Corseford School Summer Club
A story by Corseford School Parent Council
We delivered a holiday club for 19 pupils from Corseford School over 10 days during the Summer Holidays.The Club daily hours were 10am-4pm. Staff were recruited from existing school staff on a 1:1 ratio.
All carers and pupils were surveyed before the Club and as a result,a range of activities were offered eg speed boats, barge trips, archery, bowling, accessible cycling,swimming. Activities tailored to each child’s age and abilities. Week 1 for the younger pupils and week 2 for older.
Where requested, taxis and trained escorts were provided for the journeys.This significantly extended the break each family enjoyed.
Tip 1:Survey, Survey , Survey. By asking people what they want from a short break then you can deliver a break that meets the expectations of the carer and the young person. By surveying after you can tweak and fine tune for the following year.
Tip 2:Tailor the break to the age and ability of the young person attending and try to group them with friends and peer group.
Tip 3:For a group with multiple and complex needs it is essential that there is a good staff ratio- of the order of 1:1- and that the staff are very familiar with the needs of the young person they are helping. This may involve feeding, communication, personal care and medicine administration. Also access to equipment for the young people is necessary too in order that they can access all aspects of the club eg hoists, toilet aids, plinths.
In addition there are lots of art and crafts, baking and sports which as a carer it is difficult to fit in as well as the general day to day care. For these young people not only are these activities fun but are more so as they are done alongside friends and peers.
We then set out to try and set this up and over a period of consultation with parents at PC meetings the Summer Club was organised for the following year. Parents, carers and young people have been at the core of the planning process and the success of the club is largely due to this and the fact it has been set up by carers for carers.
All of this requires access to specialist equipment and support. The Corseford School Summer Club was set up because of this gap in provision in order that these young people can have access to one week of safe and constructive play and activity with friends.
When surveyed and asked "What did your child enjoy most?"- replies included-"Couldn't choose- loved them all! (he just laughed his head off when i asked!)", "Being busy and having fun with friends", "Being with my friends". For the transitional teenagers, the week is especially important as it allows them a week away from parents and a planned week with friends-what 16-18yr old wants to spend all their time with mum?