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Contact the team: 0117 947 9911

Do you want to email us for assistance? Contact: [email protected]

Children & Young People Services

In collaboration with our partnership organisations, the Children and Young People’s service at WECIL delivers a variety of services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset.

Where do you live?

We offer a variety of services which include youth and play programmes, 1:1 Befriending services and sessions with our partner organisations which support Disabled children and young people with autism, sensory impairment and more complex needs as well as specialist support for BAME families.

We recognise that every child and family is unique, and there is not a one size fits all approach for the support we offer.

From birth to adulthood

We support Disabled children and young people from birth through to adulthood. All of our services are designed to ensure your child can build and develop the skills, relationships, friendships and confidence needed to live the life they chose. Our support is a great way to make the most of your child’s Direct Living Allowance – the benefits of our services often go well beyond the time spent in sessions, and our short breaks give parents well deserved time away from caring responsibilities.

Graphic illustration of girl next to disabled parking sign

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Are you unsure what financial support your child is entitled to as Disabled person and how to access it? WECIL can help you apply for, get the most out of and understand your child’s Direct Living Allowance.

Our sessions also help children connect with one another and feel a unique sense of belonging that they might not feel in mainstream environments.

Befriending

Time2Share Logo

Our Befriending service is a well established provision which links Disabled children and young people with a volunteer ‘buddy’. This 1:1 support is for those who may find group sessions more difficult and offers an opportunity for your child to go out and about with a volunteer who can help support with developing independence and self confidence.

Parents and carers get an opportunity for a much needed break, whilst feeling reassured that your child is having fun and developing as an individual.

We currently offer support to Disabled children and young people aged 5-18 in Bristol and 0-19 in Bath and North East Somerset. Befrienders offer up to 2 hours of support per week, and are recruited in line with local authority safer recruitment guidance, which includes enhanced DBS checks, training and references.

*Please note that whilst our volunteer Befrienders undertake training, we cannot guarantee that they will have the necessary experience in dealing with any specific needs. Our volunteers are not expected to administer medication, or assist with personal care. These factors should be taken into consideration when assessing a child or young person’s suitability for this service.

If you are interested in our Befriending service, please contact us and one of our team will be in touch.

If you’d like to volunteer as a Befriender, please visit our volunteering page for opportunities.

Playful illustration of a girl on the shoulders of an adult, holding the hand of a Disabled girl next to a dog

Volunteer for WECIL

Volunteering at WECIL is a great opportunity to gain new skills, learn about what we do and contribute positively to the lives of Disabled people. We will pay for any out-of-pocket expenses and we will aim to ensure that as a volunteer:

  • Your time, skills and experience will be used well
  • Your work will be appreciated and recognised
  • You will be provided with information and
    guidance to carry out your volunteer role
  • Your access needs will be met; our offices are accessible buildings and we will make reasonable adjustments as required

Join Us

We are always looking for new volunteers; so if you want to gain first-hand experience, brush up on existing skills or want to use us as a stepping stone into employment, we’d love to hear from you.

Take a look at our current vacancies by visiting the link below, or for more information please contact our Volunteer Team at [email protected] or call 0117 947 9911.

We are highly experienced in working with Disabled children and young people, they’re in a safe and supportive environment with our friendly team.

C&YP Blog

For community news, upcoming events, blog articles and reports see below. If you have something that you’d like to see covered then please get in touch by emailing: [email protected]

Children & Young People

Bristol Budget Cuts to Short Breaks for Disabled Children Threaten Family Stability

In a recent decision by Bristol City Council, the budget for Short Breaks for Disabled children will be cut by…

Read More
Children & Young People

Join Our Team as a Sessional Worker: Make a Difference This Summer!

Are you looking for a rewarding and flexible job opportunity this summer? WECIL is seeking enthusiastic sessional workers to join…

Read More
Children & Young People

WECIL Celebrate Success at the Annual Play Awards!

We’re really happy to let you know that we’ve won The Altogether Different Award at the Annual Playwork Awards! This…

Read More

Providing a safe and supportive environment for Disabled children and young people

Children and Young People Team

Our team is friendly and approachable, and here to listen to any issues and questions you might have.

Black and White headshot of Matt Justice

Job title: Head of Children & Young People's Services

He/Him

Matt Justice has dedicated over a decade to empowering Disabled Children and Young People, initially through running inclusive Trampoline and Gymnastics classes. His passion for aiding young people in reaching their full potential led him to WECIL in 2018, where he took on the role of Head of Children & Young People's Services. Matt is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have access to opportunities that allow them to play, learn, develop, and establish meaningful friendships.

 

What drives Matt in his role at WECIL is witnessing the transformative impact of inclusive environments on the children and young people they support. He takes pride in working towards increasing inclusive opportunities for Disabled young people and their families, ensuring they have more choice and control in their lives.

 

In his over 12 years of experience, Matt has held senior management positions and served as the vice-chair of trustees for a local gymnastics club, where he supported the expansion of their inclusive programs. Currently, he is also an active co-coordinator for Bristol's Children and Young People's Network and the Bristol Play and Youth Alliance, contributing significantly to the advancement of inclusive practices across the sector.

 

Matt's professional and voluntary experiences are a testament to his leadership and dedication to fostering an inclusive society where Disabled Children and Young People can thrive alongside their peers. His work at WECIL is not just a job but a vital part of his life's mission to make a positive difference in the lives of young people.

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Job title: Children and Young People’s Manager

She/Her

Bio to come

Black and White photo of a community

Job title: Complex Needs Manager

She/Her

Alison Souch's journey with WECIL began through her admiration for the organization while working with another organisation supporting Disabled children with complex needs. Impressed by the dedication and passion displayed by the children and young people's team, especially regarding support for families during holidays, Alison felt a strong pull towards the ethos and warmth of the team. Her transition to WECIL was driven by her desire to be part of a team that was both welcoming and profoundly knowledgeable.

