Jack Simpson (3), Christine Corbet (AP), Michelle Landry, Sienna Cooke(4), Raelene Ensby(umbrella), Joey Towson(4) and Patrick Williams(AP) enjoying the big screen. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Jack Simpson (3), Christine Corbet (AP), Michelle Landry, Sienna Cooke(4), Raelene Ensby(umbrella), Joey Towson(4) and Patrick Williams(AP) enjoying the big screen. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Judgement-free zone for parents of special needs children

GOING to the movies may seem like a simple task for most families.

But for parents of children with special needs, it can be almost impossible.

That's why Rockhampton's Umbrella Network has set up its own cinema with the help of a grant from Australia Post.

Rockhampton Umbrella Network co-ordinator Raelene Ensby said the organisation aimed to provide a judgment-free zone for parents of special needs children.

"It's a place of acceptance and understanding," she said.

Raelene said trips to the cinema could be challenging for special needs children who often found it hard to concentrate and stay seated for long periods of time.

She said these problems could leave parents and siblings feeling isolated.

Apart from being entertaining, The Umbrella Network's outdoor movie nights are also a chance for parents to connect with others in similar situations.

Rockhampton's Umbrella Network was one of only 24 community organisations in Australia to receive an Australia Post Our Neighbourhood grant.

Get involved

  • Upcoming Umbrella Network events
  • My Dad and Me Playgroup: Saturday, May 17 from 10am-noon at the PCYC, North Rockhampton
  • Playconnect Playgroup: Tuesday, May 20 from 9.30am-11.30am at The Umbrella Network, Frenchville
  • For more information call 49286550


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