Good News!

**New funding awarded for the continuation of the Hand and Sky Program**

Thanks to the new second year of funding by

Richard Cloudesley Health Grant

This follows on from our successful six week Pilot Scheme at

Hornsey Road Children's Centre

We will be delivering some more six week Programs for

Early Year SEND Children and their Parents/Carers


We will also be continuing our long-running Program at:

Richard Cloudesly School

The program in both settings will incude:

Therapuetic Touch, Sound-making, Movement, Story-telling and Child-Centred Play

It will support Carers in developing their relationships with these children

by including these modalities of Sensory, kinaesthetic and Creative Play and shared discovery


Hand and Sky Program at Richard Cloudesley School


This Program will address the needs of children with PMLD; high medical and neurological conditions as well as children most at risk of emotional difficulties.

1. The program aims to work with the small responses in a child’s breath and muscle tone through the use of Therapeutic Touch where this is appropriate and well received by the child.

2. The aim is to nurture a feeling of interest and connection in a Child in which they can participate by first easing discomfort, anxiety and pain.

3. To then gradually introduce Sound-making, Movement, Music and Story-Telling.

4. Space is given to pass on simple techniques of Therapeutic Touch to Learning Assistants where this can make a difference to the day to day connections and ongoing relationship they are able to make with a child under their care.


Hand and Sky sessions at Hornsey Road Children's Centre


This Program is modelled on our successful two year program at SEN Family Saturdays 2022-2023

It is suitable for Early Year children and their parents .

Children refered to this program are on the Autistic Spectrum, have developmental delay, sensory and/or langauge difficulties or have other genetic and social/emotional needs

How it works 

1. The Practitioner sets up a weekly Therapy space in a predictable space. This space includes coloured fabric, hand held musical instruments, a guitar and a few small tactile objects and toys. Lighting is kept low.

2. The Child selects and plays with what interests them each week. The role of the Parent and Practitioner is to witness this in an open and affirmative way. Together the two adults create a safe place for the child to explore with no judgement. 

4. Sometimes Therapeutic Touch is offered to the child if they relax through this and seek it out by approaching their parent or the Practitioner. The Practitioner can guide a Parent in some simple techniques that may enhance what they already do at home. For some children this touch is key to their Well-being and can soothe them and help them regulate their feelings.

5. For other children Music becomes a significant and important way for them to feel alive and to show initiative. They enter and explore different moods and qualities through this shared song-making. They learn about pacing  and rhythm as a way to create something together.

6. There is a minimum of verbal talking and guidance from adults; simply one word or short sentences of praise.

7. The sessions are a place to celebrate all that the Child values and wishes to share.

_____  _____  _____


PILOT PROGRAM 2018: "Awards for All" Grant funded through the National Lottery.    

Richard Cloudesley School, Islington: April 2018-December 2018 

Swiss Cottage School, Camden: April 2018-December 2018

Continuation of the project: April 2019- March 2020 with double capacity of children in each school.

Supported Jointly by The National Lottery Community Fund and the Community Chest a partnership between Islington Council and the Cripplegate Foundation.

(This project grew out of fifteen years Practice Research in Autistic Units and Special Schools in Hackney, London which Ruth undertook as an independent Practitioner)


*The Covid 19 crisis in March 2020 meant an early curtailment of the project.

*We returned to Richard Cloudesley School in the Summer Term of 2021 and started at SEN Familly Saturdays in Spring 2022