My name is Heather hill and I am the founder of Happy Hill. My background is working with vulnerable people. Through my life journey I became a parent of a special need child who is now aged 20 years old. Over the years I have tried to access many services to help and improve my children’s quality of life and wellbeing.
During this journey I have had the pleasure in meeting many parents who were encountering the same trials and tribulations as me. One thing we all had in common was the difficulty in finding clubs that our children could access which met the needs of the child and family. 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 due to the fact that 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 challenging behaviour finding appropriate support proved very difficult. I was very fortunate and to be able to use some of the services at Parc with social services support.
I have learnt that behaviours that challenge are a symptom and that you need to find out the cause in order to work to reduce them. This is not always as easy as it sounds. Behaviours manifest due to 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 wellbeing of the children that we work to support.
This is why I have created Happy Hill. To help families with SEND children who may not have any other clubs to go to and or to offer choice.
Since opening in June 2018, we have moved from Happy Hill as a sole trader to a community interest company (Happy Hill Essex CIC). We have a commitee full of volunteers with an array of experience including parents, teachers, human resource professionals, accountants and more. The growing strength of Happy Hill will enable us to move forward and continue meeting the needs of more families and children