Beeslack All Stars DSC
A story by Beeslack All Stars Disabled Sports Club
We provided 2 two hour sessions of various sports per week for children and young adults with additional support needs and their siblings.
Giving respite to family units, support to siblings and also provide “Parent Natter Nite” to share support and bring in outside agencies to support when required.
What Beeslack All Stars DSC did
We provided 2 weekly sessions of 2 hours each, we hired a new staff member who was a sibling that we provided training and support. Welcomed 3 additional volunteers, provided training for volunteers and staff e.g lifesaving, food hygiene, disability awareness, sport adaptation and onsite mentoring. We introduced more activities for fine motor skills and introduction skills to develop our younger members to be team players and develop into team sports.
We restructured our swimming pool session to use siblings as mentors and introduce assisted swim lessons overseen by a swim teacher. We had Parent Natter Nites and we restructured the nights and kept them on the last Tuesday of each month. We were contacted by outside agencies that had heard about the club and invited them to the Parent Natter Nites. We constructed these to be able to cover all age groups within the club – i.e VOCAL covered all age groups, but for nights discussing transition we brought in ENABLE and Education and invited the parents/carers that have already been through transition to offer advice. We linked Education and the nights together covering things like the SHARE Program (sexual health).
In-house help for PIP/DLA. We have a dedicated volunteer/vice chair who is our sole worker on PIP/DLA. We found that parents struggling opening up their personal lives that is needed to address the PIP/DLA that dedicating one contact person has proved very successful. Our new families we found have little awareness of what help is out there so with the new connections with outside agencies and with our own knowledge we are able to provide a checklist that gives them a starting point on what to do and where to get the information.
With a named person at VOCAL we have a direct contact that understands the club and the support network that is available. A number of our parents have applied for individual meetings with them to discuss their individual situations.
With ENABLE we opened this night to other local groups that we felt could benefit from night (made up of parents but also professionals from outside agencies that we work with to help their clients). Again we have broken down the barriers of fear and parents/carers/professionals are more aware of what is available after schools for our members from college to work placements.
We have taken the next step of introducing H as a peer mentor to 2 other Saltire Award siblings who now take over the one to one support in the water with her overseeing the 2 new “swim assistants’. With our members we have seen an increase in athletes that are now safely enjoying deep water, increasing their confidence and taking the next step of learning to jump and dive into the deep end.
We have just recently introduced a sibling to become lifeguard buddy who is being trained up in life saving techniques to assist in support of our members in non emergency help.
This enables us to introduce small team activities that at times is peer directed. These children are now starting to direct their own games, introducing team work, being able to wait their turn, provide confidence, self belief and sense of belonging in a team.
What Beeslack All Stars Disabled Sports Club has learnedGiving us the confidence and need to invest in our parents and carers, giving us the incentive to make the Parent Natter Nites more professional. understanding feedback and how to improve. Dedicated volunteers that are given a purpose especially in the pool providing them with training, a mentor and continuous support but also the freedom to make their development their own within club environment.
Increasing our network through word of mouth but also working with other Organisations providing environments for them to bring clients lead to increase awareness within schools, social work, health professionals and adult services.