Home Activity Sessions and TOFFEE Club Play Sessions for Children with Multiple Support Needs
A story by Geeza Break
TOFFEE Club 5 hour Play Activity Sessions took place at St Mungo’s Academy, Gallowgate, during school holiday periods and Home Activity Play Sessions for children with multiple support needs which also provided respite for their parents/carers.
What Home Activity Sessions and TOFFEE Club Play Sessions for Children with Multiple Support Needs did
We delivered both Home Activity Respite sessions and Toffee Club activity sessions for children with multiple support needs. The Home Activity Respite sessions consisted of 4 hour play activity sessions in the child’s home respite sitters also took the children out when the weather was fine to local parks/swimming.
14 children received 56 sessions. There was high demand for these home activity sessions. The Toffee Club sessions consisted of 5 hour play activity sessions at St Mungo’s Academy during the Easter and Summer 19 school holidays delivered by the Mobile Play Rising Stars Team. 14 children received 212 sessions.
Better Breaks funding was expended in full by the mid year reporting period however within the overall project we provided 28 Toffee Club sessions during the October School holiday programme and a further 24 Home Activity sessions.
Carers have enjoyed a few hours to themselves. Sometimes that was just doing household chores or shopping in peace. Some also met up with family and friends or went out for coffee or lunch, enjoyed some pampering sessions, a swimming class or simply had the chance to relax and read a book/magazine.
The families who received the service mainly self referred. However, some of the families were referred to our service by other local organisations and health visitors. A 1:1 assessment is carried out with each family to ensure what is being offered is tailored to their needs with other funding we purchased additional sensory play equipment which our Respite Sitters could use for the home activity sessions.
We ensure that all local organisations and health services and professional are aware of our services and we promote via leaflets and posters. Prior to the TOFFEE Club sessions and Home Activity Sessions taking place staff took the time to read up on each child’s condition.
Our project addressed the following priorities, Complex needs, Sports and active leisure, Independence.
What Geeza Break has learned
The children particularly enjoyed the chance to take part in the day trips for example to the Sealife Centre at Lomond shores and the Glasgow bus tour visiting places of interest as this is something they would not normally have the chance to do.
The children enjoyed taking part in activities particularly the computer robotics and this appears to be a perfect interactive session especially for those with limited mobility.
Being able to offer a combination of respite support in the home of each child as well the Toffee Club sessions during the holiday periods which can be a very stressful time for carers. The combination enables families to select the respite that suits their circumstances best and at the time they require it which highlights that flexibility is crucial.
How Geeza Break has benefitted from the funding
The funding enables us to deliver the respite services specifically to families who self-refer. Without this funding we would not be in a position to offer this respite. The funding builds our capacity to offer respite as well as continuing to build our skills and knowledge of dealing with multiple support needs and ensuring the necessary training is delivered. Overall the funding also acts as a catalyst in securing other funding towards the overall programme as Better Breaks only part funds.
10 children with disabilities/multiple support needs will have more confidence and improved health and well being by taking part in fun activity sessions.
We were able to deliver 240 x 5 hour sessions of fun activity when the children attended our TOFFEE Club programme over the Easter, Summer and October school holiday periods. The children were able to take part in activities including arts and crafts, board games and ball games in the gym hall and overall have good fun and make new friends all of which helped improve their health and well being. We delivered 80 x 4 hour sessions of fun activity sessions in the home over a 7 month period April – October 19 which provided the children with stimulating activities as well as some outdoor trips to local parks and other places of interest.
M is 36 and is mum to 4 children (2 sets of twins) the eldest 2 are 8 and the younger 2 are 3. Both 8 year old's have deformed feet (clubfoot) which makes walking difficult. The 3 year old's are suspected to have autism and their health visitor has referred them for assessment. The family were asylum seekers. They had to move house due to issues with a neighbour selling drugs but only a week after they moved they were granted leave to remain and therefore had to move again which was a lot of disruption for all the children but throughout that time our 2 sitters continued to provide the 4 hour sessions of home activity respite which allowed mum and dad much needed quality time together away from their caring role as they have no extended family to help and it is the only time they get together. The sitters planned respite with the children in order to give them the best experiences which included outings to the local park as well as working on their development at home with arts and craft activities, jumping clay, painting, puzzles and baking. The older twins also attended toffee club sessions which gave them opportunities to visit places they normally wouldn’t be able to such as the science centre and sea life centre which enhanced their learning opportunities as well as helping them to develop friendships.
