Peapods membership is open to families with a child or young person (up to age 25) with a significant physical disability. Annual membership costs £10 and entitles you to attend all of our events, most of which are free of charge. For some events (such as our parent Pamper Days) there will be a charge but the cost is heavily subsidised by Peapods. There is also a regular email newsletter with details of our events and reminders to book as well as other information relevant to our families. Peapods also runs a Facebook group, Kids Physical Disability Berkshire, which members may wish to join, for discussion and information among parents. As part of the local voluntary sector, Peapods trustees are involved in lobbying and consultation with various Local Authorities and occasionally are asked to consult our members on changes to services. We are also happy to signpost members to other sources of support for their families.
My child doesn’t have a diagnosis. Can I still join?
Yes. If your child has a significant physical disability, you are eligible to join, whether or not you have a diagnosis.
What do you mean by a significant physical disability?
Peapods helps families with the issues surrounding physical disability. If your child or young person has a physical disability which has a clear and detrimental effect on their life, we may be able to offer you support through joining. Some of our members have children who are wheelchair users, others use walkers or sticks. Some do not have constant problems with mobility, but still find they are often affected by physical issues such as pain or fatigue. We tend not to support families affected by certain specific conditions where there is already a condition-specific support group. For example, while some children with Downs Syndrome have physical disabilities of varying severity, the issues they face are more specific and tend to be addressed better by Downs Syndrome support groups. Nonetheless, if your family feels that the support provided by Peapods would help you, please let us know how.
What sorts of conditions affect children / young people in your member families?
We support families of children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, various metabolic and genetic conditions, muscle wasting conditions and many others, and of course children who do not yet have a diagnosis or whose diagnosis is tentative or under investigation. Many children have other associated disabilities as well as physical ones, such as learning disabilities and sensory impairments.
Why don’t you support all families affected by disability?
Peapods families can sometimes be unintentionally excluded by other pan-disability support groups, for several reasons.
- Physical access is a major problem for some families who cannot use the facilities which able-bodied disabled children use.
- Physically disabled children can be physically fragile and can be frightened or even hurt by able-bodied disabled children whose behaviour can be challenging and/or who do not understand that they need to take care. Conversely physically disabled children often use equipment, such as wheelchairs or walkers, which can hurt other children in a mixed or busy environment.
- Physically disabled children are a small minority among disabled children. Peapods provides an opportunity to share experiences and concerns with other similar families such as: wheelchair services, equipment, specialist physiotherapy, surgery, and so on, which other families with disabled children may not share.
What benefits do physically disabled children get from Peapods membership?
As physically disabled children are a small minority, Peapods provides a chance for children to meet others like them. They can also enjoy accessible events with their families which may otherwise might not be possible.
What benefits do family members receive from Peapods membership?
Peapods allows parents and siblings to meet others who face similar issues in day to day life and to share experiences and solutions to problems. They can feel less alone by meeting others in the same position. Siblings can also benefit from seeing that there are other children like their brother or sister. Peapods also gives families a chance to enjoy activities together which they might otherwise not be able to access.