A place for everyone
Challengers is a place where everyone is welcome and celebrated for who they are.
Challenging the barriers to play. Half of all disabled children are excluded from other play and leisure settings*, but our non-exclusion policy means that we welcome every child and will always find a way to support their individual needs, even if they are multiple and complex.
The way we operate demonstrates that there is absolutely no reason why disabled children and young people should ever be excluded from having fun and playing an active part in society – we call this the Challengers Approach.
*Sense Report, ‘Making the case for play’, 2015
Re-framing what ‘disability’ means
The term disability can mean different things to different people. At Challengers we subscribe to the Social Model of Disability, and hold the view that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference.
Barriers can be physical – like buildings not having accessible levels or toilets – or they can be caused by people’s attitudes, like assuming disabled people can’t do certain things. At Challengers we re-frame how disability is perceived, rejecting the limitations placed on disabled people and challenging the barriers to inclusion. In doing so we aim to lead by example and positively influence the way society views disability – fulfilling our charitable mission and vision.
Raising a disabled child is difficult, but not only that – it’s also expensive. That’s why we work hard to make sure that cost isn’t a barrier to the families who use Challengers.
A 2019 study by SCOPE* shows that, on average, a family with a disabled child would have to pay an average of £583 a month extra to have the same standard of living as a family with a non-disabled child. And for 1 in 5 of these families, these extra costs come to more than £1,000 a month.
Due to the high level of staff training and specialist equipment required, it costs Challengers approximately £180 to provide a day of play for just one child. We believe everyone should be able to access play, so we ask only parents to pay a small contribution towards the overall cost, and provide concessions where needed.
*Scope Report, Disability Price Tag 2019
James is so excited every time we tell him it’s time to go to Challengers, and as we drive towards the centre he physically claps and cheers with joy. He races in without looking back, and that tells me just how much he loves to be there. We are so grateful for the fun, care and attention he receives.Challengers Mum
How you can help
Challengers supports over 1,000 families across the South East, many of whom cannot access other play and leisure services due to their child’s complex needs. With your help, we can give the gift of play to more disabled children, and give their families the short break they desperately need.