A Reading pre-school charity for children with special educational needs and disabilities will receive £1,000, the John Sykes Foundation has announced.

The Reading-based foundation awarded Dingley’s Promise their latest Covid-19 Relief Fund grant to support 12 weeks of sensory activities for their pupils.

Their aim is to help reduce sensory-seeking behaviours and recoup sensory wellbeing, rebuild independence and confidence, and reduce incidents of anxious behaviours.

Catherine McLeod said: "The sensory workshops are needed because all our Reading children are showing increased sensory difficulties due to the pandemic.”

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She described how they had lost confidence in independently feeding, dressing and using the toilet as well as moving and choosing activities.

The money will be used to fund sensory story massages, sensory circuits, cooking, sensory arts and crafts and holding workshops for parents and carers.

John Sykes, founder and chair of trustees of the John Sykes Foundation, along with Cllr Tony Page, Cllr Karen Rowland and Cllr Mohammed Ayub visited the Reading centre in September to present the cheque to Catherine McLeod MBE, CEO of Dingley’s Promise.

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John Sykes said, “The Foundation are overjoyed to award a £1,000 grant to Dingley’s Promise in Reading, and we hope that the workshops assist the children to reduce sensory seeking behaviours. We were delighted to be invited to the centre and meet the amazing staff and children, we look forward to seeing you all again very soon.”

Dingley's Promise supports 60 children aged 3 months to 5 years.