Cambo Activity Days
A story by Cambo Heritage Trust
We provided activity sessions for adults with a disability, two half day sessions per week. Activities are centred around creative learning projects with the option for ‘volunteering’ style sessions in the gardens and woods for those who are able.
Carers can also take part in the sessions or have time to themselves.
What Cambo Activity Days did
We have worked with two freelance project leaders who had worked with us previously. We have recruited two volunteer support workers to work on the project, one who has progressed to be a paid support worker. We advertised locally through doctors surgeries and other community venues and through local voluntary sector organisations who support carers and adults with disabilities. These organisations acted as referrers.
We chose people on a ‘first come first served’ basis and tailored activities to the needs of individuals. Individuals have a broad range of physical and learning disabilities and one person has dementia. The project ran for 42 weeks of the year with 2 x 2.5 hour sessions offered per week. This provided 210 hours of service.
The main focus of the project was creative arts sessions. These took place in the ‘Sun Room’ at Cambo Farmhouse a large conservatory room laid out as an art workshop. Many art activities were offered and tailored to the needs of individuals. These include clay sculpture, felting, printmaking, mosaic, painting on canvas and jewellery making.
Woodland activities took place around the Estate and activities ranged from clearing paths, harvesting apples and plums and thinning trees. Carers had the opportunity to stay and take part in activities which some did. Mainly carers took the time to do tasks that they felt unable to do when caring. This ranged from shopping, doing the garden at home, household admin (going to bank etc) and taking some time for themselves.
His wife was a very keen artist before suffering from Dementia and the art programme gives her a familiar activity she enjoys and feels comfortable doing therefore he feels happy and confident to leave her in the group setting.
The family felt that in comparison with other respite/daycare programmes these activities treated the cared for adults as contributing members of society who can progress their own abilities and confidence as individuals.
What Cambo Heritage Trust has learnedAlthough we have worked for several years with adults with disabilities this is the first project that has focused on the Carer as well as the Cared For person. This has helped our practice in this area and enabled us to pilot types of programmes that we can further develop in the future. We are now more aware of Carers groups and organisations that support Carers in our area that we had no knowledge of previously.
This will lead to many strands of potential development including day trips for Carers groups, family learning activities and the continuation of the activity programme developed as part of the ‘Creative Breaks’ funding.
As our initial route for marketing the ‘Creative Breaks’ opportunities was through other advocacy groups a number of our initial activity participants were already being supported by other groups or charities. It took a long time to make good direct links with family Carers that fitted the criteria for the ‘Creative Break’s fund. However, for our broader programmes this has meant we have very good links with organisations that support people with disabilities and have been fortunate with funding from Postcode Trust for a new project that can support work with existing Carer organisations and statutory services.
We have tried a variety of marketing routes from social media, letterbox leaflet drops, posters in local community hubs, email outs to local workers and information in the local press. As family Carers are by nature busy it has taken repeat occasions of promotion to establish local knowledge about the opportunities. New carers have come from each type of promotion and from that word of mouth has then created further enquiries. We are now aware of the time and resources required to get out and promote opportunities to find those most in need of the service.