Since 2006 there has been a little climbing wall in a converted squash court down in Brighton. It was managed by a childrens charity and used primarily for kids with all kind of special needs, learning difficulties, disabilities, mental health issues, behavioural issues etc. Now the childrens charity is closing due to lack of funding but local activist Christine Belk wants the wall to stay open and accessible to these great kids.
Here is what Christine has to say:
'We also want to include adults with special needs to be able to benefit from climbing. We are looking for people to help us achieve this. We need volunteers, investors, instructors, help with a business plan, help forming a group or company (asset locked) to manage it, advice, anything and everything it takes to run a community wall. Please get involved and don't let this fantastic community space disappear.'
Here's what one of the walls users Mum thinks:
“My son, Kit, had been going to the sessions at the Rock Court for over a year. He has ASD and ADHD and generally finds it incredibly hard to manage group situations. He really struggles with school and had very low self-esteem because he realises that he isn't performing as well as his peers.
Everyone at the Rock Court was so lovely with him and supportive that he had found a real safe-place in his climbing sessions and was making real progress at something for the first time, and his confidence flourished. He was engaged in climbing and looked forward to Mondays when he knew we would be heading over to climb (rather than dreading them because of school). He had developed really good relationships with the instructors and trusted them.
He has started doing some climbing at the other walls in Brighton but is already refusing to do any of the actual lessons because he refuses to communicate with the instructors and they can't read his mind. Although he can go there and just climb he has lost the community that he had built up at the Rock Court because it wasn't just about the climbing but it was the people that made him look forward to going each week. If there is anything that we can do to bring that back we are on board”
If you are local to Brighton and a climber and feel you can help in anyway - please leave your details in the comments section and we will pass them onto Christine and she will get you involved.
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