Founded in 2001, Cerebra is a unique national charity that strives to improve the lives of children with brain-related neurological conditions, through research, education and direct, on-going support.
The charity helps children who have neurodevelopmental disorders and conditions, including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
One service that they offer is a postal book and sensory toy lending library. Janet Pugh, The librarian who runs the service explains:
“Cerebra take members with children up to their 17th birthday. We’ve got a fantastic resource in the library including a great range of books on autism.”
The topics covered include, Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders including ADHD, behavioural matters including sleep, carers and respite care, communication issues including speech and language therapy, sensory integration and toilet training. You can borrow two books at a time for up to a month. You can view the book lending library here
The sensory toy lending library comprises of sensory toys including, multi-sensory toys, tactile toys, communication aids and relaxation toys. Recently the charity were awarded a grant from Children in Need, a total of £14,830 which has been used to purchase more sensory toys for the library. More can be read about this, here
It is free to join the postal lending library service but you need to be a Cerebra member to do so, but again membership is free.
‘Anyone in the UK (including Northern Ireland) can borrow items from our library and it’s free to return them by using our freepost address for books or a courier service that we arrange for you for sensory equipment. You can borrow two books at a time and one sensory item for a month at a time.’
Janet explained when talking to Autism Daily Newscast that the sensory toy lending library is extremely popular and that “there is likely to be a fair wait” for popular toys, however Janet voiced that she can always advise on what items have a shorter waiting time. When you order an item you will be advised of the waiting time.
To read more about Cerebra and the work that they do go to their website.