Glenrothes Strollers Superstars
A story by Glenrothes Strollers Superstars
We provided weekly respite care provision in the form of football activity for children and young people with additional support needs from Tayside and Fife. We developed sustainable disability sections within strong Community Football Clubs within the Scottish FA East Region.
What Glenrothes Strollers Superstars did
For our project we recruited volunteers through various means, the four main avenues we utilised were local charity organisations, community football clubs, Active Schools and student work placements. The volunteers for the project varied between each area, we required coaches, support workers and working group members.
The advertising of our project mainly came through our key partners having direct contact with the participants carers. Other means of advertising were through social media, posters and flyers, promotional videos and open days.
Our sessions were regular weekly term-time sessions in 10 areas across the Scottish FA East Region and in addition to this we delivered holiday activity for specific local areas and held festivals that were accessible for the entire region. We also provided football fun days that were open to the region, this allowed for individuals to receive a full day of football & social activity, we held 3 this past year and events took place in Aberdeen, Dundee and Newcastle.
In each particular area the carer’s have their own preferences to what they wish to do with their breaks. One of the most common across our region has been the development of our carer’s café’s. The café is set up as a place for our carer’s to relax, receive informal and formal advice & support from professionals and socialise with other carer’s who have similar circumstances as themselves. The presentations and activities that are delivered to the carer’s within their café is decided by themselves, which allows for the group to receive bespoke activities that relate to them.
After having discussions with all of the carer’s, it has been explained that they mostly use their respite time to do their weekly shop, spend time with their other family members, use the gym facilities or catch up on their work. On other occasions we have had carer’s receive football activity whilst the children and young people do their own separate activities.
If I wasn't part of this team, I don't think I would be as confident to speak to other people. I think the only reason I got my new job as a KP (Kitchen Prep) is because I was able to show them I'm a team player and like to work hard, just like in football.
The guys have given me a much greater understanding of football and with that I am seriously considering undergoing referee training, I think I would be a good referee and it would be a good weekend job. I would never had dreamed of this before joining the Lions.
My son was previously removed from his PE classes in school and now after regular training with the team and receiving a referral from yourselves explaining the physical, social and emotional development in Connor, they have now reinstated him in the class due to his newly found enthusiasm for sport.
From a carer’s perspective it is fantastic to see the commitment and enthusiasm that the coaches have for supporting the children. I am able to now attend evenings with my friends whilst Connor is taking part in football or socializing with his new friends from the team.
We recently attended Cameron's P2 parent's evening, his teacher explained to us that it is clear he is taking part in sport, as before he would not take part & stroke the ridges on the walls. Now he is the pupil that demonstrates to the class and engages fully in any activity & follows instructions.
We are delighted with all the work you guys have done and the school have suggested putting Cameron back in mainstream PE. As parents, we could not be happier with his progress and the football has been a huge part of his development.
What Glenrothes Strollers Superstars has learnedWithout the Better Breaks funding we would not have had the paid staff to co-ordinate our life changing project. Our paid staff are vital in providing training, support and mentoring to each of the groups across the region. Without the funding for the posts, this programme would not have been as successful or robust.
Our main challenge has been the recruitment of skilled volunteers, many of the skilled individuals that we have recruited are looking for full-time employment. This often results in us up skilling the staff and losing them to another organisation 6 months later. This isn’t always the case, however we are looking at how we can support community football clubs to income generate to pay staff a competitive rate and offer them part-time posts.
We have been working closely with our key partners to consistently monitor and asses our project. The information gathered is from coffee mornings, focus groups, surveys, carer’s evenings and verbal feedback. We then collate the information for each area and create more personalised sessions for the individuals.
We provide sessions that are locally accessible and when delivering within tight-knit communities the word spreads quickly. When using local charities and active schools we are able to access individuals who need support and offer them our services.