 

As the Complex Needs Manager, Alison is fuelled by her passion for working with Disabled children, particularly those with complex needs and challenging behaviours. The variety and challenges each day brings keep her motivated and provide constant opportunities for learning and growth. The aspect of her role she treasures most is the chance to interact with and support amazing young people on their journeys.

 

Alison’s professional path was set early when she trained as a nursery nurse and worked with children deemed to have additional needs. The experience of working with an autistic young boy with Downs Syndrome solidified her dedication to this field. She brings to her role at WECIL a wealth of experience from 17 years in residential care for learning disabled children, along with valuable insights from working closely with diverse children and their families.

 

Her tenure in care services not only equipped her with extensive knowledge and skills but also with a deep understanding of the complex needs landscape. Alison is able to leverage this background to deliver effective support at WECIL, helping to ensure that children with complex needs receive the care and attention they need to thrive. Her commitment to the wellbeing and development of Disabled young people is a core part of WECIL’s mission to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

Black and White photo of a community

Job title: South Gloucestershire Short Breaks Manager
She/Her

Rebecca Burnett-Sully is deeply committed to empowering Disabled children to become the best versions of themselves. Her role as South Gloucestershire Short Breaks Manager at WECIL is underpinned by her passion to support children’s development and ensure they can achieve their aspirations.

 

Rebecca finds joy in supporting families through the Short Break service, offering respite that is essential to both the children and their families' well-being. She is inspired by the ethos and dedication of the WECIL team, whose commitment to Disabled children's inclusion and independence aligns with her personal and professional ethos.

 

With two years of experience managing the Short Break service, one of which has been with WECIL, Rebecca brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her background extends to 12 years in the education sector, where she supported children and their families within the SEN and Safeguarding departments. This extensive experience in educational settings has equipped her with a nuanced understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by Disabled children in their learning and development journeys.

 

On a personal level, Rebecca's connection to disability is also deeply rooted. As a parent of a son with ASD, ADHD, and dyspraxia, she navigates the world of disability with a personal touch, blending her professional acumen with her lived experience. This combination enhances her ability to empathise with the families she supports and to advocate effectively for the services that can truly make a difference in their lives.

At WECIL, Rebecca continues to contribute significantly to creating opportunities and environments where disabled children can thrive and embrace their individuality, ensuring that every child has access to the support they need to succeed.

WECIL Team, Nicola Beaumont

Job title: Out and About Outreach Worker

She/Her

Nicki Beaumont has dedicated over two decades to working with Disabled young people, showcasing a remarkable journey that has led her to her current role at WECIL. As an Out and About Outreach Worker, Nicki engages with new families and organisations, also lending her skills to various Children and Young People (CYP) initiatives as needed. When not at work, Nicki's family and dogs fill her time, and she lives by the mantra of adding a touch of glitter and sparkle to everything she does.

 

Her affiliation with WECIL began through Time to Share before their merger in 2019. Having already worked in partnership with WECIL, Nicki was delighted to officially join the team and continue her meaningful work. She relishes the opportunity to meet incredible people and takes pride in the positive impact her work has on families.

 

Nicki's professional path was set ablaze in 2006 when she began working with the Downs Syndrome Association, fuelling her passion for supporting Disabled children and young people. After a five-year intermission to pursue university education and train as a counsellor, Nicki returned with invaluable skills that greatly enhance her role at WECIL.

 

On a personal note, Nicki has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since 1980, Dyscalculia, and musculoskeletal pain and stiffness. She has faced challenges, including bullying and prejudice, but has consistently proven that she can surpass expectations and break barriers. Nicki's personal experiences with disability not only inform her work but also infuse it with a deep understanding and resilience, allowing her to connect with and support others on a profound level.

At WECIL, Nicki embodies the spirit of perseverance and determination. Her story is a powerful reminder that despite the odds, one can achieve great things and become a beacon of hope and strength for others. Her work is not just about outreach; it’s about advocating for inclusivity, understanding, and the right of Disabled young people to live vibrant, fulfilling lives.

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Job title: B&NES Short Breaks Co-ordinator

She/Her

Bio to come

Job title: Befriending Co-ordinator B&NES

She/Her

Cleis Masterson is the B&NES Befriending and Groups Coordinator at WECIL, where she has found a synergy between her own values and the organisation's ethos. Her passion for WECIL's commitment to supporting Disabled people drove her to the role she cherishes today.

 

In her work, Cleis takes joy in witnessing the tangible differences she makes in the lives of young people and their families. The impact of her efforts is not just in the immediate results but in the lasting change and empowerment she fosters within the community.

 

Cleis's rich background working at a residential school provided her with years of hands-on experience supporting Disabled young people 1:1. The insights gained from these years are invaluable to her current role at WECIL. With a deep understanding of the day-to-day challenges faced by Disabled young people, Cleis brings compassion, knowledge, and a determined spirit to her work.

 

At WECIL, Cleis coordinates programs that not only bring companionship and support to Disabled young people but also help build strong, resilient networks for families. Her commitment to enhancing lives through her work is a reflection of WECIL's overarching goals of inclusivity, empowerment, and community support.

Black and White Portrait Photo of Cairke

Job title: Play Co-ordinator

She/Her

Bio to come

Black and White photo of a community

Job title: Children in Need Key Worker

Bio to come

Black and White photo of a community

Job title: Befriending Administrator

Bio to come

WECIL Team, carol Grant

Job title: Out and About Key Worker

She/Her

Bio to come

Black and White photo of a community

Job title: Befriending Co-ordinator Bristol

Bio to come

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