Get Up And Be With Friends
A story by The Get Up And Go Youth Club
The Get Up And Go Youth Club delivered three short break activities for children and young people for disabilities, we visited Preston, Legoland and Edinburgh.
The Get Up And Go Youth Club supports young people, from across West Dunbartonshire, who have a wide range of Disabilities, ALSN and often complex underlying health issues. Participants engage in a range of social and educational activities and life enhancing breaks and holidays.
What Get Up And Be With Friends did
The Get Up And Go Youth Club delivered three short break activities. The first break supported ten beneficiaries, from 12 to 16 years of age, to visit Ribby Hall Village, Preston, 28th to 30th June, 2019. The second break enabled eight beneficiaries, form the 16-19 age range, to visit Legoland Windsor, from 3rd to 7th August, 2019. The third short break supported another eight beneficiaries, from 12 to 16 years of age, to visit Edinburgh, from the 15th to 17th November, 2019.
All beneficiaries of the breaks were chosen from young people who attend the club. The Ribby Hall & Legoland break beneficiaries had all been on club trips previously and we envisioned that they would cope with a breaks further afield, whilst the beneficiaries who visited Edinburgh, all of them new club members, were on their first break with the club, and Edinburgh was chosen to ensure we could easily bring a young person home if they were not coping with or enjoying the experience.
Carers were involved in the planning phase for the breaks and worked with their children/young people and club staff to ensure the beneficiaries were best prepared to engage in the breaks. Whilst the young people were on the breaks their carers enjoyed some well earned respite and spent time with their other children. Building relationships and working in partnership with the carers of young people who were new to the club in the 2019 session was the most important factor, making the project a success.
The Better Breaks priority areas the project addressed were: Complex Needs, Sports & Active Leisure, Independence and Diversity. The activity break to Edinburgh was a particular success as it enabled younger members of the club to experience a break independent of their parent/carers, (for some a first), develop positive memories associated with their time at the club and to develop and maintain positive relationships with their peers, whilst engaging in activities promoting sport and active leisure, and tackling the issue of social isolation.
The project went to plan and the beneficiaries and their carers, and the club itself benefited greatly form the Better Breaks funding.
What The Get Up And Go Youth Club has learned
We have learned a great deal about reaching out and engaging with new families by delivering this project. Although the club has operated for many years, we have not been able to take in such a number of new participants since the clubs original conception. This has presented both challenges and opportunities.
The project has enabled us to learn about developing new short break activities and has given us the opportunity to develop practice to ensure young people with disabilities and additional support needs can enjoy and grow from breaks in both the country and city settings.
For many young people within the club, they are no strangers to project planning and budgeting. However, this project has supported the clubs' new members to engage with the process of planning and budgeting for a project , whilst it has enabled our more experienced members to develop their skills of planning and budgeting for a project, within planning and budgeting for the wider project of the club itself.
How The Get Up And Go Youth Club has benefitted from the funding
The Get Up And Go Youth Club has benefited greatly from Better Breaks funding. Better Breaks funding has supported us to expand our services, by enabling us to facilitate a second evening's activity each week, and in the process offer an additional 15 young people space within the club. By offering these places and the opportunity for young people to participate in short breaks we have been able to strengthen our organisation's reputation, whilst supporting carers/parents to have some respite from their caring responsibilities. The funding has supported us to build our skills, knowledge and capacity in the planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of a variety of short break activities, and in project management too.
30 young people with severe and multiple learning disabilities will have had opportunities to meet up with their friends & have fun. The main input from the young people has been their enthusiasm and enjoyment. The club programme will encourage the young people to participate in the decision making
This project outcome was achieved to a great extent. With the support of Better Breaks funding and an increase in club capacity due to the introduction of a second session, on a weekly basis, and the enthusiasm of the club members, over 30 young people with severe and multiple learning disabilities have had opportunities to meet up with their friends and have taken part in activities, trips, short breaks and learning opportunities which were fun, stimulating and rewarding.
A young person who was able to join the club, due to the additional evening being offered in the 2019 session had previously been socially isolated; often attending school was their only social contact outwith the familial setting. As a result of the project and the funding from Better Breaks this young person has been able to build a friendship group, outwith school, and to participate in a break independent of parents/carers. These opportunities have enabled this young person to gain in confidence and enjoy many opportunities which were fun, stimulating and rewarding.
