Who is sensory equipment for?
There are some amazing products and equipment available for supporting people who have additional needs. This equipment may be needed to create better access for disabled users, or for sensory engagement for autistic children. You may be the parent, carer or teacher for those who would benefit from these items, or an organisation or professional.
The bad news is that this equipment can be quite expensive. However, there are multiple avenues to get help with funding this equipment for those who need it. In this article, I would like to share some of the funding options and resources available for both families and for organisations.
There are also some great ways to create your own fundraiser or to get donations if you are an organisation or business supporting those with additional needs. Therefore, some ideas and resources for planning and organising your own event are also suggested.
Additional financial support for individuals
To begin, if you are a parent or carer and are looking to supply items for an individual who has autism or a disability, then one of the first things you should look into is getting additional help with finances through the form of benefit entitlement. This is different from grants where you would be receiving a one-off lump sum for equipment or events.
These benefits are known as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Whilst DLA is for individuals under 16 years of age, PIP is the benefit for anyone with a disability over 16 years old. These are monthly payments to help support the additional needs of the individual.
To check these benefits for eligibility to claim just follow these links:
Funding for families and organisations
If you are an organisation there are many other roots to funding projects with the use of available grants. We have listed relevant resources for funding below that supports either families or organisations.
Just follow the link for further information and for individual grant requirements. These grants are offered to assist with the financial support for varying projects ranging from equipment to care and wellbeing.
Fundraising & Donations
Finally, there is of course the method of setting up your own fundraising campaign and asking for charitable donations. When you have a project your working on, don’t underestimate the power of community support.
If you’re looking to raise funds, you should always ask for this to be gift aided where you’re a charity. This can be done by either asking people to fill out forms for their donation, and then later claiming online, or from people making their payments to you directly online for the event you set up.
We’ve included some useful links below to get this organised.
Claiming Gift Aid on donations
Another method is to request for the items that you need directly as a donation. This could be useful for example where a sensory garden is being made, you could ask for donations of plants. These donations could come from the parents of children who attend the setting, as well as friends and relatives. The local community who will benefit from access to the space can get involved, and any local businesses who would be happy to support your cause.
You could also ask for help in the form of time and skills from people. Perhaps someone is happy to lend a hand helping at an event, or you know a gardener or landscaper who could assist with the work being done. You could also reach out to people to get help with social media and other marketing aspects to raise awareness.
There are numerous free marketing tools for fundraisers you could consider. These include some we’ve already touched on such as word of mouth, and social media, but you can also consider press release, press coverage, sponsorship, email marketing and Google Adwords.
Designing your campaign material
To use Canva you have to create an account, but this is free to do. All of the basic features are also free to use, with the option of paying for the use of images. However, you can get everything you need designed done for free. It’s available to use on the website or you can download and use the app.
With this programme, you don’t need to worry if you don’t have that eye for design, as it’s full of templates for any number of scenarios that you can simply change the text for your own event and details. If you want, you can also update the images and add your own for a personal touch. That’s it. Posters, flyers and social media posts. Just a few clicks and you’ll have all your fundraising items organised.
Depending on the size of your event and how much campaign material you’ll need, it's worth bearing in mind that getting your printing done online could be a cost saver. To make this simple, Canva also has a printing option once your designs are done. The option to purchase will come up once you click to download your finished design. This is a paid-for service, but it could make life easier as they will print and post the finished products to you.
To get an idea of the templates they have to offer, here are just a few we rounded up (all free!)
There are other resources out there for original digital designs that you can purchase online. These may be of use to larger organisations looking to create online marketing material. If this sounds like something you may need, there’s a couple of good sites to check listed below.
Hopefully this information has been helpful, however, if anyone knows of any other resources then please share these in the comments section below. Likewise, if there is further information you may need regarding any of the topics discussed, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you.
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