NANSA is an independent local charity supporting children, teenagers and adults with disabilities in Norfolk. NANSA believes that all people with disabilities are entitled to full inclusion in society and aim to empower people with disabilities to achieve their life aspirations. NANSA was formed in 1954 by a groups of parents who all had a child with cerebral palsy. As they spent countless days travelling around to different hospitals across the county, in a desperate search for support and advice; they decided to form an independent organisation that would support people with disabilities. Today, the charity has developed in to a wide range of services.
NANSA provides assistance to families of babies and children with a disability. The team are there to support the early stages of a child’s development, which can be an extremely emotionally challenging time for parents. Sessions are focused on teaching parents essential tools needed to develop their child’s physical, social and cognitive skills and providing support for those suffering with sleep disturbances. Sessions are aimed at helping children to break down sensory barriers which will increase their self-esteem and encourage positive communication skills.
Adolescence is a challenging time for any young person. Teenagers experience an increasing need for independence, hypersensitivity about appearance, emerging emotions and focus on forming an independent group of friends. These completely normal challenges are inevitably heightened when disability forms part of the picture, as teenagers are much more reliant on their parents or carers and may not be able to express themselves in the same way that an individual without a disability could. NANSA’s youth groups offer a fun, safe and educational environment for teenagers with a disability. Groups are age appropriated and provide positive, developmental activity programmes which guide teenagers to make the often difficult transition into adulthood.
NANSA’s Adult Centre offers a range of activities, sessions and classes to adults with disabilities. They work on education, hobbies, and improving peoples’ quality of life. NANSA’s sessions support people to build their independence and confidence. Courses can offer the opportunity for people to receive an accredited Gateway qualification, paving the way to employment. NANSA believes this is a vital step in closing the employment gap for people with disabilities. Current national statistics state that people with a disability are three times as likely to be unemployed as someone without a disability. NANSA believes in giving people the tools and skills that they need in order to develop and be able to access employment.
Train and Trade
Train and Trade offers the opportunity for people with a disability to gain supported work experience and training. NANSA’s community café Wrap and Roll, Artshoproject and charity shops are all venues where trainees are supported to participate as independently as possible. Trainees will learn customer service, communication, retail or catering skills as part of a Gateway qualification. This acts as an independence stepping stone between centre-based support and potential volunteering or employment possibilities.
Visit the NANSA website here: www.nansa.org.uk/