nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs (SEN) – the leading charity that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people have announced a new partnership with The LEGO Foundation, helping to deliver the new $20million Play For All Accelerator grant fund.
Launched by the LEGO Foundation to mark Autism Acceptance month, the Play For All Accelerator Fund has been designed to celebrate the strengths of neurodivergent children and help ensure all children have the right to play, learn and thrive. It offers a fixed term mentorship programme that provides expertise and equity free funding for social enterprises, social ventures and organisations wishing to support neurodivergent children with play-based learning.
“When neurodivergent children are understood, valued, and empowered, everyone benefits from their important, and often extraordinary contributions,” remarks Dr. Maureen Dunne, Senior Advisor to the LEGO Foundation and SEND Expert for the Play For All Accelerator.
The partnership will see nasen play a key role in the creation, delivery and review of key programme elements. The specialist knowledge and expertise drawn from nasen will support the success of the programme as a whole.
Amrit Singh, Chief Operating officer at nasen said: “nasen are proud to be supporting The LEGO Foundation in the Play For All Accelerator programme. We’re committed to ensuring that all organisations awarded with a grant receive training around inclusion alongside mentoring and ongoing support from leading inclusion experts.
“As an organisation which values true co-production, our specially designed programme places lived experience front and centre. This collaborative approach to design and delivery will extend deep into the programme in the form of ongoing mentoring and support in ensuring the products, services and experiences make a positive difference to all children and their families.
“This programme comes at a critical time for the international community and the approach taken by The LEGO Foundation is refreshing in its inclusivity. nasen aspires for a world where education is inclusive for all and being inclusive in the design of products created with, not for, the neurodivergent community is a proud moment for us all.”
nasen Education officer, Dr Jamie Galpin (CPsychol, AFBPsS), will lead on nasen’s delivery. Jamie leads the organisation’s Continuing Professional Development and Learning programme. He has been working with children and young people with SEN in home, school and clinical settings for the past 18 years.
For further information on the LEGO Foundations Play for All Accelerator fund, please go to Play For All (learningthroughplay.com)