Esslemont Owls/Esslemont Eagles and Inverurie Rogues and Rascals
A story by One Parent Families Scotland
The children were involved in the planning process and as the summer was so nice a lot of the activities took place out of doors. We looked at what went well the previous year and adapted on the children’s suggestions to what they wanted to do.
Cookery was again a favourite and we did baking in the venues as well as booking the local community kitchen for several days. There was arts and crafts, ball games outside as both venues had good outside areas,board games, karaoke and wii games.
There were also some music sessions with a local musician who has very good skills with additional support needs children as well as outings to the beach on several occasions,nature walks,aquarium,bowling,soft play and tubing.
The groups in the holidays were planned for 4 weeks of the summer in two venues 3 days per week and 1 week during the October holidays again in 2 venues for 3 days. Groups afterschool were split for primary and secondary one night per week during school term time.
Tip 1:Good communication.
Tip 2:Work flexibly
Tip 3:Know what is happening in the area.
Another young girl has again got complex needs and they have two other siblings. mum stated"By having access to the group for my 2 youngest children meant that I can spend quality time with my eldest daughter which rarely happens due to my youngest daughters disabilities".
A family we have known for several years has 4 children with learning difficulties has accessed the groups for all 4 children. mum has learning difficulties and has had difficulty with reading and writing. This year she sent us a Christmas card she had written thanking us for allowing the children to attend the groups this year.
In completing the evaluations at the end of holiday groups having a short break is a real treat for some families and this may be the only time they have to themselves or spend with their siblings not affected by a disability.
Benefits - Starting the groups and seeing the real benefit to carers and children allowed us to start discussions with Aberdeenshire Council to start looking at the gaps for families in Aberdeenshire.