Connor Copelton (9 years old), from Bangor has received a life changing boost from the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, having been successfully awarded funding for new soothing sensory equipment that offers comfort and stimulation in an otherwise confusing world.
Connor has complex and severe autism which coupled with a severe learning disability makes the world around him a very difficult place. Connor is unable to communicate verbally and requires full time care and support in all aspects of his day.
As accessing community facilities has become increasingly difficult for Connor, his mum, Christina, applied to the Charity for funding for sensory equipment to help make his bedroom a place for him to relax and enjoy and to enrich his life at home.
His mum Christina explains, “Connor is the loveliest little boy but as he grows up he is less and less able to integrate into the community which means that his world is effectively shrinking. This is why having access to equipment at home that supports, stimulates and relaxes him at home is becoming more and more important.
“Last year we were able to make some adaptations to the house to give Connor his own bedroom and wet room but having the support from the Energy for Children Trust means we have been able to install a bubble wall, tactile panel and laser sky projector in his room to make it a place where Connor can relax and be stimulated while feeling safe and secure. It’s life changing for Connor and for us as a family and I can’t thank Energy for Children enough for their support.”
Charity Liaison Officer, Gillian Orr said, “I’m delighted to see how much of a difference this equipment has made to Connor’s life and the family as a whole. With Connor’s conditions making it more difficult to get involved with outside activities, it’s great that we have been able to create more opportunities for sensory stimulation at home.
“This is exactly why the Charity exists, to help local children like Connor who are most in need and I’m thrilled to see the positive impact it is having on the whole family”, added Gillian.
Energy for Children is an initiative of Phoenix Natural Gas and the wider natural gas industry. The Charity was established in 2005 to provide financial support to groups and individuals that may slip through the net of the wider charity network.
Founded on the principle that ‘all monies raised go directly to local children and young people’, the Trust aims to reach deeper into the heart of local communities throughout Greater Belfast and beyond in order to really make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives.
Since its formation, the trust has helped over 9,000 local children and every month continues to help those who need it most.