Welcome to Happy Hill Essex CIO
My name is Heather Hill, and I am the founder of Happy Hill Essex CIO. My background is working with vulnerable people. Through my life journey, I became a parent of special needs children over 21 years old. Over the years, I have tried to access many services to help and improve my children’s quality of life and well-being.
During this journey, I have had the pleasure of meeting many parents who encountered the same trials and tribulations as me. One thing we all had in common was the difficulty in finding clubs our children could access which met the child's and family's needs. Parents with multiple SEND children could not find any service that would cater for them together due to variations in age, disabilities, behaviours, and or because the club did not have specialist staff to deal with challenging behaviour.
My middle child, who has very complex needs, is non-verbal, has limited understanding and has challenging behaviour. Finding appropriate support proved very difficult.
I have learnt that behaviour that challenges is a symptom and that you need to find out the cause to work to reduce them. This is not always as easy as it sounds. Behaviours manifest from boredom, frustration, something in their environment, particular people, colours, noises, illness and more. However, patience and working to communicate with individuals can see vast improvements not only in reducing behaviours but in the general happiness and improved well-being of the children that we work to support.
This is why we created Happy Hill Essex CIO. To help families with SEND children who may not have any other clubs to attend or offer choice.
We were established in June 2018, and we are a CIO, registered with the Charity Commission. We have a committee full of volunteers with an array of experience, including parents, teachers, human resource professionals, accountants, etc. The growing strength of Happy Hill Essex CIO will enable us to move forward and continue meeting the needs of more families and children.