“A unique therapy service offering not just help but above all, hope” – Kate Adie 2006
Building on the experience and success of intensive individually tailored therapy programmes for children within St Margaret’s Hospice, St Nicolas Child Development Centre provides infants and children with severe disabilities and handicaps resulting from accident, infection, birth defect or genetic problems with a highly effective, flexible and well designed therapy programme to enable then maximise their potential. Based within The St Margaret’s Complex of Children’s Services in Bucharest the initial suite of therapy rooms has recently been radically expanded to provide much needed additional therapy and assessment space as well residential accommodation for children and parents from across Romania requiring intensive week long therapy. The treatment suites, now on two floors, are readily accessible to those in wheelchairs via ramp and elevator. Designed with maximum flexibility in mind all the treatment facilities have equipment assessed as essential for treatment some of which was ordered and delivered from the United Kingdom, where these could not be supplied by the local suppliers.
The Project team’s, qualified Paediatrician, Lead Physiotherapist and Speech Therapist, with a support team of S&L Therapist, Occupational Physiotherapist Life Skill, Play and Art Therapist, Psychologist, Dietician and Social Worker, work on a team basis. This team also has the additional support of Dr. Victoria Amadi one of the United Kingdom’s most renowned Child Development Consultants and Alyth Hughes the Charity’s Physiotherapy Consultant.
An initial multi-disciplinary assessment results in an individually tailored care and treatment plan and the patient’s progress is regularly reviewed thereafter. Well over 250 children have progressed and graduated through their treatment plans, each one being helped to maximise their potential and cope or overcome their life challenges. The programmes have a waiting list of over thirty children self-referred by parents aware of the success of the programmes or by local GPs throughout Sector 2 and the paediatric hospitals across Bucharest have received the annual performance report pack and been contacted by follow up visits.
The Child Protection Departments in Bucharest’s Sectors 2 & 6 have contracted care for up to twenty additional child referrals as have the local special needs Gradiniţa and the Institute for Prosthetic Devices.
St Nicholas Child Development Centre was opened in 2006 by Kate Adie presenter of “From Your Own Correspondent”, doyenne of the BBC’s foreign correspondents and Diana Deac, an equally renowned Romanian presenter and broadcaster; both remain closely interested in the work of Children in Distress and St Nicholas CDC in particular.
The team has, to date, helped thousands of infants, children and young people maximise their potential to be the best that they can be, in doing so they have radically changed the lives of more mums and dads, sisters and brothers, previously over-burdened by caring for a child who needed extra care simply to live.