BOSP Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play
History of BOSP
BOSP Brighter Opportunities through Supported Play is a registered charity (1007392) which has been offering support to families for over 26 years by providing fun short break activities for their children and young people with learning and physical disabilities.
Originally known as Brentwood Opportunities for Special People, the charity was formed in 1991 by a group of parents of children with disabilities. Its original purpose was to support parents and carers by providing a meeting place while entertaining the disabled child with hall based activities. Within a few years this support group had evolved to enable the parents to leave their children in the care of Playworkers and volunteers. In 2005 BOSP changed its name and acquired limited company status. In 2009 BOSP became Ofsted registered. Today BOSP is known for the high-quality care and support it provides. In 2013/14 our work was recognised as Outstanding by Ofsted.
Many of the children and young adults that BOSP supports have complex disabilities. They are vulnerable and extremely marginalised in society. Those with profound physical disabilities, require specialist feeding or have very challenging behaviour are unable to access activities that are readily available to their peers and this can have a huge bearing on their social and emotional development. Disabled children and young adults however have the same needs as other children and they value sport, play and youth activities just the same. Such group activities are essential to their well-being.
Additionally, supporting children and young adults with complex medical/behavioural conditions necessitates the need to employ and train specialist staff. Due to the increased costs associated with this, many providers are reluctant to provide equal access services, resulting in disabled and very ill children with the highest needs being disadvantaged further as the availability of suitable clubs is reduced.
Our clubs are quite unique in South Essex and very important to families as they have expressed that they want ‘proper’ respite away from their home along with inclusive activities for their child/young adult within the community.
Many of our staff and volunteers have lived experience of disabilities. We truly understand the needs of our beneficiaries and the challenges that caring for a disabled child/young adult brings and are dedicated to improving their lives with fully supported social activities.