I would like to start this post with a little brag.
The subject of all this bragging:
Well… I happen to know this girl… well she was a girl when I met her, but she is a lady now. A wife and a mom. But as I say, when I met her she was just a girl. She was the most incredibly special girl. The kind of girl that when she walked into a room she brought with her life and love. Her and I were very special friends, almost from the moment we met – she loved on me when I was new in a school where I knew no one; she pulled me close and we formed a special friendship. She grew up to be the most incredible wife, mom and friend I know. If she hears of anyone struggling though something; sicknesss, sadness or pain, she will be the first one to take them a meal. If you are moving house, she is there with food or helping with the kids. If you are throwing a party – she is the first one to ask how she can help and last one to leave after helping clean up. She is thoughtful beyond measure. More kind and caring in a day than some in a month! She is seriously one of a kind. BRAG FACTOR: This incredible woman you wish was your friend is my SISTER IN LAW (one of them!) Yes! How lucky could I get?? So happy to brag and boast about this amazing SIL of mine!
Nicky Stirton – quite honestly the closest thing to a living saint that I have ever met. She has more good qualities than I can probably list, and she is as beautiful inside as she is out. Amongst her many amazing qualities, talents and achievements; like owning and running her own OT practice, being an incredible, loving, servant-hearted super-wife & mom of three, and many more, is the main reason for this post: BLOOM CENTRE.
Nicky had a dream a few years ago of a place where children with special needs to come to be loved on, accepted for who they are, and encouraged to thrive in their own skin and at their own pace. This dream became a reality in 2014 when Nicky and Eric Hardy; an incredible businessman & parent to a daughter with special needs who shared the same dream as Nicky, opened the doors to Bloom Centre. I am very proud to have had a very small part to play, as Nicky entrusted me with the job of creating the BLOOM logo, so the little flower you see is made by me! Nicky was inspired by those little flower-shaped windmills that kids play with, and obviously all the colours are symbolic of the colour that these unique and beautiful children bring to the world.
Jess Roux joined BLOOM the very next year (2015), and today all 3 talented individuals are directors of this special NPO. There is a special kind of magic that comes with having two Occupational Therapists starting a centre for children with special needs: using Individual Educational Developmental Programmes (IEDP’s) to ensure that each child’s learning is specific to their level of development and meets their needs adequately. They encourage and cultivate independence, and focus on building children up, nurturing a healthy self-esteem. Additionally, they use music and movement in daily routines, as a medium for learning the daily topics of weather, days of the week etc. They also place special emphasis on the acquisition of appropriate social skills needed to engage in our world. Makaton Sign language is used to aid speech development. Pretty amazing if you ask me!
Every year this little school has grown in number of children, carers and the size of the school building itself. Nicky and the team pour so much into this school and the development of the children there. Their passion is so contagious, and so I had to share this with you, because this is just an incredible place, doing incredible things and I believe it has not reached a fraction of the potential that it has… and that is where you can help!
Bloom Centre is a registered Public Benefit Organisation (Section 18A), and they are always open to individuals and businesses donating and getting involved in the school. Nicky and her team run frequent fundraising activities, and there is my favourite one of the year coming up THIS MONTH!!
THE COLOUR RUN!
Please, if you are based in KZN, PLEASE come up the North Coast, and join us on this incredibly FUN and COLOURFUL day! There are so many sponsors on board – I know Georgie’s has sponsored bacon for delicious bacon rolls after the race – so you know there will be good food – but still, we need YOU – the people – to come and run and laugh and throw some paint around!
DATE: 24 March 2018
PLACE: Sugar Rush Park on Holla Trails – Ballito
TIME: Register 9.30am, Run 10.30am followed by a FUN DAY with activities, water slides & jumping castles
It is a 5km run (I pretty much walk it 😉 and Justin and I alternate carrying the kids!!) There is also a 1km fun walk for moms with babes and children with special needs.
It really is an awesome day – I missed last year as I had just had Brooklyn, so I am excited to join again this year. The boys have been running in Simbithi every week with Justin, so hopefully there will be less carrying them this year !!
Please come join us – and IMPORTANT: take pictures in your moving multicolour masterpiece 😉 and tag BLOOM Special Needs Centre. Let’s spread the word, raise some money for this special place and let’s have fun doing it!
1. Mark yourself interested in this event so your friends can also hear about it (sharing this post will also help with that): Colour Run Facebook Event
2. Buy your tickets: Buy tickets here
3. Follow: BLOOM on Facebook for updates on their progress
4. Look at these pics of previous colour runs and GET EXCITED!
For more information on BLOOM CENTRE, or ways to get involved: