BANG Activity Workshops
A story by Borders Additional Needs Group SCIO
We delivered BANG Activity Workshop aimed at Families who are raising a child/ young person with Additional Support Needs.
A series of interactive workshops for Additional Support Needs families including a youth filmmaking activity, family outdoor Muddy Club and online music sessions.
What BANG Activity Workshops did
BANG Activity Workshops were adapted and modified our original project and delivered ASN Youth Filmmaking Workshops, Outdoor Muddy Club for Children and Families at a local farm for 4 weeks including arts, crafts and music. Provided Weekly Children's Music sessions using sign a long and storytelling and created a You Tube Channel and created music sessions for ASN Children and families to access.
Following the easing of restrictions we worked with a Local Farm and local community woodland to deliver projects outside for ASN Youths and Children and Families.
We recruited a sessional worker who designed an ASN friendly project of storytelling, sign along and making arts and craft. and worked with Branching Out youth project to support ASN youths access outdoor filmmaking. We worked with local social enterprise and used Community Woodland to deliver these projects. In addition to this we set up a dedicated You Tube account and created Sensory inclusive music videos for families.
Youths enjoyed 4 week introduction to filmmaking and created a short Film with Alchemy Film and Arts, this allowed Parents to access some respite hours, to shop, relax and meet friend. In addition to this we provided 4 weekly Muddy Club at a local farm for children and their parents, this allowed the Carers to meet peers, access some social fun activities and though shared family fun build confidence and resilience to accessing social events following covid pandemic lockdown easing of restrictions .
Due to school closure we set up a weekly music session every Thursday using sign a long, story telling, music to allow ASN families have the opportunity to access inclusive interactive fun sessions. This enabled them to meet peers online and help structure weekly routine. This project enabled parents, children and Youths to have the opportunity to meet peers, socialise and build friendships.
The benefits to emotional health and well being of the project were more evident during the pandemic. Respite services and education were affected due to the pandemic so these workshops enabled carers to access 4 hours of respite weekly.
What Borders Additional Needs Group SCIO has learned
The project had to change significantly because of Covid 19 and this did make planning and budgeting more of a challenge. We learned how to adapt activities in what was a very short time frame and felt we had some good ideas to make things possible for families. Our sessions on the ASN friendly farm was a success and this is something we will now consider when developing new short break activities.
Families and ASN youths were very appreciative of the opportunity to have some activities to engage with at this particular time when everything was closed. All other groups our families would normally attend were also closed but with this funding we were able to offer much needed support. The on-line music sessions was something we had not tried before and while being limited to a particular time of day to log onto the activity which was a challenge for some it did offer a new experience for families.
Following these sessions we agreed to try out YouTube sessions as a way of allowing families to access the same type of sessions (music and art) at a time convenient to them. We look forward to creating future projects base don the learning for this years project and working in partnership with other stakeholders who supported us with hire of premises/ filmmaking
How Borders Additional Needs Group SCIO has benefitted from the funding
Without this funding our charity would have been unable to provide vital activities for our families and Young people. Lockdown more than ever has made families and young people feel very isolated. The opportunity to provide a link and friendly faces who understand the needs of carers, this proved to be an important support at this time. We explore new venues and new types of activities which will be included in future plans. We received a lot of positive feedback from families and other agencies who were impressed that we were offering activities at this time. The funding from Better Breaks also enabled the charity to provide un-commissioned respite support and social activities to ASN Families in the Scottish Borders. We have developed stronger partnership with sports, community groups and we have continued to work with them to provide advise about accessibility and creating safe inclusive spaces. the model that we use has proven successful to transition parents into mainstream social groups, working on confidence to access activities as a family. We are engaged with stakeholders at a pathway to inclusion in Social community and youth groups .
Children and young people have access to outdoor play, peer support and activities.
After a long lockdown at home the Muddy club allowed families and ASN Youths to get outside and take part in exciting and new activities and creating a short film. The mix of activities allowed for all children and their families to all get something and our projects were highly successful and although spaces were limited due to social distances the workshops provided access to community woodland, filmmaking and creating short video. Young people and Families highlighted the importance of getting outdoors with peers in a sensory safe environment as main priority and benefit. Providing online weekly music sessions with sign a long and story telling had a high take up, some families were suggested that we create a You Tube channel which enable them to access this this at a time of their choosing and we've had lots of hits on our you tube channel.
A young person who was socially isolated because of the lockdown was able to meet friends in a socially distanced safe environment. This helped her well-being and with her interaction. Mum reported she was excited to go along to the sessions to see her friends and do the activities. The young person enjoyed showing the results of the activities to family over Zoom and sent bulbs to grandparents which is turn cheered them up.
Carers will have opportunity to engage in social activities with peers and feel confident in accessing social groups.
All the sessions were designed for families and Young people so that everyone could enjoy a relaxing and fun inclusive activity. The outdoor sessions were on a local farm and held within a community woodland and we created a ASN friendly environment ASN Parents and Youths were anxious about returning to a group setting outdoors following a long spell at home in isolation but were reassured by the safety measures in place and confidence grew over the weeks. Families were able to opt in and out of activities they felt they could manage. ASN Youths had the opportunity create, produce and film a short video. Family sessions enabled families to feel connected but still be safe in their own homes.
One parent reported enjoyed attending the muddy club and meeting other parents and carers so we could chat over any issues she had. This improved her mental health; getting outdoors and seeing her child enjoying and mixing during the sessions. It had a positive impact on well-being after such a long time at home and being isolated from others.
Carers will access respite opportunities and access peer support, positively impacted on their emotional health and well being.
Our Youth project allowed Young people to access weekly filmmaking workshops for 4 hours every Friday, this enabled parent carers to access respite and take time out form their caring duties and home schooling. The impact of Covid had a significant impact on ASN Parent Carers emotional health and well being. Our online sessions were engaging families in singing and movement. Confidence over the weeks as they became familiar with the format and the songs. We had one child who was very reluctant to join in and was initially curled up on the floor but by the end of the session was smiling, laughing and playing the ukulele for everyone. This had a positive impact on the carer as she was able to see her child blossom during the session. The carer then felt more confident and supported to attend further sessions.
Parent contacted us to advise she has a mental breakdown 2 weeks ago and statutory services and mental health team were engaged. A request for increased respite has been made but had been declined.by Statutory services and a social distance home visit was arranged young person was provided with tablet to access online youth platforms. The parent spoke about how low she felt and that she felt she had been left during covid-19 and advised no increase of respite was awarded and she seemed. Young person was given the opportunity to reassuring access the outdoor filmmaking project and this was 3.5 hours respite which provided parent time to relax and care for emotional health and well being. Family Situation appears to be resolved and Young Person is accessing Filmmaking course, made new friends and provided weekly respite for parent during a very stressful time