If you follow Valley Leisure on any of our social media sites, you’ll have heard of our charity, 3Smiles.
But what actually is 3Smiles, and what does it do? Take a look at a customer story, and find out how you can get involved:
3Smiles is a club specially designed for disabled and additional needs children and their siblings. It provides three hours of respite for parents, and is open to children until the age of 19.
The club is based at Andover Leisure Centre, and receives funding from Hampshire County Council Short Breaks. It’s also supported by Mencap, Parentvoice, Mountbatten School and The Town Mills in Andover.
Activities at 3Smiles include trampolining, bouncy castles, drawing and painting, and playing with sensory toys.
In addition to the 3 hours respite each week, parents are also entitled to receive a 50% discount for a swim and spa at the leisure centre, or take advantage of the 50% discount voucher for a Sunday carvery lunch, generously funded by The Town Mills in Andover.
Jorge, who’s 6, and his sister Emma, who’s 12, regularly attend 3Smiles. Jorge has Down’s Syndrome and they’ve both been coming four two years.
We spoke to Jorge and Emma’s mum, Maria, to find out why they love 3Smiles so much.
What does it mean for Jorge and Emma to have that time together?
They enjoy spending time together. Sometimes the age gap between the two of them can limit what they do together, but at 3Smiles they can both join in the activities.
What are their favourite activities?
They both love the bouncy castle! Jorge’s favourite is also the trampoline, and Emma’s is the dark den.
Do they like trying anything new at 3Smiles?
Emma first tried archery at the club last year, and she loved it. Jorge also had a try on the climbing wall at 3Smiles and really enjoyed it.
How do you spend your three hours without Jorge and Emma?
I normally spend my time doing housework or going shopping, and occasionally I go out for lunch.
As 3Smiles is a charity, donations help us to provide great play equipment and coaching for the club.
If you’re considering raising money by doing a challenge for charity, why not choose 3Smiles?
Click here to read what happened when marathon runner Barry Hughes ran 33 miles between Valley Leisure sites for 3Smiles – and raised over £1,2000!
If you’d like more information on 3Smiles, or would like to bring your children along, please contact Nicki on 01264 347127.
Sessions run from 1-4pm on Sundays, and cost £8 a week.
Term dates can be found here.