Originally established in 1954, BDCPS is a small local charity which provides playschemes and youth clubs for disabled young people (aged 0 to 25) in addition to critical support and funding to families, parents and carers.

At BDCPS we focus on ABILITY rather than disability. We go to great lengths to ensure all clubs are inclusive, creative, inspiring and empowering.

BDCPS provide specialist support for those living with cerebral palsy in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. We can also help families living with any disability.


All our youth clubs and playschemes provide young people with 1:1 support and our professional team of staff can meet all care needs. Below is some basic information on cerebral palsy and some links you may find useful.


Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscle control and movement. It usually results from damage or injury to the developing brain, before, during or after birth.

Children with cerebral palsy have difficulties in controlling muscles and movements as they grow and develop. Sometimes the movements can be unpredictable, muscles can be stiff or tight and in some cases people can have shaky movements or tremors.

C.P. except in its mildest forms, is usually seen in the first 12 – 18 months of life. The condition presents when children don’t reach the movement milestones.


There is no cure or pre-birth test for C.P.  it is a permanent physical condition. The C.P. itself doesn't change however effects over time may change. There are therapies that can often help people to become more independent and reduce the impact of the disability and improve quality of life.

There are a number of factors that may contribute to C.P. including damage to the brain that may occur during pregnancy, birth or shortly after birth. The main causes are:


• Infection in early pregnancy
• Lack of Oxygen to the brain
• Abnormal Brain Development
• A genetic link (this is very rare)


C.P. is the most common form of childhood physical disability in the UK. It’s estimated that as many as 1 in every 400 children may have C.P. which means nearly 2,000 babies, from all social backgrounds and ethnic groups, are diagnosed every year.

The chances of C.P. can be increased by:

• Difficult or premature birth
• Twins or multiple birth
• Mother's age being below 20 or over 40
• Father under 20
• First child or fifth (or more) child
• Baby of low birth weight (less than 2.5 pounds)
• Premature birth

There are four main types of C.P. many people with C.P. will have a mixture of these:


  • Spastic C.P. often have  stiffness or tightness of muscles.

  • Dyskinetic C.P. (Athetoid) often have unpredictable movements.

  • Ataxic C.P. often have unsteady shaky movements or tremors.

  • Dystonic C.P. affects trunk more than limbs.

No two people will be affected by C.P. in the same way. C.P. can be as mild as just a weakness in one hand and is barely noticeable, ranging to almost complete lack of movement and requiring help with many aspects of daily living.  Some people with C.P. also can have speech, hearing, learning and visual disability. The parts of the body affected by C.P. are different for each person.


At BDCPS we always focus on ABILITY not DISABILITY!


Cerebral Palsy - 

Contact a Family -


Cerebra -


Scope Disability Charity -


FUN - 




Bedfordshire Opportunities for Learning Disabled -


Carers In Bedfordshire -




Central Bedfordshire Council, Children with Disabilities Team -


Central Bedfordshire Council, Local Offer -


Bedford Borough Council Local Offer -



St. John's School -




The Grange School -


Ivel Valley School -


Disability Rights UK -


Family Fund -


National Network of Parent / Carer


Preparing For Adulthood -




The Communication Trust


Autism Bedfordshire -


Bedford Borough Council, Early Help -


Bedford Borough Council, Adults with Physical Disabilities -

Registered charity number: 1156447 

Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society

43 Bromham Road,

Bedford, MK40 2AA

01234 351759

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