Highly Commended – Emily Bills

Emily Bills runs a play group for children with additional needs, supporting both the children and their parents and makes a huge difference to help parents feel less isolated. A very worthy recipient of our Highly Commended award in this category. Please do read her nomination and see what makes her so special.



Volunteering Activity:

Facilitates various activities such as sensory activities, crafts, singing signing and messy play. We go on group trips like the Zoo. We support, advise and offer comfort and assurance to parents of children with additional needs and parents of newly diagnosed children.

Reason for nomination:

Treasure Tots is the only SEND Group for Toddlers and families with SEND in the Dudley Borough. I started to attend Treasure Tots back in April this year after my twin boys got removed from main stream pre-school. The school were unable to meet their needs and soon I found myself alone with nowhere to take my sons.

My twins are currently going through the assessment for autism so I was looking for somewhere where I could go and find other people who feel like me and share the same struggles like me, somewhere where I could take my sons where they would accept me and my boys behaviour and difficulties without feeling judged. There was nowhere in Dudley that existed like this for me until one day my family support worker saw a notice in the Tesco store in Cradley advertising Treasure Tots. Now I actually felt like there was hope for me!

On a Tuesday at 1 o’clock I walked through the church doors with my little boys not knowing what to expect, terrified, shaking like a leaf thinking that the boys would have a melt down and all the moms would think I was useless but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

They all welcomed me with open arms no judgment and total understanding.

Emily has the patience and understanding of a saint. She understands Autistic children as she has an Autistic son herself. My boys settled very well at the group and were welcomed with love and compassion from everyone. Emily is very engaging. My sons took to all the activities that Emily had set up, now they even pull her by the hand to show here what they like to do for that’s how they communicate as they are non-verbal.

Emily has really helped me and my family so much and many other families who come to the group, there are roughly 20 parents a week with children with SEND. Emily gives up her free time to help us and I know she volunteers for other SEN groups too. Attending Treasure Tots and receiving support from Emily is more than I could have hoped for.

Treasure Tots don’t only just make time for you but are also always available for a chat whenever you need no matter what time it is or what’s happening in their life. If I hadn’t have found this amazing group of people I think I’d have become a recluse.

I cannot thank them enough they’re just amazing, especially Emily.