Cash boost to help challenge school bullies

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A charity started by a Potton mum has won a grant to help disabled children who are being bullied at school.

The £25,000 Bedfordshire Freemasons grant to the Sky Badger charity will help up to 90 per cent of disabled children who are being bullied at primary school.

Sky Badger has built a new pioneering disability awareness programme to change the way children under the age of 11 think about disability. The Sky Badger School Awards uses National Curriculum linked games and lesson plans to develop empathy and understanding rather than sympathy for disabled children.

The grant will also allow Sky Badger to find help for families in all areas of their disabled children’s lives; financially, medically and socially.

Sky Badger was created by Naomi Marek in 2012 when she found getting help for her own disabled son almost impossible. It now helps over 325,000 families each year, 33,000 of whom live in Bedfordshire. The grant from Bedfordshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Naomi who has been awarded an OBE for her work, said: “It will allow us to help the thousands of disabled children who are bullied every day in schools across the country. Parents whose children have special educational needs, disabilities or serious illnesses need to know that they are not alone. Now they won’t have to.”

Martin Wilson, from the Freemasons said: “We’re very pleased to be able to support Sky Badger, who do outstanding work helping disabled children at risk of bullying and assisting families with disabled children right across Bedfordshire to access the services they need. It’s hard to overestimate the value of this kind of support.”