Reaching Out has provided local children who are on the autistic spectrum and their siblings age 5 – 18yrs the opportunity to socialise and try out new activities. The children are enjoying arts and crafts and have had great trips out including trips to Linn Park, Lamont Farm and autism friendly cinema trips.
We also have weekly play sessions and music workshops which allows parents/carers to have a chance to relax or meet other parents who are in similar situations.
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.
On the 19th June we took a group of children and young people on a trip to Aberdeen to see CATS the musical and enjoy a pre theatre meal in a nearby restaurant. Which, opened up new life skills for some and extended their circle of friends.
On the 23rd July we took a group of children and young people to the circus. this outing enhanced their social development, as well as their development of knowledge and understanding, again opening up new experiences to many of the group as this had been their first time attending a circus.
3rd December the older group were given the opportunity to socialise with peers for a Christmas lunch and dance which enhanced their confidence and self esteem and giving them the chance to express their feelings through music and dance which helps with their physical development also.
22nd December a young group of children went on a trip to Aberdeen to see Disney on Ice and have lunch with their friends, this helped form positive relationships and promote independence and helps them to over come tasks like detachment issues.
Short break club every fortnight for group of young people to socialise interact with friends in a safe secure environment.
Overnight stay In Aberdeen for a social event helped with detachment issues, social skills every day living skills.
Glee Club runs weekly on a Saturday with two hours of drama and thirty minutes of a youth club. The young people chose the name of their club and chose to work towards a final performance of Cinderella, with lots of pop songs.
There is a nominal charge to cover snacks and we have an attendance between 25 and 30 young people ages 11 to 17.
Dr Who Club took young people through the process of producing their own mini episode of Dr Who, from script writing to filming and acting.
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.
Children who do not regular access overnight respite care have been offered a range of outward bound type experiences to build confidence, self esteem and self image whilst giving main carers a short break.
Youngsters who have had significantly more sheltered lives are now taking part in high quality, high value activites with an increase in their own feelings of achievement and self belief. Families are experience meaningful support which is not in the traditional manner of over night residential care.
Cornerstone’s Big Kids Club has provided 5 weeks of holiday playscheme throughout the last 7 months, divided into 1 week in the Easter holidays, 3 weeks in the summer holidays and 1 week in the October holidays. During these sessions the teenagers have enjoyed many activities such as go- karting, cinema, swimming, Alford motor museum, the beach, Duffus castle, grass sledging, the Falconry Centre, woodland walks, exotic animals and art therapy sessions. This has resulted in quality respite for families and carers due to the fun and engaging activities provided.
We have delivered three Fun and Friendship Youth Clubs every week enabling 37 young people aged 12-18 with additional support needs to attend a weekly social club.
The Clubs ran Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings as planned and enabled young people to attend a weekly social experience independently of their parents/carers and enjoy building friendships and new fun activities.
At the same time, their parents enjoyed the regular break from their caring responsibilities and had the opportunity to spend quality time with their partners, friends, or with their other children.
To date we have delivered:
• 3 x 48 hour weekend breaks – to Lagannlia near Aviemore, Grantown on Spey and Nethy Bridge.
• 1x 28 hour weekend break on the banks of Loch Ness. We have stayed in accommodation as diverse as bunkhouses, wigwams, chalets and a converted railway station.
• 9 x 6hr (Out & Abouts) breaks, Out & About in the community or based at Drummond School. Our activities have ranged from den building, swimming, Art & Craft days, going to Eden Court to see the Singing Kettle, go-Karting, trips to town for the teens and watching Inverness Caley matches to name but a few.
The project has delivered 61 one to one sessions for 27 young people aged12-20 years and provided respite to 50 carers .The coordinator has carried out 27 detailed assessments of needs for 27 young people and 50 assessment of needs for 50 carers.
Young people have been supported by staff to plan and access activities e.g. attending local youth clubs, meet friends for cinema and bowling trips, participate in community events, visits to the science centre,art gallery , shopping , sports etc.
Carers have been able to access gyms, visit relatives, pursue hobbies, relax and have time to themselves.