Posted on : October 10, 2013 at - 4:59 pm by The Big Birthday Appeal

Children's Centre - High-Res 42

On Sunday, youngsters from across Manchester celebrated the official opening of a £10,000, state-of-the-art sensory play room for local children with special needs.


The Big Birthday Sensory Room is a safe activity, play and chill-out venue for children with special needs, located in the Children’s Centre at Manchester social care charity, The Fed. Located on site at Heathlands Village, in Prestwich, the room has been funded entirely by the Big Birthday Appeal.


Launched in 2001, the Big Birthday Appeal is a ground-breaking project that encourages children to give to charity on a regular basis and involves them in helping children in need. The charity uses birthdays and other celebrations as trigger-points to raise charity for Jewish children in need. It sells an innovative range of stickers to put on presents, plus donation cards, gift wrap and gift bags.


A proportion of the money for the play room came from several generous Bar and Bat Mitzvah children who donated some of their gift money as part of the Big B’Mitzvah Appeal – an extension of the Big Birthday Appeal that was launched in 2011.


Complete with a bubble machine, fibre optics lights, padded couches and a colour projector, the sensory play room will be used by children who live with a range of disabilities, including autism or visual impairment. A new mural has been created in the Children’s Centre to honour the children who helped fund the sensory play room, with a leaf bearing each donor’s name.


Judith Moryoussef, co-founder of the Big Birthday Appeal, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of all the children who have chosen to support us, including those who decided to use their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs to help others. We were very excited to show them what their selfless gesture has created!”


Co-founder Suzy Glaskie, added: “We’re so grateful for the passion, time and effort that our committee and supporters give to Big Birthday and were delighted to see so many children and their families at the opening. We hope that this is just the beginning and look forward to seeing the mural covered with the names of children who decide they also want to use their celebrations to help children who don’t have the same advantages as they do.”


The room was officially opened by 14 children, whose donations helped to fund the new facility. Sixteen-year-old James Jobling, from Hale, was one of the donors who helped cut the ribbon to declare the room officially open. He said: “I think the sensory room is fantastic because it will give children with different disabilities the opportunity to have fun and relax. I’m extremely proud to have my name up on the wall and to be a part of Big Birthday’s great work.


“Seeing for myself what this facility means to children with special needs has spurred me on to launch a teenage committee, to help raise even more money for the charity.”


Tali Deacon, 12, from Prestwich, was fortunate enough to see the stimulating influence that the sensory play room had on one young girl. She said: “I was really moved to see what an effect the sensory room had on the little girl. It made me feel very proud to be a part of Big Birthday and it opened my eyes to what a positive impact my donation will have on so many local children who face such hard challenges.”


The Fed’s chairman, Mark Adlestone, and CEO, Karen Phillips, both attended the opening and thanked the children and their families for their ongoing support and generosity.


Karen said: “It’s wonderful to think that this superb facility has been created with the help of several caring youngsters in our area. They really have become ambassadors for future generations and we’re delighted they joined in the celebrations at the opening of the Big Birthday Sensory Room.


“We cannot underestimate what a huge difference the kind donations will make to a child’s life. We are so grateful and hope it continues for a long time.”


Mark Adlestone added: “When people talk about Heathlands Village, they think about the residential, nursing and palliative care we provide. They don’t necessarily think about children and many are unaware of the extent of the work we do in this area, as a social welfare organisation.


“The fact that so many children are here today, spreading the word for us, is quite remarkable and really important to us.”


For the last five years, the Big Birthday Appeal has also funded a respite holiday for children with special needs who use The Fed’s Project Smile, giving their parents a much-needed break from 24/7 care.


To donate to the Big B’Mitzvah Appeal, go to:


To find out more about The Fed, visit:

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