Corseford School Summer Club 2015
A story by Corseford School Parent Council
We provided a 2 week Summer Club, including transport and intensive staffing, for 17 children with complex support needs.
One tailored week for older and one for younger pupils. An activity and play-based club for children unable to access community run schemes due to their high level care needs.
What Corseford School Summer Club 2015 did
The Summer Club ran for two weeks over the long summer break. One week was tailored for older pupils and the other week for the younger group. Days were from 10am to 4pm and transport was provided to enable attendance and to support the carers.
The Club is play and activity-based. Activities included cooking, art, sport, music and outings such as bowling, speed-boat trips, kayaking, cinema, accessible parks, farms and other places of interest. The students and carers were consulted before the club regarding suitable activities and feedback from previous years was also taken into consideration.
We invited all children at our special needs school (Corseford) to attend, and the uptake was 78%. While the club was based at the school, to take advantage of the facilities, this was not a "school club" and we aimed to get the young people out and about as much as possible.
Carers took the opportunity to recuperate after the long holiday, and to spend quality time with their other children and loved ones. Most took the opportunity to do things just not possible with their disabled child, be it a walk on the beach, or to climb a mountain. Some had a well-earned rest!
“This year "DS" kayaked! Something he has never done before and he was so happy to come home with the pictures to show me.”
“My son was so happy at club and in the run up couldn’t wait to go. He has been very verbal at the end of each day and he’s slept better due to his full days and activities.”
"He briefly kayaked last year and got to do a longer shot this year. Kayaking when your that disabled- Wow!"
"Activities are not the same every year so there is always something new for G to do with his friends." He enjoyed the farm and the new boat at Lochwinnoch. also he loved going to school on the bus with L(not used to side by side transport! A lovely new bonding session)."
"Loved the new speedboats for wheelchair users- extra fast experience"
"Yes it gives him something to look forward to during long summer holidays."
"N always looks forward to summer club.Made summer a lot better for her."
"Absolutely gave a focus and a structure"
"It allows E opportunities that family would find difficult to provide for her."
"Increased sensory stimulation in famillar surroundings with familiar people."
"Yes G happy to be involved in everything all day. Knew that he would be happy all week."
"Not only does he sleep better, he is an infinitely happier boy. He is so excited each morning heading off."
"Yes it helps him to build confidence, interact with his peers in a fun setting without parents"
"Yes he really enjoyed it and looks forward to it. He comes home happy."
"He is always smiling, relaxed and tired after the club."
"L comes home desperate to tell us all about it. He is always glowing when he comes back."
"Absolutely otherwise bored and irritable"
"It's almost sad to see how excited R is when he's picked up for the Summer Club - we really appreciate the difference this makes to his emotional well-being. He loves seeing his friends, and the staff again after such a long time"
"It was great to see G so happy on leaving for the club in the morning as he was going to see his friends. That smile was still on his face at the end of the day. Seeing G happy makes his parents happy. Suzanne and Staff do a wonderful job. Thank you everyone. I am just sorry as it is G's last year. He has enjoyed the summer club so much. Keep up the fantastic work for future users. Thank you so much everyone, L.
"Gave me time to spend with other children knowing that K was having fun in a safe and secure environment"
"This year was great. We booked a carer to look after J on 2 of the nights, so with the club too I and my husband went away for 3 days. Never happened before. Perfect to do this in the summer when weather is good. We were able to relax as we knew J was in good hands."
"I was able to go to work as normal hours instead of having to work at night."
"It's the only week in the summer I have time to think straight. Catch up with the house and rest a bit. It is a great bernefit as it also gives me time with his sisters."
"Allowed time to be spent with other children and go places that are less accessible for wheelchair users."
"As I have a [non-disabled] son it gave me time to do some trips with him that maybe would not have been suitable or she wouldn't have enjoyed. It also gave me a break as there is no other clubs like this running during holidays."
"Gave me some time for me to be able to relax, knowing that she was enjoying spending time with friends and was being cared for by people who knew her indivual needs, likes and dislikes."
"It was good to see N with all her friends having fun and I had a nice time meeting up with my friends."
"It was wonderful to allow us to have time to spend with L's younger brother and do activites with him that we can't do easily with L"
"Gave me some time away from all the normal routine, allowed me some time to rest and spend time with friends."
"Very much needed respite from caring"
"I was able to have some time to myself to catch up on all the things I had neglected over the holidays. When J is off school it is difficult to leave him alone as he is usually dependant on me. I could also catch up with friends. Transport was a godsend so I didn't have the long daily journey."
"It gave me an opportunity to catch up with jobs that I couldn't give time to with R in the house and it was a break from the boring and strenuous parts of caring."
"Loads of guilt free options knowing M was having a ball. It was my holiday this year".
"L was happy and I could spend time with her younger brothers"
"Great benefit we got a chance to rest and do other jobs."
What Corseford School Parent Council has learnedThe provision of the fund grant is crucial for the continuance of our Summer Club. This together with the carers' contributions and significant fundraising, enables us to provide up to 40 hours of respite (including transport) and quality time to the cared for and carers and families.
The Challenge now is to attempt to run it again in the future - it takes a lot of organisation, and the grant application and reporting process is understandably time-consuming. We are volunteers who have significantly disabled children ourselves with the pressures that involves.
We are proud of the Club and the demonstrable positive effect it has had on our families. We will continue to promote it, especially to the few children who haven't accessed it before now.