A Soham mum of two autistic children is campaigning for her charity to receive a slice of a £25,000 windfall.
Rachel Palmer started the Soham branch of Little Miracles when she realised how hard it was for parents of children with autism who were often perceived as simply being naughty.
Mrs Palmer herself had been asked to leave a shop after someone had complained about her seven-year-old son Jacob’s behaviour, not realising that he had Asperger’s, a form of autism, a condition which also affects her youngest son Harry who is five.
“People can’t physically see what is wrong and they perceive the children to be naughty. A lot of the impulses the children have they can’t control and the children need routines to help them,” said Mrs Palmer of Gadwall Way.
The Little Miracles charity, a parent-led group for parents of children with additional needs and disabilities, is based in Peterborough. It is vying for funding from an Engage Mutual Assurance community award grant.
Mrs Palmer set up the Soham group in July. It currently supports 80 children with weekly sessions at the Sure Start Children’s Centre in Pratt Street. If the Little Mircales bid is successful, the Soham group would get £2,000.
Now Mrs Palmer is calling on people to nominate for Little Miracles before voting closes on May 31.
Should it win, the money will be spent on sustaining its support for children with conditions such as dyspraxia, global development delay (GDD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), epilepsy and tourettes and to continue its growth.
“At the group there’s such a level of acceptance and understanding because the families here are all in the same boat.
“We know that the children’s behaviours might be perceived negatively but for us it is normal.
“There are no judgements from anyone involved. The children are encouraged to be who they are, rather than hiding who they are,” she said.
If successful the grant would be the largest sum of money that the group has received. It has previously received financial support from Cambridgeshire County Council.
To vote for Little Miracles go to www.tuitachievements.com