Meet our Charity Partner – Spread Your Wings

Posted By: The Teach Now Team
Make a wish Charity

An exciting new charity partnership dedicated to helping families affected by Angelman Syndrome – and to helping fund research and treatment.

Almost a year ago, in March 2023, we published an article here entitled SEND for Help!, which focused on the national shortage of SEN/SEND teachers – and the UK’s lack of specialist SEND teacher training. Although we have nothing further to report on the crisis for the time being, It’s still a subject close to our hearts at Teach Now. Of course, we can’t change government policy or the demographic changes that mean ever greater need for ever more SEN/SEND teachers and teaching assistants. What we can do, though, is use our influence in the most positive way possible: guiding and advising the people we work with on developing broader skillsets, including SEN/SEND experience and by taking a pro-active part in the national conversation about this important issue. 

Spread Your Wings – making a real difference to people living with AS.

With that in mind, we are very happy to announce that we’ve found a way to make a direct difference too. We’re proud to announce Teach Now’s partnership with a brand new and brilliant charity called Spread Your Wings. Registered just last year, this small, dynamic, and entirely volunteer-run charity is dedicated to helping people affected by Angelman Syndrome, a rare neurogenetic condition that causes severe physical and learning difficulties, leaves people with little or no speech and with movement and balance issues. And we’re very excited to have the chance to help! 

Named after British paediatrician Harry Angelman, who was first to identify the disorder in 1965, Angelman Syndrome (AS) may be relatively rare, affecting about 1 in 15,000 people but that still amounts to around half a million people worldwide. People with AS have a life-expectancy that’s almost normal – but they need support throughout that lifetime, beginning, of course, with their special educational needs.

What does Spread Your Wings do?

The charity’s compassionate yet pragmatic, three-pronged approach doesn’t just address the immediate needs of people living with and affected by AS – it’s more ambitious than that. In brief, Spread Your Wings has three objectives for the use of funds raised:

  1. To relieve the needs of families affected by Angelman Syndrome and similar conditions by funding equipment, therapy, and other essential services
  2. To fund research into treatments and cures for Angelman Syndrome.
  3. To increase and improve opportunities for children with Angelman Syndrome and similar conditions to take part in physical activities and sports.
Kindred spirits working together.

Spread Your Wings’ far-sighted, nurturing ethos definitely struck a chord with the way we work at Teach Now – and we’re looking forward to encouraging all our team, the education professionals who work with us as candidates and the employers in schools, colleges and education authorities throughout London and beyond to engage with the charity, to donate and – because, as with so many other little-understood disorders, awareness is vital – to spread the word.

Watch this space!

We’re only just beginning what we’re sure will be an exciting and immensely rewarding relationship for all concerned – so watch this space over the coming months for the latest news! In the meantime, though, we urge you to visit the Spread Your Wings website to find out more about the condition and how it affects people, how the charity’s work is already making a big difference, and perhaps to make a donation, to buy Spread Your Wings T-shirts, hats and hoodies or even to become an ‘Ambassador’ or a ‘Superhero’!