Every year we organise special breaks for our families. The children and young people we support have cancer or leukaemia – a long term or incurable disease. Many of our families are on low incomes because they are carers and have had to give up paid employment.
We have been able to offer new and additional holidays to the families who come to us for support. Holidays have included to Torquay in Devon and Donnas Dreamhouse in Blackpool.
To date we have delivered respite services to 2 young people and 3 carers, a 5 week arts club and an 8 week photography club.
Young people have gone out for dinner, gone to the pantomime, visited local fetes, had walks along the beach, massage/girly pampering sessions, visited local parks, taken lots of photographs, made lots of art works and held an exhibition.
To date we have held four events: a night out bowling, a DVD & pizza night at our main base in Edinburgh, a bonfire and BBQ within a community garden, and a Festive Fun party to celebrate the holidays coming. 35 young folk have attended between 1 and 4 events of their choosing, with each attending an average of 2 so far.
We set up two local cycling hubs in each of the geographic areas at the venues identified following consultation with parents/carers,providers and young people, the third is progressing as planned.
We arranged school visits linking into the local cycling hub, targeting specific schools. We organised weekly after school cycling sessions, for example 24 weekly sessions have been organised as Open bike nights at the Fife hub and a 16 weekly programme at the Edinburgh hub. Organised 10 cycle out days and events engaging 260 young people.
Trained one Blazing Saddles’ volunteer as a professional Bike Mechanic (Velotech Gold Award) thus providing a full service and repair check of the bikes. Provided recognised Cycling Scotland Bike Leader Training but adapted the course to focus on leading disabled children on adapted bikes.
We worked with Scottish Disability Sport, Scottish Cycling and Cycling Scotland to identify and map mainstream cycling clubs who support cycling for disabled people.
Our project has so far delivered eight activity days, two residential breaks and is in the process of delivering activity days leading up to a third residential break which will take place in February 2014. We are also planning our siblings group break.
One of the groups was planned in conjunction with West Lothian Council through their supplemental funding. We had several young people join us for the day trip element and not the overnights, so the breaks were designed specifically to meet their needs.
We held a summer club in July 2013 with a variety of activities and outings for young people to choose from. We are also offering an after school club four nights per week with escorted transport included. The summer club was extended by a week and exceeded its target for carers respite hours. 14 young people rather than the planned 12 attended.
To date we have delivered 2, two night/three day activity breaks / respite trips for 20 individuals from Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders. The activities on each trip were selected by the individuals and we covered hill walking, mountain biking, canoeing, map reading and orienteering over the two trips away.
In addition, we also focused on essential life skills (cooking, cleaning, planning, social skills and essential relaxation) whilst staying at the Cromdale Centre. Individual feedback as well as feedback from parents/carers has been excellent.
West of Scotland Sailing adventure – In July 2013 10 blind and partially sighted CYP sailed from Oban aboard Alba Volunteer for a 5 day/4 night sailing adventure. Promoting Independence Summer Camp – Broomlee – This 5 day/4 night residential was attended by 15 YP aged 14-18. The focus was on independent living and transition.
It included workshops on developing confidence, assistive technology, cooking skills, independent travel, personal care, employability, preparation for post-16 transition, outdoor activities and loads of fun!
5 weekly Out of School Clubs :- These have been delivered at Knowetop Primary in North Lanarkshire; Uddingston Grammar School, South Lanarkshire; Aberdeen Visual Impairment Service, Aberdeen City; Darnley Primary School, Glasgow; Eyebeez Club, Hamilton. Each club is regularly attended by 10-15 children.
Family Fun Day (Borders) :- We had an Outdoor Adventure Activity Day for all the family on 2nd November 2013. Attended by 20 children and young people with 15 parents and 8 volunteers. The emphasis was on team building and confidence development. Despite torrential rain all the families had an excellent experience.