From 2011, SWAN (Syndromes Without A Name) have made it their mission to help care for children effected by mystery genetic conditions; offering 24/7 contact, whole family events and on the ground support.
SWAN UK is a great cause to support, and Thomas Cook Children’s Charity are proud to have donated the funds to assist their amazing efforts for a whole year!
Although they’ve just raised awareness with their fourth annual Undiagnosed Children’s Day, SWAN have also been busy organising fantastic events and outings for the kids they help care for. Just recently, a meet-up at Paulton’s Park gave 140 parents and children a magical day out. The hours were whiled away on water rides and fairground attractions, with time set aside for a delicious picnic and some catching up between mums and dads.
Siblings were also encouraged to go along, much to the delight of Katie, whose brother Charlie is helped out by the charity. Although she was unsure at first, she soon befriended Tinka (the sister of a graduate SWAN member) and they spent the day together on the rides and chatting with each other. Katie said ‘It gives us a break to be kids without worrying. Also, because SWAN UK staff were at the event to help out, everyone got a shot on things that they want to do.’ They’ve already planned to meet up at the next outing for the charity, London Zoo.
The log flumes were clearly a favourite for Katie and Tinka!
When it comes to being a SWAN the medical aspect of it is hard enough, (up to 50% of SWANs will remain undiagnosed) but on a personal level it can be even tougher. That’s why SWAN is such a great support system in bringing parents and their little ones together with others who can really identify with what they’re going through.
Parent rep and SWAN UK member Sasha McDowell explained ‘It may sound like a very standard day at a theme park but with a child with complex needs, days out can be few and far between… (It) means so much.’ Adding, ‘It provides an opportunity to network with families in a similar situation and form friendships.’
Tinka, Sasha and Katie dry off after an exciting afternoon
We’re glad everyone had such a fab day and we can’t wait to see what events this great charity holds in the near future!
If you’d like to help SWAN or one of the other incredible charities we support, you can make a donation to the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity on our website. All the money we raise will help towards making a positive difference to young lives.