Dundee Activity Club
A story by Cornerstone
The Dundee Activity Club provides support to children and young people with multiple support needs which enables the child or young person to participate in fun activities with their peers in a safe environment. This enables their parents or carers to enjoy a break away from their caring role.
What Dundee Activity Club did
We have recruited more volunteers for our activity club which has increased to six people who are committed to attend on a regular basis. We also have a core group of staff who have experience working with children and young people. Both volunteers and staff have training to meet the needs of the children and young people. The local authority, special needs schools and other children’s voluntary organisations have made referrals but it was mostly due to word of mouth of the parents and/or carers of the children and young people we currently support.
We provided clubs to children and young people, the sessions are tailored to the child and young persons interests which enables their parents/carers to have a consistent break to enable them to plan their time away from their caring role. We have had to adapt over the last year which has resulted in a reduction of sessions from 5 sessions at 2 hours per week to 4 sessions at 2 hours per week within the last 6 months. The sessions were in the premises of another voluntary organisation for the first half of the year but we had to vacate these as the organisation moved premises. We have used 2 other community venues since then.
The families have told us that they like to spend time with their other children for specific activities such as gymnastics and shopping whilst another parent enjoys going home to catch up on watching the Soaps on TV. Whereas another carer noted that she enjoys spending time with her partner. A mother also told us that her child enjoys coming to the club but could not cope on outings. Her mother now tells us that her daughter is much more confident and she is now more relaxed about going shopping and outings with her family.
A. is peg fed and also requires medications for her epilepsy administered via the peg and due to this her parents have always struggled to find qualified carers. Our activity club’s staff are fully trained to meet all of A’s needs. A. enjoys opportunities for socialization and play and particularly enjoys music and sensory activities.
What Cornerstone has learnedWe have learned how difficult it is finding accessible, affordable premises in Dundee. We have learned the importance of thorough, consistent and timely communication with children, parents and carers when changes to the sessions and venues are required.
We continue to work alongside our local special needs schools, we also consult with local authorities and collaborate with other children’s voluntary organisations. We have learned, however, that parents and carers word-of-mouth is the most common source of referrals.