A pioneering Shropshire charity committed to helping children with movement difficulties has launched a fully funded treatment programme for the first time meaning families will no longer have to pay anything.

It means families with children attending The Movement Centre in Oswestry will no longer have to find the partial funding of £2,000 necessary to fund the unique and life-changing therapy – thanks to the ongoing tireless efforts of fundraisers, sponsors and supporters of the charity.

The Movement Centre is giving children the chance to gain more control of their movement and reach their full potential through Targeted Training therapy, the only therapy of its kind in the world.

Treatment has been helping to transform the range of movement of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities affecting their mobility for more than 25 years. It helps children with movement such as gaining head control so that they can interact with those around them, sit unaided and can lead to gaining the ability to walk.

David Vicary, chair of trustees at The Movement Centre, said: “This is a huge milestone and a massive change for the centre and for those benefiting from the amazing work carried out here by our staff.

“Thanks to the commitment of existing fundraisers and supporters we are delighted to be able to make the therapy for every child fully funded for the first time in the history of the charity.

“Previously families have had to pay £2,000 for Targeted Training Therapy, which was the biggest obstacle to them accessing this vital treatment. The therapy to improve movement makes a life-changing difference to a child and their family and can even see children taking their first steps.

“For others it is the difference between being able to sit at the table with their families, playing games on the floor with siblings and friends or using their arms and hands for tasks that the rest of us so often take for granted.

“It is a special moment for the trustees and a stage we have always wanted to reach. It’s also a pivotal moment for families as not having to pay a penny for the treatment means a huge financial burden has been lifted for them.”

One of the first children to benefit from the fully funded programme is two-year-old Archie Klein from Market Drayton. Archie has Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy and has been set up in a standing frame with a flat posterior support at sacral level and support directly below the knees to improve his standing and stepping abilities.

Archie’s mum, Leanne Hoey, said: “It is just brilliant to be able to go ahead with the treatment now and not have to worry about how we are going to find the money to pay for it. We were thinking we would have to find the money somehow and didn’t know until our last appointment that Archie’s treatment would be fully funded.

“Archie is at the age now where he is starting to realise that he can’t do certain things but really wants to and that pulls at the heartstrings, so to be able to get him on his feet is going to be just brilliant.

“Without this funding Archie’s treatment would have had to be delayed, then we found The Movement Centre and things are now looking much more positive. I am very optimistic and think this is going to be a really good year for Archie.”

Mr Vicary said physios at The Movement Centre are now looking to work with paediatric consultants, GPs and healthcare professionals across the UK to ensure they all know about the important work the centre does and that parents can access fully funded treatment once a consultation has taken place and the child is approved.

Mr Vicary added: “It has been a long road getting to this point but it’s important to stress that The Movement Centre does not receive any Government or NHS funding at present, so in order for us to continue delivering this fully funded treatment we still need the financial support that people have always been so generous to provide.

“Countless people support the charity every year and without their fundraising efforts and donations we simply would not be able to continue, so our message is please carry on arranging fundraising events and making those donations and, if you are a business, please consider making us your charity of the year in 2023 – we need your help now more than ever!”

To make a self-referral visit https://www.the-movement-centre.co.uk/refer-to-the-movement-centre/

Archie in his new standing frame with The Movement Centre staff Lynne Ford and Sarah Bew.

Archie standing proud in his new standing frame with his parents Leanne Hoey and Steve Klein and little sister Arya.