History

Hop Skip and Jump have been providing respite care for over 30 years.  In 1982 our founder Clarissa Mitchell opened the first centre at Seven Springs near Cheltenham, which operates today as Hop Skip and Jump Cheltenham.

Clarissa’s motivation for starting Hop Skip and Jump came from a conversation with a dear friend whose daughter was paralysed by Polio at the age of 12 and her subsequent experience of looking after a child with a disability. The friend was at her wits end after caring for her child for 42 years without a break and the obvious exhaustion and emotional damage it had caused was all Clarissa needed to know something had to change.

Following this conversation, Clarissa began to support the “Handicapped Adventure Playground Association” where she saw at first hand the value of adventure play for children with disabilities; not only for the children but also the added value of respite for the families and carers.

In 1980 Clarissa moved to Gloucestershire and was provided with an opportunity to establish the first centre by the then Chairman of the CountyCommittee for Special Needs Education, who shared Clarissa’s vision and helped to find a suitable site for the centre.

Since its launch in 1982, Hop Skip and Jump have been providing high quality respite care to children with disabilities and special needs, giving families and carers much needed time off.

The work of Clarissa and the team at Hop Skip and Jump continues and today work is underway for a new centre in Wigan, as well as plans to create new facilities in both Milton Keynes and West Sussex,

Hop Skip and Jump are a non for profit organisation and as such are entirely self funded; we don’t benefit from or receive any local authority funding.

If you would like to support our work please consider making a donation.