We’re delighted to announce local children and young people’s charity, Umbrella, as our new charity partner for 2024 as part of our ‘Derbion Cares’ initiative. 

Since 1986, Umbrella has been dedicated to working to improve the quality of life for disabled children, young people and their families in Derbyshire. The charity supports children and young people aged 5 to 30 with additional needs, including physical, sensory, learning and behavioural disabilities, and aims to enhance the quality of life and promote inclusivity for young people living with disabilities in the region.

Over the next 12 months, we will provide Umbrella with support through ongoing fundraising, free in-centre activity space, employee volunteer time, centre resources, and more. 

Learn more about the work Umbrella do

We sat down with Emma Sarjeant, Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator at Umbrella, to learn more about Umbrella and what being selected as Derbion’s charity of the year for 2024 means for the charity.   

  1. Can you tell us a bit about Umbrella? 

Umbrella is a Derby-based charity supporting disabled children and young adults and their families across Derby City and Southern Derbyshire. We support young children and young adults who have physical, learning, sensory, multiple disabilities, including autism and those with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.  

Umbrella was established in 1986, and over the years has developed to provide a unique holistic support to the whole family, whilst encouraging families to realise their full potential.  

  1. How does the charity help and support children, young adults, and their families? And what services does Umbrella offer? 

We provide intensive support to families prior to and during a child’s diagnosis working with paediatricians and child development workers from our walk-in centre at the Ronnie McKeith child development centre at the Royal Derby Hospital. 

We offer Family Support Services to over 1,800 families and carers – including emotional and practical support, home support, information, and support groups, along with training and wellbeing activities for our parents/carers. 

We provide fun, exciting and challenging activities to over 340 children and young people, including support in homes, our own venues, and out in the local community. We develop tailored packages of support to severely disabled young adults aged 18 to 30, to enable them to develop skills to maximise their independence and volunteering. We also offer support for siblings of disabled children and young people allowing them to socialise with their peers, share experiences and engage in normal activities. 

  1. Why did Umbrella apply for Derbion Cares? 

Umbrella is a hidden gem of the city, and we want to be able to raise the awareness of the work our charity does, and the services it provides. Derbion is well known for the support it has provided many charities over the years, and we believe that partnering with the centre will enable us to achieve great things for Umbrella.   

  1. What do you hope Derbion Cares will help Umbrella achieve? 

Our ultimate goal is to raise awareness of Umbrella but also having the ability to generate crucial funds in such a big tourist attraction of the city is going to be a fantastic opportunity for Umbrella, and will help us reach our ongoing fundraising goals. 

We are also excited to work with Derbion throughout the year to provide our young adults work experience opportunities and develop their independent skills. 

  1. What support as part of the Derbion Cares initiative will provide the greatest impact to the charity? 

We believe the opportunities that this partnership will create for our young adults will provide the greatest impact, and we’re really looking forward to getting started!  

  1. What role do volunteers play in supporting the work of Umbrella, and how can people get involved? 

Our volunteers are our superheroes and work just as hard as our staff to support Umbrella.  

We could not provide the services that we do without them, so they are of vital importance to us. We have a range of volunteering opportunities available from maintenance, front line support and fundraising to name a few.  

If people would like to get involved, they can contact our Volunteer Coordinator on 01332 521229 or email volunteers@umbrella.uk.net.  

  1. How important is public support for Umbrella and how can people support and donate? 

1 in 5 children and young adults have a special educational need or a disability which means everyone is likely to know someone who may benefit from Umbrella’s support, whether that be a young person or their family member. 

We want to be able to raise awareness of Umbrella so that we can reach those that really need our help, and we need public support to be able to achieve this. 

We have a huge fundraising goal of raising £120,000 each year just to keep our services running, so every penny that is donated is gratefully received and truly does make a difference. 

If you would like to make a donation and help support Umbrella, please visit here