Think back to when you were a child. Think of how important and how fun it was to be part of something communal – a bunch of mates from your street, a sports team, a school class or club – somewhere beyond family where you belonged and thrived.
At Cambridge Rare Disease Network (CamRARE) we recognise that for many kids living with rare diseases (RD), accessing those communities and that sense of belonging can be extra tough. If you might never meet someone else who has to live as you do, that can be isolating, lonely, even painful. And it can be tough, too, for parents, siblings and other carers, each of whom would love for children living with a rare or undiagnosed condition to have better access to activities, connections & belonging.
So, back in 2016, CamRARE established our own little RD ‘tribe’ in the Cambridgeshire region. Initially based around shared dance activities, we called our ‘gang’ Unique Feet and created a community group that welcomes all kids (and their parents, siblings and carers), irrespective of their rare condition. Whether your RD challenge is physical, sensory, neurological or manifests itself as a learning difference, Unique Feet is for you.
Expanded nowadays to offer regular, super-cool stuff as diverse as horse-riding, archery, canoeing, indoor climbing and trips to the seaside, all of our activities are fully inclusive and every event is accessible to anyone who wants to join in. We even kept our momentum going through the COVID pandemic lockdowns with yoga sessions on Zoom and personalised activity packs delivered to kids’ homes. And, of course, we still dance. We boogie with the best!
Unique Feet brings together kids and families who understand each other’s shared challenges and difficulties but who also know how important it is to celebrate their achievements. Often that understanding enables the UF ‘gang’ to raise one another up to help achieve hopes and dreams that might be so much more difficult to achieve alone. We’d like to help more kids and more families by welcoming more members and organising even more activities in 2022. Will you come and join us?