A SPECIAL needs group has been providing a safe environment for children with any disability in the area, while lending a friendly ear and support for families.

Happy Days Special Needs Community Group, based in Leigh, is a network created by four local mums to look after children with a range of diverse needs after they struggled to find a group which provided this support this under one roof.

Beverley Piddington-Parr explained that while there are special needs support groups in the area, these are mainly focused on one disability, such as autism, where only children with this particular disability can attend.

Struggling to find a group that could help with her daughter Bethany, who has down syndrome and her grandson George, who has Russell-silver syndrome, Beverley created the inclusive network after meeting three other struggling mums at Leigh infirmary.

Beverley said: "As there were no groups that involve all children of all disabilities, children with different needs, including siblings, couldn't all go to one group."

"We decided to create Happy Days as a family affair, where everyone can get involved."

With soft play, arts and crafts, and sensory activities available, Beverley explained that the group is a "non-judgemental safe space" for children to relax and enjoy themselves, as well as a "means of support" and place to chat for families in similar positions.

The former prison officer and carer added: "Parents are a mine of information in their own right. Having an inclusive group means that people can offer support and guidance through their different experiences, and inform families of who to contact and where to go for further help."

At their first session back since the pandemic, Beverley explained the feedback from parents was "phenomenal"; who are extremely grateful that the group is offering such a welcoming and supportive provision.

The children, from new-borns to 17-year-olds, are also said to "absolutely adore" the sessions.

Happy Days fundraise to ensure they can continue their vital services, and encourage any family that needs this support to attend.

The group meets at Trafford House, Platt Fold Street, Leigh, on the last Sunday of every month between 2:30 - 4:30 pm.