It’s celebrations all around at the headquarters of The Children’s Sleep Charity this week after winning a national award at the prestigious Nursery World Awards 2016, our pilot project supporting children with autism to get a good night’s sleep

The awards celebrate the achievements of those who dedicate their working lives to supporting young children’s learning and development.   With so much emphasis nationally recently on young children’s health and well-being a new category was added which The Children’s Sleep Charity won.

Judges are drawn from across the early year’s sector and include consultants, authors and early year’s leaders.  They use their expertise to determine who will win which award concentrating on awarding those organisations who evidence the quality and the best outcomes for children and families.  The Children’s Sleep Charity fought off tough competition to lift the trophy.

Vicki Dawson CEO and Founder of the charity says, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award, supporting children in the early years to get a good night’s sleep is so important for their development.  Sleep often gets missed off the wellbeing agenda, this award highlights how vital it actually is.”

The innovative project was funded by NHS England, and took place in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Outcomes reported by families who took part in the project included improved family relationships; sharing family time in the run up to bedtime; child being calmer and improved attainment and concentration at school.  One mum simply said, “Our lives have changed so much now we can relax at night time and get some sleep”.

Our behavioural approach to sleep has been proven to be an effective method. Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group commission the charity to offer support to all families of children 12 months and upwards across the town, the first sleep service of its kind in the country. 

Helen Rutherford delivered the pilot project and worked alongside the families to support them in making changes, she says “It is wonderful to receive this award that recognises the importance of sleep for families wellbeing.  The feedback that we received from families was extremely positive.  It was a real privilege to work alongside the parents and to share their success stories.  I hope that we can now secure funding to deliver this much needed work nationally”.

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