Our organisation is a well established, registered charity which provides FREE complementary treatments to children and young people with disabilities, health problems and special needs. We are based in the centre of Coventry and are currently offering treatments to families where treatment is either not available or limited to them on the NHS or is not affordable to the family from the private sector.
The charity's aims and objectives
The object of the charity is to provide as many free treatments to all children who need them. The charity has continuously provided therapy free of charge to children with disabilities and special needs since 1997. Initially, the charity only provided remedial massage, neuromuscular massage and touch therapy.
We have now extended our services to include, Bowen therapy, Reflexology, Bio-cranial touch therapy, therapeutic play, Physiotherapy and more recently Occupational therapy. There has been a steady increase in demand for our services; the charity now provides over 3,500 treatments and 2,100 therapeutic play sessions per year, this has resulted in us recently adding a Saturday morning overflow service to keep up with the demand.
How Tiny Tim's started
Tiny Tim's was founded in 1997 by a local Osteopath, Stan Duncombe. He was approached by a young family asking for help for their 6 year old son who was in remission from leukaemia. The young boy was told he would never run again and all he wanted to do was play football with his friends. After an initial assessment Stan said he thought he could help him and told the parents how much his fees were. At this the family apologised for wasting his time and walked away. This encounter deeply affected Stan and a few weeks later he contacted the family and treated the child for free. This got him thinking that there must be a lot of families in the same position and surely something could be done to help them. The young boy went on to play football with his friends and later for his school.
Stan Duncombe was delighted when the Tiny Tim's Centre opened its door 17 years ago. The LCSP (London and Counties Society of Physiologists) together with their ERD Trust (Education, Research and Development) contributed significant initial investment in the original project in 1997. Getting our charity up and running was not an easy task. After much negotiation, with the LCSP and ERD Trust, we established Tiny Tim's Children's Centre as an independent Registered Charity, in January 2003. The Tiny Tim's Children's Centre is now very well established and is achieving Stan's vision.
We treat children with disabilities and special needs aged between babies and 18 years of age. Although our centre is based in Coventry, we will treat any child with a need, no matter where they come from as long as they can get to our centre. Patients do not have to be referred by healthcare professionals; the parent can telephone and speak to a therapist who will book them in for an initial assessment. We work alongside other local services to ensure a co-ordinated and seamless approach to the provision of services to 'these most in need' children.
For many of the children receiving therapy, both parents and therapists have observed beneficial changes. Examples include; improved mobility and posture, improved sleep and relaxation, lowering of tension, help with respiratory and circulation problems, reduced constipation, heightening of touch and spacial awareness, stimulation of neuromuscular activity and related muscle tone and improved sense of well-being. In some cases there are improvements in concentration and social behaviour.
We are aware that our various treatments cannot cure these incurable conditions but we can help to improve the quality of life for these children by increasing mobility, self esteem and reducing pain.
We see a wide range of conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Downs syndrome, Autism and the autistic related disorders, Epilepsy, Juvenile Arthritis, Hydrocephalus, Dyspraxia, Asthma, Soft tissue abnormality, Skeletal deformity, Chromosomal disorders, Sensory impairment, Behavioural and Social problems. In addition, we also provide palliative help for children who are terminally ill and assist with secondary problems.
We can help with some of the secondary conditions these children suffer from in their day to day lives. These can include: joint stiffness, impaired mobility, poor muscle tone, lymphatic and circulation problems, developmental delay, sleep problems, stress, constipation, and psychosocial problems.
The therapies we currently offer:
Remedial and Neuromuscular Massage
A treatment that involves gently rubbing or kneading the muscles. This aims to promote relaxation, sleep, improve muscle tone, digestion and circulation.
Children's physiotherapy aims to help develop movement skills in a fun and enjoyable way. This includes balance and co-ordination exercises.
This is a very gentle form of massage, which works on major stress points of the body. It uses rolling movements over the muscles and can be performed through clothing if necessary.
Reflexology is a non-invasive, drug-free, holistic form of therapy, which means it treats the whole person - physically, emotionally and mentally. A specific pressure technique is applied to the feet (or hands) at reflex points representing the body's internal structures and systems.
Provides help and training in undertaking daily activities such as dressing, eating, playing and participation in meaningful activities.
May enable children to develop sensory feedback and explore different senses. It may also promote relaxation and calmness in individual children.
Therapeutic Play Sessions
The play equipment has been specially designed to ensure children with disabilities and special needs have good access. We believe that children need to exercise, so we have set out the play equipment in a way that combines both fun and movement. We actively encourage integrated play.