A story by Angus Special Playscheme
Angus Special Playscheme ran 3 different age related schemes for children with additional support needs and one for children with complex needs.
The 15-18 scheme was formed 11 years ago when we changed the age ranges of the groups to best suit the needs and interests of the young people.
What 15-18 Scheme did
In 2018 Angus Special Playscheme worked with 68 children and young people and ran for 4 days in the Easter holidays, 10 days in July and 3 days in the October holidays. We had 19 young people attending the 15-18 scheme throughout the year, all of them have been attending Angus Special Playscheme for several years.
We visited Dundee Rep Theatre for an interactive performance of Beauty and the Beast, Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and ten pin bowling in Aberdeen. We had five sessions of swimming including a visit to the outdoor swimming pool in Stonehaven and a visit to the cinema. Small groups of young people organised, prepared and cooked lunch for everyone on three different days, the menu included lasagne, macaroni cheese, stovies and apple crumble.
The young people tried archery and lawn bowling for the first time and also went out to lunch at a local Wetherspoons. During the summer the young people also organised a fundraising event and an Afternoon Tea for parents and carers. At the beginning of December we again organised a Christmas shopping trip to Aberdeen. Each young person was able to choose and purchase Christmas presents for family and friends. We also organised a family Christmas party for all the children and young people who attend Angus Special Playscheme along with their siblings.
What Angus Special Playscheme has learned
This year we have continued with the changes we introduced last year, promoting independence, confidence and life skills. The young people have been given more choice in what they do and the how the scheme will progress.
This has had positive results with the young people having a very good year, there has been a buzz around the scheme, an excitement amongst the young people to get involved in the planning and to make a bigger contribution to what happens in the scheme and its future development.
The staff have learned what a differences these small changes have made and how much more confident, independent and happy the young people are.
How Angus Special Playscheme has benefitted from the funding
The funding from Better Breaks allowed us to have sufficient staff in the scheme so that the young people could attend more often and we could expand our programme of trips and activities.
17 young people will have accessed a range of fun and stimulating activities.
We achieved this through providing 17 days, five hours per day at the scheme during the holidays. The young people have been attending for several years and have built up friendships during this time which they are eager to renew. The programme of trips is pre-planned using discussions with the young people as the base. The young people have a wide choice of activities to access around the trips and they can do this individually or in groups.
This year we tried 2 new activities through Angus Alive’s summer programme. The young people all enjoyed the archery and the lawn bowling, extract from a journal “I enjoyed myself at the archery, the instructor said I had potential.” Since this session 2 young people have joined the local archery club and continue to develop their skills.
28 carers will have increased confidence in their child's preparedness for adult life.
In 2018 we continued to concentrate on life skills with the young people, encouraging independence and choice. We expanded our cookery sessions to include new recipes for lunch and it was through this that the young people asked if there was some way they could share their achievements with parents and carers. After a discussion it was decided that they would put on a traditional Afternoon Tea for parents and carers. The young people decided on a traditional layout with tablecloths, cups and saucers and cakes etc on cake stands in the middle of the table. Invitations were sent out and we were expecting a good turnout of parents/carers. The day before the young people made sausage rolls, muffins and cupcakes, then on the morning of the event they made a variety of sandwiches. The room was prepared and everything was ready. The afternoon was a great success and it was great to witness the confidence in the young people and the pride in showing off their work.
Extracts from young people’s journals included, “I’m making sandwiches for the tea, I’m buttering the bread and giving it to J, yesterday I made cakes, my family are coming this afternoon, they will be surprised”. “I like cooking, I am making sausage rolls for tomorrow, I’ve never made these before, they look good.” “M is helping to make cakes for the tea, he was taste testing the chocolate for the cakes, he smiled when asked if that was the best bit”. “I am doing sausage rolls, I am going to eat them all tomorrow with my dad”. Comments from parent/carers about the afternoon tea included, “This is great, can we do this every year.” “I’ve really enjoyed myself, it is so good to see what my son has done, I will be getting him to cook at home now”. Feedback from parents about developing life skills in the young people included, “My son is much more capable, really likes the shopping trips, this is a great addition to the scheme”. My daughter enjoys the shopping trip and the cookery, she is getting more confidence and independence, I think this has been a good addition to the scheme”.
28 carers will have had more opportunities to pursue personal priorities outside their caring role.
The scheme ran for 17 days for 5 hours per day. Parents fed back to us that their child being in scheme meant that they had time to spend with other family member, friends or just time to relax by themselves. We asked parents at the Christmas party what they did while their child is a scheme and the answers included, Spend time with another child(ren0, working, relax and have time to myself, volunteer work and studying.
Feedback from parents/carers, “While my son it at Playscheme I get ‘me time’ to relax, meet with friends for a coffee or go shopping safe in the knowledge that he is in good hands and enjoying himself”. “My daughter is 17 and has been coming to scheme for around 10 years. She is autistic and particularly enjoys the sensory and messy activities the scheme offers along with cookery and making cakes. I get time to spend with my younger daughter, we do things that we are not able to do with D, she also gets to enjoy herself with staff who understand her and treat her as an individual.
28 carers will feel that they have been supported in their caring role.
During 2018 we added a signposting section to our newsletters. We gave parent/carers a list of organisations and topics that might of interest to them and asked them to rate them in order of if they knew about them and if they would like information about them. The first topic we researched and passed on information about was guardianship, another was the Family Fund information.
A parent fed back to us “ I think giving the parents information about different things is brilliant, the information about guardianship sent me down the right route to getting it for my child and I now have guardianship”.
17 young people will have reduced social isolation.
The young people had several new experiences during 2018, they went to Dundee Rep theatre, they did archery and lawn bowling, they did swimming in an outdoor pool, they visited Dynamic Earth, they organised a fundraising car wash and they organised afternoon tea for parents and carers.
We put out information about our Christmas Raffle. The young people were interested in why we were having a raffle and what we did with the money. They discussed the possibility of raising money themselves and looked at different ideas. On their return in Easter 2018 they began in earnest to organised a fundraising day for the summer. It was decided that they would have a car wash day. The location and who was help and how to publicise the event was decided by the young people and the relevant people were approached. The day was a go. The event was held in the car park of Morrisons supermarket with support from Blue Watch of the local fire station. The young people were very excited and enthusiastic about washing the cars. Everyone took part and worked hard raising over £400 for the day. Extracts from the young people's journals included, “We are raising money to pay for our trips, this is the best day at scheme ever.” “I think this car needs a wee bit more soap, this is a great day I would like to do more things to raise money”. “I have to make sure all the car is clean, the door handles and the windows so we can get money for our trips”.
Angus Special Playscheme will have a better understanding of carer's support needs.
During 2018 we continued to develop our relationships with the Learning Tree Partnership and Angus Alive. We had some customer service training and money handling with the Learning Tree and we accessed archery and lawn bowling sessions through Angus Alive. We will continue to develop these relationships in 2019.
Feedback from parents/carers included, “While my son it at Playscheme I get ‘me time’ to relax, meet with friends for a coffee or go shopping safe in the knowledge that he is in good hands and enjoying himself”. “My daughter is 17 and has been coming to scheme for around 10 years. She is autistic and particularly enjoys the sensory and messy activities the scheme offers along with cookery and making cakes. I get time to spend with my younger daughter, we do things that we are not able to do with D, she also gets to enjoy herself with staff who understand her and treat her as an individual."