Launch of charity renovated POD supporting up to 1,500 children with special education needs  

On 21st September 2022, the Birmingham Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) launched a newly renovated space to benefit hundreds of children and their families. The ‘POD’ revamp was part of a community programme delivered by UK charity, Dreams Come True.  

SENDIASS service is for all children with special educational needs and disabilities, including their parents and professionals in Birmingham. Due to a lack of resources and capacity, the service could not undertake vital face-to-face appointments with many families.  

Before the POD (Place of Dreams) revamp, meetings took place in a noisy office not suited to the needs of the families they support. Most children have sensory processing disorder meaning bright lights, sounds, smells, and textures would cause great distress. 

SENDIASS were successful in their application for a Community Dream and we worked with staff to renovate and expand a tired conservatory into a calm and friendly POD that is accessible to those with sensory needs. 

A child with a disability, serious illness or life-limiting condition now has the space to move around and feel comfortable when interacting and engaging with the resources. In addition to this, the sensory room also has the space to park a wheelchair or prams for younger children. 

This new facility will enable a stronger bond to be formed between Support Officer and parent allowing SENDIASS to better support families.  

Arooj Saeed, a Support Officer at SENDIASS says:

This renovation means support officers will be able to effectively carry out direct work even with the most vulnerable children with complex sensory needs. Having a quiet designated space helps make children feel calm, encouraging them to express their views, wishes and feelings effectively, in turn allowing holistic assessments. We would like to thank Dreams Come True for turning our dream into a reality 

We asked Ibrahim, a Social Work Practice Supervisor in the SEND Early Help team, about it. Read the Q&A.

Penny Connell, Dreams Coordinator at Dreams Come True, says: “We were delighted to work on this Community Dream and create a welcoming space which will benefit so many families in need, and the team who supports them.” 

Dreams Come True deliver dreams to children living with disability, serious illness, or life-limiting conditions. We are the only UK charity that focuses solely on supporting children living in the highest areas of deprivation in the UK.  

We rely on supporters for funding. This month we have launched an urgent appeal for funds and are calling on anyone who feels moved by our cause to donate.