Bailey's story - House with No Steps

Bailey's story

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Donate today to turn rainy days into sunshine and blue skies for families like the Midsons.

Bailey and his family

When Mel and Mark Midson started married life together, their daily life and dreams for the future were vastly different than they are today. All parents make sacrifices for their children, but the Midson’s case was particularly challenging.

“Our lives changed when Bailey, then Fletcher were born. Both boys have autism. Bailey (Bai) is more profound in that he is ‘non-verbal’ apart from one or two words. Mel needed to be home full time and I needed to be available at a moment’s notice”, said Mark.  

Their lives changed forever – their days confined to caring for the boys, looking for assistance and ways to involve them in healthy pursuits, as they gradually fell away from the mainstream community.

This is the sort of situation House with No Steps exists for, to help families like the Midsons to experience a chance at a better life.

It is also the sort of service that can only be delivered through the support of our generous donors. Please consider making a donation today.

Mel now takes up the story and tells of Bailey’s remarkable transformation. 

“The first time I suggested to Mark that we should enrol the kids in the New Wave Nippers program, he looked at me and said cynically “Yeah right!” I didn’t blame him because up to that point Bailey was terrified of the water and even the beach. If we took him anywhere near the sand he would vomit with fear. But we went to see Louise from House with No Steps and for over an hour she listened to us and got to know our issues with both Bai and Fletch. She then assigned a very special young man, Jacob, to be Bai’s one-on-one carer at Nippers. We were so sceptical that we didn’t even put Bai in bathers for his first time."

"We’ll never ever forget seeing the transformation in our eldest and most challenging. Within an hour Jacob had won Bai’s confidence. First he was kicking a beach ball on the sand, then he was making sand castles and finally to our total astonishment… he was in the water."

Bailey at New Wave Nippers

The New Wave Nippers program was formed through a collaboration between House with No Steps and the New South Wales Surf Life Saving Association. At New Wave Nippers the kids receive one-on-one support from club members and gradually gain the confidence that comes with encouragement and support. 

Access to the beach and a Nippers program might not seem such a big deal, but children with disabilities often have low self-esteem and can lack confidence. By simply opening the door to more equal sport and recreational access these issues can be addressed, improving coordination, communication skills, general health and well-being while making friends with other kids of all abilities. 

Your support is needed to help us help others in this situation, which is why we’re seeking $47,600 to extend our programs. Please donate today.

“Nippers is the only thing we have done as a family where all the kids are welcomed together. The hour or two on a Saturday for 10 weeks a year is the only time in the week where our family is accepted and welcomed in totality.” 

“It’s the closest thing to reality and normality. We feel ‘human’ again.” said Mark.

Or as Mel likes to describe it…

“We love it because we see that we’re not the only ones under the umbrella in the rain”

The New Wave Nippers Program has shown us how simple outdoor activities bringing children of all abilities together, can be the start for families to rediscover part of life which most of us take for granted.

Bailey and his brothers

Your donations will be going to broader recreational services integrating children with disability, and their families, into sporting clubs and the wider community so we can provide other options in addition to the existing New Wave Nippers program. We’ve also started Learn to Surf partnering with Newcastle Surf School, Indoor Rock Climbing with Pulse Climbing and there are plans to introduce soccer next year too.

Children with disabilities should have the right to play, to exercise and to socialise like every other child. Please help us make this a reality, it really can change a life. 

$20 can help provide a surfing lesson for a child with a disability 

$30 can help fund 2 sessions of indoor rock climbing for a child with a disability 

$50 will contribute towards a child with a disability being able to access a recreational activity of their choosing 

$100 will provide a major contribution towards a season’s registration to a sporting team 

The benefit for families is immediate and life changing. Here’s Mel giving her feelings towards your financial commitment.

“There’s not enough ‘thank yous’ available. The financial strain is significant, so to have people who do something off their own bat to assist is beyond wonderful. It’s a massive weight off our shoulders and we have no words to express the level of gratitude.” 

The benefit for families is immediate and life changing. Please make the decision donate today and help other families like the Midsons.

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