15 Carers and 10 children with disabilities/multiple support needs will have visibly improved their overall health and well-being
240 x 5 hour Toffee Club sessions providing 20 carers with 5 hour periods of respite during the school holiday periods, some families were 2 parent families. 80 x 4 hour home activity sessions over 7 months each carer received approximately 5 x 4 hour periods of respite out with the Toffee Club periods, 20 Carers reported that their stress levels had reduced whilst their child was at Toffee Club and during the Respite Sitting Sessions and overall they had more time to themselves which overall improved their health and well being. Also the 14 children have been able to take part in fun and stimulating activities both via the Toffee Club and the Respite Sitting Sessions and overall have good fun and make new friends all of which helped improve their health and well being.
Mum R had 2 children aged 5 & 6 when she referred to us. During the assessment she informed that she was expecting her 3rd child. Her eldest has Prada Willie syndrome and was also diagnosed with autism 2 years ago and she has been struggling both with his behaviour but also her emotions regarding this further diagnosis. Both boys attended toffee club which helped reduce social isolation as the family live in a top floor flat meaning they have less opportunities to get outside to play. Just before the introduction with the respite sitter mum gave birth to her 3rd son. The respite sitting sessions were set up for the oldest 2 and the respite sitter took the boys swimming which they loved and also out to the park and it meant that mum had extra bonding time with the baby as well as some time just for herself even if that was just the chance to read a book or magazine. During the respite sitting sessions the boys were encouraged to tidy away activities before bringing out any new games and also shown how to set the table for dinner.
15 Carers will be have the opportunity to access other community resources or peer support groups during their respite sessions
240 x 5 hour Toffee Club sessions providing 20 carers with respite during the school holiday periods, 80 x 4 hour home activity sessions each carer received approximately 5 x 4 hour periods of respite out with the Toffee Club periods. 20 carers advised that they got peace to clean the house, get shopping done and all carers enjoyed time to themselves to relax and put their feet up. Some parents also got to spend some time with each other Carers had coffee out with friends, got their hair done, got their nails done, visited the library and went for a sauna and swim, 1 carer started a short college course cutting gents hair, 1 carer had time to get her college course work done without distraction, 1 carer was able to use the time to attend her practice placement as part of her university course, 1 carer attended a local computer class and a sign language class
N is 37 and is mum to 3 boys and now pregnant with her 4th child. The oldest Child P has epilepsy and processing deficits, her 2nd son H has severe autism which affects his speech and language and ADHD. Her husband works full time therefore she is the main carer. Sitter service provided on Sunday’s 2-6 for all children during which if the weather was fine they all went to the park as this is a favourite thing for H as he loves being outdoors. This gave mum some much needed free time which enabled her to catch up on housework, go shopping in peace and also to have some time with her husband for a coffee/lunch which helped her to return feeling refreshed and ready to continue her caring role. The oldest child and youngest child attended the toffee club which gave them a break from their brother and gave them the opportunity to meet new friends and allowed mum some quality time with H.
15 carers will have improved health and well being and be less stressed with the time to look after their own health and well being and spend time with other family members.
240 x 5 hour Toffee Club sessions providing 20 carers with respite during the school holiday period, some families were 2 parent families. 80 x 4 hour home activity sessions over 7 months each carer received approximately 5 x 4 hour periods of respite out with the Toffee Club periods Carers reported that their stress levels had reduced whilst their child was at Toffee Club and when they were receiving the Respite Sitting Service and overall they had more time to themselves which overall improved their health and well being. Several carers reported that the 5 hour respite sessions were a life saver.
M is mother to W who is 9 and has ADHD, Fatal Alcohol Syndrome and dyslexia. M can be extremely negative towards W at times. W attended Toffee club and made lots of new friends. He also received respite sitting sessions and the respite sitter has described him as a chatty, pleasant boy who is a joy to have. She has taken him out to adventure playgrounds which he has loved and by going out means he is not spending time on his tablet. The respite sitting sessions and the toffee club sessions have provided M with the opportunity to have some “ME” time, meet up with friends thereby helping reduce her isolation which in turn improves her mental health and gives her the time she needs on her own meaning she is ready to resume her caring role.