Thatcham Swings & Smiles Cub pack celebrates first birthday
"They are able to learn new skills and show off their knowledge and expertise in areas that usually they would not get the chance to do"
A THATCHAM Cub pack for children with additional needs has celebrated its first birthday.
The 4th Thatcham Scout Group comprises one Cub pack, which operates from the Swings & Smiles centre in Lower Way, which provides a place to play for children with special needs and their families.
Swings & Smiles charity director Laura Lewis said that the pack was set up following requests from parents.
She said: “We had started to try and develop a group where young people could earn badges and then had a conversation with a local Scout group who said we should become an official Cub pack, and so we thought why not?
“We are one of the only special needs Cub packs in the country so it’s very exciting to be a part of.”
The 4th Thatcham Scout Group runs the same activities as regular Cub packs and children work together and earn badges.
It also joins in larger events such as the town’s Remembrance parade, St George’s Day parade and the group Cub athletics competition.
Mrs Lewis said the pack had been hugely beneficial.
She said: “The children that come to 4th Thatcham Cubs are getting an opportunity to take part in an activity that many children across the country take for granted.
“They get to spend time with their friends and have made new relationships through being part of it.
“They are able to learn new skills and show off their knowledge and expertise in areas that usually they would not get the chance to do.
“Parents who have children that attend other groups like Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides have reported to us that it’s been so lovely that all their children are involved in something that’s the same.”
The pack is run through the Scouts Association.
Mrs Lewis said that Swings & Smiles having specialist facilities had made it easier to meet the needs of the children who attend.
And many Swings & Smiles staff volunteer their time to help with the pack.
The group, which meets every other Wednesday, is always looking for volunteers.