Fledglings is a national charity founded by Ruth Lingard MBE in 1998 with the help of volunteers and parents. The charity grew as a result of parents who cared for a disabled child wanting information about products which may help them to help their child.
"When working with disabled children and their families in schools, hospitals and family homes I saw families struggling to do their best for their children, with little knowledge where to find the resources they needed and often with limited finances, too. After more than 30 years working with disabled children as a teacher and a social worker I felt compelled to try to do something practical to help. So, in 1998 after first carrying out research to find some of the most commonly expressed needs of those caring for a disabled child, I established Fledglings to help families find simple, affordable solutions to day to day difficulties." Ruth Lingard MBE – Founder
Listening to the lived experience of parents and children over the years, we also now provide a range of information, advice and guidance and remain true to Ruth's original idea as we continue to provide products that would have the greatest positive impact on children's lives.
We work across the UK, via a small staff team supported by a group of dedicated volunteers. In addition to the helpline, we provide tens of thousands of families and organisations with our mail order brochure and a regular e-newsletter. Currently, we are working on the implementation of our e-shop.
"Whatever we do as an organisation we must always remember that an individual child must be our focus of attention. Whether it's a simple phone call enquiry or a more complex discussion about a potential new solution, we exist to make childrens lives better." Andrew Gardner – Chief Executive
How can Fledglings help you?
Please contact us if you have an issue you want to talk through or a problem you think we may be able to help with.
Sometimes a problem that seems impossible to solve can be quickly resolved – after all two heads are usually better than one and we have thousands of potential helpers within our Fledglings’ ‘family’. (We will never divulge your personal details without your express permission) We also have a number of home workers and some helpful companies we can approach to make bespoke kit if required. See our Frequently Asked Questions section to see some of the questions others have asked.
If you are a school or an organisation putting on an event for parents, we may be able to come along to demonstrate a range of products or give a short talk. We may also be able to provide a box of product brochures for distribution
If you are in need of financial help we will link you to another charity which specialises in this area of work. They have so much useful information, please contact Sky Badger.
If you are a parent wishing to return to work and would like to do some volunteering for Fledglings in order to gain confidence and have something to add to your recent CV, please get in touch. We may be able to help and will pay expenses.