A story by East Renfrewshire Warriors
Glee is a weekly drama, movement, music and dance club.
Our parent led committee work with support staff from the local Social Work Department and a trusted drama company to support young people with additional support needs to confidently interact, communicate, take part, make new friends and learn new skills in a fun, safe and nurturing environment.
The finale to Glee Club is a spectacular show.
What Glee Club did
All young people who attend Glee Club access their place through the East Renfrewshire Social Work Inclusive Support Department. This ensures that each child has a detailed and constantly updated care plan. We advertise our services through the local special needs schools, via local carer organisations and the Local Area Coordinators and by sending out newsletters to our database of families. As yet me have not had to start a waiting list and everyone who has requested a place has been able attend.
Glee Club runs from Fairweather Hall and The Edge in Newton Mearns. The Edge is a purpose build disability facility with secure entry, calm spaces out an outdoor area. We run every Saturday for 2.5 hours with a final show at the end of February followed by a wrap party and fun sessions. Young people spend the first two hours working with a drama company playing games, singing, dancing and working toward the final show which is picked by the young people. the final half hour is a youth club where we provide a snack and their are games and chill out times.
Carers use the time for a variety of activities. Some meet up to have coffee and support each other, others shop, go to the gym, yoga, get their hair done or spend time with their other children or partner. We have some parents who just go home and sleep or take the opportunity to have a luxurious afternoon tea. The respite time which Glee offers is a hugely valued weekly break.
What East Renfrewshire Warriors has learned
Glee has allowed us to make a huge, tangible positive difference in our local community for families who need reliable, affordable support. Through Glee we have become better know in the mainstream community and widened the young people who access our service considerably. Many young people who access no other clubs outwith school attend Glee extremely successfully and surpass all expectations by putting on confident and fantastic performances in our final show.
Due to the number of children we have attending and the high level of care needs we have a large staff ratio plus staff from the drama company. Occasionally conflicts occur and we need to manage these effectively while maintaining a strong and positive working relationship. We have built strong networks with many local organisations and groups to make sure our services are shared as widely as possible.