57 carers of young people with severe and multiple learning disabilities will feel happier and stronger knowing their children/young people are spending time with friends and enjoying the same opportunities as their peers.
This project outcome was met to a great extent. Results from the information gathered at the Family Night events held throughout the year and during conversations with parents on club nights and after short break activities inform that parents/carers felt happier and stronger knowing their children/young people were spending more time with friends and enjoying similar opportunities to their peers. This in turn, led to increased feelings of well-being among the parent/carer group. This was particularly evident in the group of parents/carers of young people who were involved in the club for the first time during 2019.
The project enabled the families/carers of fifteen new club members to access community based Youth Work opportunities for their children/young people, including club nights, day trips and short breaks for the first time. Prior to this there was little or no opportunity for parents/carers to bring their children/young people to such a club, in the West Dunbartonshire area, as our capacity had been reached on our one evening per week. Parents/carers reported that they had felt socially isolated and unhappy that such provision was not available for their children/young people. The introduction of a second club night, the Family Nights and the support of Better Breaks has enabled us to successfully integrate these families/carers into The Get Up And Go Club and has supported the parents/carers of the new club members to feel increased feeling of well-being as their children/young are spending more time with friends and enjoying similar opportunities to their peers.
By providing breaks, 57 carers of young people with severe & multiple learning needs will have increased opportunity to spend quality time with family & friends reducing feelings of stress & isolation. Programmed Family nights will give carers the opportunity to meet up in a supportive environment.
This project outcome was achieved to a great extent, albeit on a slightly reduced scale. Initially the club had applied for £50,000.00 from Better Breaks , but received a grant of £12,000.00. Based on our initial application, we hoped to provide 4 holidays and 10 day trips for 30 young people with severe and multiple learning disabilities, whilst offering respite to carers. Based on the grant we received, we were able to facilitate three breaks, whilst offering respite opportunities to carers. At the start of the project we held a Family Night where carers shared information regarding their thoughts on the opportunities they had to live life outside of caring . We repeated this process at another Family Night, nearing the end of the project to gauge its success.
The parents/carers of the young person in case study 1. reported an increase in the opportunities they had to live life outside of caring as a direct impact of their child being able to both attend the youth club and participate in a short break. The parents/carers of the young person said that the opportunities had afforded them time, that otherwise they would not have had, with each other and their other child. They reported that after club sessions, they felt less stressed and that during the short break they had had an opportunity to re-charge, spend a little time on themselves and to engage with their own wider family network.
By providing evening activities, holidays and day trips, 57 carers of young people with severe and multiple learning will feel better supported to sustain their caring role. The programme of family nights will help give carers the opportunity to support each other.
This project outcome was achieved to a great extent, albeit on a slightly reduced scale. Initially the club had applied for £50,000.00 from Better Breaks , but received a grant of £12,000.00. Based on our initial application, we hoped to provide 4 holidays and 10 day trips for 30 young people with severe and multiple learning disabilities, to support carers better sustain their caring role. Based on the grant we received, we were able to facilitate three breaks, and an additional forty weeks of evening activities whilst supporting carers to better sustain their caring role. This was still a significant increase to what we could offer previously.
The project enabled the families/carers of fifteen new club members to access community based Youth Work opportunities for their children/young people, including forty weeks of club nights, day trips and short breaks for the first time. Prior to this there was little or no opportunity for parents/carers to bring their children/young people to such a club, in the West Dunbartonshire area, as our capacity had been reached on our one evening per week. Parents/carers had reported that they did not feel greatly supported to sustain their caring roles as such provision was not available for their children/young people. The introduction of a second club night, the Family Nights and the support of Better Breaks has enabled us to successfully integrate these families/carers and their children/young people into The Get Up And Go Club and parents/carers of new club members reported that they now felt better supported to sustain their roles as carers as the respite they received through their children/young people's involvement in club activities and organised breaks had given them a certain amount of precious time to spend with the rest of their families, which in turn led them to feeling they were better placed to sustain their caring roles and responsibilities.