A CHARITY which helps the families of children with special educational needs has developed a drop-in library during the pandemic.

What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful, a local SEND charity in the heart of Malvern, has developed a unique loaning library aimed at families who have children with additional needs.

Service users have been able to access a wide variety of books, toys, and specialist sensory equipment for their children free of charge for two weeks at a time.

Kim Philpotts, clinical lead and founder of What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful, said: "As a SEND parent myself, I know how expensive it can be sometimes when looking to invest in suitable toys.

"There is often necessary equipment that is also needed to meet the needs of your child.

"We have this fabulous service that we have been piloting during the lockdown to provide families with an opportunity to learn and explore the various ways they can help nurture and stimulate their child in a fun and engaging way.

"It’s the perfect ‘try before you buy’ opportunity that has been a refreshing routine for a lot of our families.”

One local SEND parent said: “When I saw this new service advertised on Facebook, I knew it would be a great benefit to both myself and many local families I know who have children with additional needs.

"The lockdown has been hard enough in trying to keep my daughter, who has ASD and development delay, entertained as she has really struggled with the huge change in our life routine during this disruptive time.

"We have been loaning sensory equipment and toys for about six months now and my daughter has looked forward to every Thursday when she is able to bring something new home each time.

"It has certainly helped eased some of the stresses at home and allowed us to have some fun as a family – without the huge cost involved in buying it all ourselves.

"I do hope that the charity is able to continue this service after the pilot."

The charity’s volunteer-led loaning library is currently open every Monday between 9.30am to 2pm, and every Thursday between 10am and 2pm, for local families to pick up and drop off toys and equipment.

The charity has a vision to open more days as more volunteers come forward, and we secure vital funding to drive this essential service for the community forward.

For more information about the loaning library, and for a copy of the catalogue, please contact What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful directly on their Facebook page or Website.