Esslemont Owls and Eagles,Inverurie Rascals and Rogues, Banff Bairns and Buddies
A story by One Parent Families Scotland
We have provided playscheme’s for children with Additional Support Needs and their siblings aged from 3-16 in Ellon, Banff and Inverurie during Easter,Summer and October holidays as well as taking children to a Xmas Panto.
We have also organised afterschool groups during school term in Ellon and Inverurie on a weekly basis.
What Esslemont Owls and Eagles,Inverurie Rascals and Rogues, Banff Bairns and Buddies did
We have organised playschemes in Banff, Inverurie and Ellon for children aged 3 - 16 and planned activities according to their needs and to develop Independent skills. These groups have also included groups for siblings to let them enjoy fun activities and relieve them of caring duties or for them to access things they usually could not attend.
The sessions took place each week in Easter and October and for four weeks of the Summer holidays. We were lucky that we found schools in the children's local area that we could hire for our groups and took the children out into their local communities as well as on other outings.
The groups after school for primary and secondary child is based on the same type of groups and it is just for the children with additional support needs. The groups have a variety of planned activities but the children also get to have an input of what they would like to do. We recruit staff with relevant knowledge and skills to work in our groups through local papers and by placing posters in the local communities. We also accept volunteers to work in our groups once they have completed a PVG application.
As we have been successful in previous years in accessing funding from Shared Care Scotland we have built up a reputation in Aberdeenshire of providing good activities and parents and children have spread the word about the groups as has professionals in the areas. We have had articles in the local press also advertising the groups and we have had no difficulty in finding children to attend.
Parents have told us they enjoy having time to spend with other children or just to have the opportunity of having time to themselves or with their partners. Sometimes these groups provide the only respite they get and carers see this as a huge benefit to them.
What One Parent Families Scotland has learned
Meeting people face to face is the easiest way to encourage people to use groups in their area. We have tried telephone calls and letters with some families and people forget, lose letters or just feel overwhelmed by daily life. Having the funding has helped so many people in Aberdeenshire but has also allowed us to build up our reputation in working with ANS in Aberdeenshire.
One challenge we sometimes face is having agreed to use the groups some families change their minds as the weather is nice and choose to do something different with out telling us. We attract new carers by going into the local communities and telling other professionals what we can offer