A story by Support Help & Integration in Perthshire
We ran a youth club for children with additional support needs for 1.5 hours per week during term time in Aberfeldy.
This allowed carers some respite.
What Aberfeldy Plus did
Staff Recruitment, we employed 2 members of staff, a play leader and play assistant to run the weekly club. Volunteer Recruitment, we recruited 18 volunteers to support the youth club. They received training prior to becoming a volunteer and will receive ongoing training. Advertising, the staff live in the local community and used their local connections to let others know of the service. The school sent out information to all parents and carers. The Friends of Breadalbane group sent all information out amongst parents/carers of children with Additional Support Needs. All young people with Additional Support Needs were welcome to come along to the group.
Type of break, the youth club runs on a weekly basis for 1.5 hours during term time. The club runs in Breadalbane Community Campus where we have access to a wide range of resources including a sensory room, cooking facilities, computers, rock climbing and a large gym hall with equipment. Carers, the carers have the opportunity to participate in a group meeting facilitated by Friends of Breadalbane once a month. This allows them to discuss any current topics around Additional Support Needs they would like to find out more about. They also use the time to spend with other children, family and friends as well as using the facilities e.g. swimming in the campus. They may also use the time to relax.
What Support Help & Integration in Perthshire has learnedThe fund has made a huge difference to Aberfeldy. Being a rural area, they had absolutely no support for children and young people with Additional Support Needs prior to us starting the club. The uptake for the area has been successful and the young people and their families have benefited hugely.
Recruiting from the local area has been challenging as we required staff who already had a good knowledge of Additional Support Needs. We wanted staff from the local community to ensure community ownership and an opportunity to develop a community led service with local links.
Information was sent out via the schools in the local area to let families know about our service. An initial group of parents were invited to share their thoughts and suggestions about the club before it began to ensure we could support the maximum number of families appropriately.