The Better Start Better Future appeal was born out of Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales’ Centre Director, Jenny Carroll’s, aspiration to see more babies who have cerebral palsy as soon as possible after birth, to ensure they get the best start in life and thereby help each child fulfil their own potential.
Jenny who is also a consultant physiotherapist said “As Centre Director I am determined to see this happen, so I’ve set my own personal challenge to raise money for the Better Start Better Future appeal. My motivation is simple, every day I treat children with cerebral palsy who would have a Better Future if they had started to receive specialist therapy as soon as possible after birth. I want every such baby born in Wales to have a Better Start and therefore a Better Future. Each year, approximately 70 children will be born in Wales with cerebral palsy.
Starting from January 2016 until Bobath Wales’ 25th Birthday in 2017, I will run 1 mile for every child under 18 living in Wales with cerebral palsy, a mere 1260 miles. I will also swim 1 mile for every baby born with this disability in the Principality during 2016; which in addition means swimming 70 miles and finally, I can’t believe I’m pledging to do this, I will cycle 10 miles for every year Bobath Wales has been open a further 250 miles.
As well as the physical side I’m not too sure how I will find the time, but I am looking forward to the challenge, although I must admit to much trepidation. When I told the staff at the Centre what I was planning they thought I was mad. However, I’m asking people in Wales to help Bobath achieve this goal by making a donation or fundraising for us. So I thought I’d better put my own words into actions but I must confess to feeling nervous about the 1580 miles ahead of me.”
Often, children in Wales are not referred to Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales for specialist therapy until they are 2 years or older. Parents often state they wish they had found out about the Centre earlier so that their child had the best start in life.
Research shows that the nervous system is able to change and adapt. This is how we all learn and is known as plasticity. More and more is being discovered about plasticity of the nervous system, showing that during the first two and a half years of a baby’s life, the brain is the most plastic and adaptable. This is particularly important in the context of children who have cerebral palsy. Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales know from research and their own experience that it is crucial that children who have cerebral palsy receive the correct therapy at this time in a baby’s life and that their parents and family know how to move, carry and handle them to help their baby develop and achieve their full potential.
If missed, this opportunity can never be regained and although the nervous system continues to be adaptable and therapy continues, the possibilities for change are reduced and often unhelpful patterns and habits have already started to form.
If you would like to sponsor Jenny as she undertakes this amazing personal challenge please click on the link below: