flashing lights and the centre is closed to the general public.
On Monday December 6 from 3.30pm to 6pm, half the entrance fee from all the adults will be donated to Beau’s support dog fund, as well as money raised from the sale of cakes and brownies. There will also be a ‘Guess the Name of the Reindeer’ competition, and a raffle to win Body Shop products.
Sable said: ‘I’m really grateful to PlayPalz for helping us with this event – every pound gets us closer to the dog which I know will make a real difference to Beau.’
‘I’d especially like to encourage other parents of children with additional needs to come along – it’s always so nice to meet other people who are in a similar situation to us.’
The family is supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope who help families fundraise for children like Beau with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.
Mum Sable, who also has a three-year-old daughter Talia said: ‘We visited a Supporting Paws dog and it was amazing to see Beau with him – Beau was so calm and happy, it was wonderful to see him so content.’
‘Beau gets anxious very easily, whether he’s at home, going to school or we’re going out. I think a dog would really help him to feel calmer and increase his confidence, along with helping when he becomes overwhelmed. The dog will be trained to give deep pressure which is something Beau seeks due to his sensory needs. At home he doesn’t like going to the toilet or upstairs on his own – a dog would be brilliant company and support for him.’
Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting Beau and his family in their fundraising and wish them all the best in their continued fundraising.’
To donate to Beau’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/help-us-to-get-beau-his-own-registered-autism-assistance-dog/