BANG and Branching Out Family and Youth Project
A story by Borders Additional Needs Group
Borders Additional Needs Delivered a Five week Summer camp with sports and creative arts workshops in 2022 for Additional Support Needs Family Summer Camp and a Residential camp for Additional Support Needs Youths aged 16-24 years of age at Rock UK Whithaugh Park. Children aged 16-20 years were funded by Better Breaks.
What BANG and Branching Out Family and Youth Project did
Borders Additional Needs Group delivered an engaging colourful Five week summer camp for Additional Support needs families, young carers and dedicated Additional Needs Youth Camp during the summer holidays in July and August and a 2 day workshop in October. It also delivered a two night Residential trip to Rock UK Whithaugh for Additional Needs Youths in August 2022. The project was tailored for ASN families with disabled children/Young Carers and their parents/ family during 2022 and was delivered at Tweedbank Sports Track and Jackson of Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders.
The family respite camp worked directly with Parent Carers organised and worked in partnership with sports and creative arts providers to deliver access to a Free inclusive Family Summer Camp during school holidays, we expanded our offering and delivered an Afternoon Youth Camp for Additional Needs Youths ' Rock School- Free to young people with Additional Support Need. The Inclusive Youth Rock Camp enabled Parent Carer to access independent respite , and parent carers enjoyed free time to shop, meet friends and take some time out.
The youth residential enabled Parent Carer to have Two nights respite as their Additional Support Needs Youths attending for some their first residential away form home as they enjoyed independence, fun and active sports.
The Family Summer Camps were sold out for Two of the weeks and demand was so high we extended the number of families registering for the project. In addition to this the residential was oversubscribed so we offered day passes to the adventure centre to accommodate as many youths as we could. We delivered a 2nd residential in September to Stirling university to participate in Big Idea Youth Event. ASN Youths took part in weekend colour run and delivered a workshop in Autism in Youth Work.
The projects were themed on River Tweed, discussing the local river and using a metaphor of paddling in cold water to try new things and trying new adventures. We began in welcome circle in which we warmed up and sang a song to bring the group together, supporting group introduction, icebreaking and supporting discussion with peers.
What Borders Additional Needs Group has learned
There is a high demand for social opportunities during school holidays and that Parent Carers require more support with peers. Our project ASN Family Liaison worker launched NEW weekly ASN Parent Cuppa and Chat and has launched these in 2 towns in Scottish Borders, in addition she delivers monthly thematic workshop using feedback form parent carers and has delivered workshops with Enquire, ARC Scotland, ILF Transition Funding for young people.
The project has a tight timescale from funding announcement until launch and requires support form existing manager to pre plan the funding.
We worked with other partners to deliver FREE Mobile library and bookbag session into the camp, sports and creative arts . A local MSP visited the camp and Scottish Autism CEO and Deputy CEO visited the youth camps.
Our staff must be flexible and constantly adapt the program to meet the needs of the people who participate, it would be useful to have training on Play therapy.
How Borders Additional Needs Group has benefitted from the funding
The feedback from this project enabled us to launch a NEW parent Carer Cuppa and Chat. We worked with Joint Health improvement Team to deliver cost of living support to parent carers and young people. We have been invited to work with SBC on the development of a new village with respite being designed in the Scottish Borders The funding enables the charity to work with stakeholders and build capacity and understanding of the bespoke needs of Additional Support needs families. This led to Sporting staff we work with continue to work with BANG , we worked on an Autism Tour of Britain day providing ASN parent carers and families with the opportunity to participate in local Tour of Britain . We have expanded our sessions and delivering in another area in 2023 due to demand and we have been approached by funder to discuss unrestricted funding to ensure we have finances to sustain the demand of a growing charity.
