Apna After School Club
A story by Barnardos
Project provided group activity for 13 children and young people from ages 5 to 18 with multiple disabilities and from BME communities.
The activities were designed to be stimulating and fun to improve the health and wellbeing . There carers received break from their caring role.
What Apna After School Club did
Children and young people attended the After School Club one day a week. The activity took place at Apna Project however there were a number of visits to local attractions. 13 children and young people from BME communities participated in the activities while their carers got short breaks from their caring responsibilities.
Carers spent their time with their other children, went out with friends and just relaxed while children and young people were attending the club. Project employed volunteers and offer a number of resources such as art and craft materials and worked with local agencies such as Glasgow Life to deliver fitness activities.
The highlights were when children and young people visited the Science Centre where they learned things abut space etc. They also enjoyed dancing event when Glasgow Life delivered a dance based activity to improve physical health. Children and young people also enjoyed the swimming sessions and were very happy in the water. All the activities and outings were well planned and there was a very comprehensive risk assessment was in place for outings therefore everything went as it was planned.
What Barnardos has learned
The Project enabled Apna to learn about the needs of service users in details and also how to meet best way to meet the specific needs. With this funding project was able to offer places to those families who didn't have any support or break Partnership with Glasgow Life worked well as they delivered fitness activities free of charge.
Children and young people are happy and their health is improved.
This outcome was achieved by organising a number of fitness activities like dance session and swimming. Children and young people were also encouraged to eat healthy food like fruits. Carers reported that they found children more active and happy.
K K is overweight and likes eating white break with a lot of butter. She likes dancing a lot therefore she enjoyed the dancing session very much and made good effort to eat fruits because other children were eating fruits. Her mum was very surprised the K had fruits. She said that she will also give K fruits at home and cut down her white bread intake.
Carers of disabled children and young people will have improved well-being
Carers had short break when their children are in the After school club, Carers used this time to relax and be stress free.
"I remember when Baljeet [project worker] walked in the first time to take my daughter to the after school club I was like “What do I do? What do I do?” I was always on the go. But then they said “Just go sit down” “But what do I do? I don’t know what to do?” She says “I’ve got Hajra, you go sit down.” I was like “Ok… I’ll go sit down now.” Because I was so on-the-go. I’ve got to do everything, got to control everything, got to get dinner ready, got to do this, got to do that, didn’t know what to do when she walked in. I honestly didn’t realise how stressed I was until I sat down, we don’t realise we don’t have that luxury until Barnardo’s came.”
Carer will have more opportunity to live a life outside of caring.
When children attend after school club their carers have free time to do whatever they wish to do in that time.
H comes to the after school club at Apna project twice a week where they have been helping support her behavioural issues. When she first came to the project she would sit in the sensory room and have a tantrum if anyone else tried to come in. The project workers decided to work on that behaviour by bringing other children into the room before she arrived, the first time she had a tantrum, but when the same thing happened the second week she started learning to accept it and sit in there with other children. H’s room at home has lots of fairy lights and sensory toys so she can feel as safe there as she does at Apna. H will always need intensive support but, thanks to Apna, her mum is able to keep looking after her in the home and H has learned to smile again. Mum said “Barnardo’s give me the opportunity to do normal things, just to sit down! Go to the toilet without having a meltdown! Just simple things.”
Carers will feel better supported to sustain their caring role.
A break of 3 hrs every week enables carers to recharge their batteries and recover from intense caring role. They attended Apna’s carer’s support group.
“That’s like a chance to do normal things and you meet other mums who are going through the same situation. You can all give in a bit. You feel you’re better off within the mum’s group. I’m still blessed I can still do these things. It’s nice to get that support from other mums who do these things. It’s nice to go out to restaurants and it’s nice just to get together here. It’s nice to have something to do. It’s just nice.”