Children and young people will have access to activities, sports and creative arts develop peer friendship. Children and young people will have a positive increase in their emotional health and well being. Target 1: Residential Trip for ASN Young people Target 2: Design Summer/Oct camp with sport
The project designed activities and adapted activities for both parent carers and young people. We employ a dedicated ASN Family Liaison Worker who provided FREE massage for parents, offered a space for refreshment and provided information on services and support. They were signposted to dedicated weekly ASN Parent Carer chat which parents enjoyed when the summer camp ended. We provided a wrap around approach with sustainability out with the summer plans. The project achieved this and was evidenced by the high demand for the weekly camp and Youth residential. In the evaluation report post camp we asked families if coming to BANG camp made them feel 1. Healthier and stronger 44% 2. Happier and included 50% 3. Emotional Stronger 6% 4. No change at all 0.5% The young people attending the Rock Summer School and residentials had time away form their caregivers/Parents and enjoyed exciting activities like canoeing, building rafts team building and zip lines.
Parent A joined the group in the morning with a distressed ASN child who was looking forward to doing the bikes, the bikes were not available that week. We supported the parent with a cup of tea and a chat, opening up dialogue on how we could best support her . Parent A was tearful and overwhelmed regarding her upset child but she felt safe and heard in the environment. We spent time with her son offered them sensory break out space and slowly engaged them in drawing bikes in creative arts workshop. Parent A mentioned she was doing a fundraiser for BANG as it was the only support available to her and she felt the camp were invaluable. The next camp we organised the bikes and her son had a great time on them. We supported Parent A to announce the fundraiser within the group and BANG supported her to advertise this project. Parent A felt empowered , heard, supported and was smiling and laughing leaving the camp.
Carers will have the opportunity to meet peers, accessing activities, parents will have respite from their young person while on residential 1. Deliver Summer/Oct camp and provide relaxation workshops for parents and quiet area 2. ASN Young people will have residential trip
The project enabled parent carers to meet peer in Summer/Oct camp when designing the project we planned for a dedicated area for parent carers, who met with ASN Family Liaison Worker and were supported with either 1-1 support or group discussions. The ASN Liaison worker provided parent carers with resources, information to both local and national support. The Parent Carers had designated relaxation tent where they received FREE massage face and neck and could take time out during the programme to receive relaxation. Parents also took part in activities, laughed and enjoyed fun with their children and young people in supported environment. The young people enjoyed 2 night break at Rocks Uk and a weekend break at Stirling university which was an add on to our residential project. Both projects were a huge success and some of the parents of the young people attending residential meet up and socialised with peers they met via camps and created a What's App group.
Parent B attended the summer camp and had previously attended, following a change in family circumstances and loss of a job parent B was struggling to meet cost of living or take her children on holiday. Parent B attended the session and accessed relaxation therapy and access to 1-1 with Family Liaison Worker, who supported them with information on funding available from Carer Centre and information on respite caravan by Mundell Trust. Parent B was delighted at this support and was very emotional and thankful at all the information and supported provided by staff and ASN Liaison Worker. quote ' you have done so much for us in the short space of time , Thank you'. The family have joined the charity young person joined youth group and the parent access ASN Parent Cuppa and Chat.
Carers and young people will have access to peer to peer support, and the opportunity to enjoy some relaxation time, young people will have the opportunity to attend an residential and respite. This will provide them with some information on services, accessing sports recreation.
The project delivered Summer camp with ASN family Liaison Worker who provided both 1-1 meetings and group sessions signposted Parent Carers to Carer Centre, Foodbank, ILF Transition Funding, attended home visits and supported parents with information and face to face meetings with education acting as collective advocate. In addition to this information, feedback and consultation was used to provide ASN Parent Carers with thematic workshops form Sleep Scotland, Self Advocacy with Carer Scotland, Being Sensory Informed NHS OT, Enquire Scotland. ASN Parents carers were pivotable in the launch of our New Weekly ASN parent cuppa and chat which though its success has been launched in new area. Youth Group took youths many for the first time to residential camp in Newcastleton enabling them 2 nights and 3 days respite for their parents and for the youths to enjoy some time out with the family home, meet peers and participate in exciting activities camp fires, cooking.
Case Study Youth wished to attend Residential and had not been away from home due to him taking medication at night which needed to be monitored. The staff team worked with the family, sought advise on medication administration and designed reasonable adjustments and medication protocol that enabled him to attend the residential. The staff worked with the young person on using dosses medication box , setting alarms on their mobile phone building their confidence up to self medicate at night. The youth attended the residential and was able to self medicate. The parent had never been able to access respite and she enjoyed visiting her oldest son and taking a 2 night break form her caring duties.