Home Activity Sessions and TOFFEE Club Play Sessions
A story by Geeza Break
We delivered TOFFEE Club 5 hour Play Activity Sessions at St Mungo’s Academy, Gallowgate, during school holiday periods and Home Activity Play Sessions for children with multiple support needs which also provides respite for their parents/carers.
What Home Activity Sessions and TOFFEE Club Play Sessions did
We delivered 120 x 5 hour play sessions to 10 children during the 5 week summer Toffee Club Programme which runs 10am-3pm. The Children loved the Toffee Club sessions getting the chance to take part in fun activities and playing with other children they particularly enjoyed taking part in the outing to Ayr Beach with a BBQ and ice cream and singing on the coach.
We delivered 80 x 4 hour fun activity sessions in the home for 10 children over the autumn and winter period. The respite sitters were also able to take some of the children on outdoor activities to local parks, museums and other free attractions.
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, joined a fitness class, a swimming class, Zumba 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 new 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's 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:-
Sports and active leisure
What Geeza Break has learned
The children particularly enjoyed the chance to take part in the summer Beach outing 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.
The respite really gives carers a much needed break allowing them to recharge their batteries and supporting those whose health is suffering. Carers feel that the 5 hour session Toffee club and the 4 hour Respite Sitting Sessions is a good length of time to actually have some time to yourself or take part in an activity or go out or meet friends.
However, they also commented that they liked the flexibility of Geeza Break in allowing them to change the length of the sessions and to have sessions at the weekend. It 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 costs of the organisation.
10 children with disabilities/multiple support needs will have more confidence and improved health and wellbeing by taking part in fun activity sessions.
We were able to deliver 120 x 5 hour sessions of fun activity when the children attended our TOFFEE Club programme over the 5 week summer school holiday period. The children were able to taken 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 wellbeing. Each child received approximately 12 sessions. We delivered 80 x 4 hour sessions of fun activity sessions in the home over the autumn/winter period which provided the children with stimulating activities as well as some outdoor trips to local parks and other places of interest. Each child received approximately 8 sessions.
M is mum to 3 children. A is 7, J is 2 and Z is 1. A has Downs Syndrome and was diagnosed with autism last year. M’s own mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is having a mastectomy followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. M goes to the hospital with her each day. The sitter service was put in place once a fortnight on a Sunday afternoon and the sitter planned a lot of activities around the game Minecraft which was a favourite of A. The sitter also promoted lots of role play as well as imaginary play so that all 3 children felt included. A was placed in the TOFFEE Club during the summer holidays and M expressed her appreciation because she finds it difficult to take all 3 children out together as A tends to run away. M said that A loves being at the TOFFEE Club and has made loads of new friends and enjoyed all the activities.
15 Carers and 10 children with disabilities/multiple support needs will have visibly improved their overall health and well-being.
120 x 5 hour Toffee Club sessions providing 15 carers with 12 x 5 hour periods of respite during the 5 week school holiday period, some families were 2 parent families. 80 x 4 hour home activity sessions over 8 months each carer received 8 x 4 hour periods of respite out with the Toffee Club summer period. 15 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 wellbeing. Also the 10 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 wellbeing.
M is a single parent to S who is 15 years old. S has hypermetropia (long sighted), bilateral hearing impairment and is profoundly deaf (wears aides), complex learning difficulties, microcephaly (short stature), dysmorphic features, is incontinent and has no speech. When the referral was made to Geeza Break, S was in a wheelchair following an operation to stretch the tendons in his legs and he was in plaster cast on both legs up to his thigh. The casts were bent in the sitting position which extremely limited any movement. As he is normally able to walk, the house is not adapted for a wheelchair user therefore his bed had to be moved to the living room. During this time he was not able to attend school due to there being steps at the front door meaning M was unable to get him down the stairs onto the school bus. This therefore meant that M was also confined to the house unless she could get someone to sit with S which was difficult due to limited family support. Usually respite would be a 4 hour session but after discussing with M it was agreed to provide a sitter for 2 hours twice a week so that M could get some shopping done. S loves one to one attention which he got for the few hours the respite sitter is with him. The Sitter uses lots of sensory play equipment which S really enjoys. Since the service was put in place, S has had the plaster casts removed from his legs and is therefore mobile again but M still has limited time to herself. When S returned to school arrangements were made for the sitter to visit with the school to observe how they interact with S and the sitter felt this visit was of great benefit and gave him different ideas for his respite sessions. M has also joined some clubs (swimming and aqua zumba) and is enjoying the little bit of socialising this has given her. She returns home into her caring role feeling refreshed after her break.
15 Carers will be have the opportunity to access other community resources or peer support groups during their respite sessions.
120 x 5 hour Toffee Club sessions providing 15 carers with 12 x 5 hour periods of respite during the 5 week school holiday period some families were 2 parent families. 80 x 4 hour home activity sessions over 8 months each carer received approximately 8 x 4 hour periods of respite out with the Toffee Club summer period. 4 Carers attended a Life Skills Course and 4 attended cooking group sessions organised by Geeza Break which as well as learning vital skills also enabled them to have some peer support from others in the same situation. All of the Carers (15) advised that they had been able to meet up with friends or family for lunch and some joined a local fitness classes e.g. aqua zumba and swimming. Some parents also got to spend some time with each other reducing stress and helping them to better care for their child/children.
S 37 is a single parent to K who is 5 years old who has multiple medical needs and requires constant supervision and support. Additionally, K’s physical mobility is very limited she is unable to bear weight or crawl. She is double incontinent, and It is unlikely she will walk, talk or understand much of the world around her. Respite sitting sessions were delivered which enabled S to socialise with friends and family away from her caring role, she has time to recharge her batteries leading to improved health and wellbeing and being less irritable. S attended the cooking group and this also let her meet up with others in the same situation which provided some peer support. The respite provider engages K in a variety of stimulating activities to engage her sensory experiences. K had the opportunity to mix with other children and adults during the respite sessions as the sitter included taking K to the park and library during the sessions.
15 carers will have improved health and wellbeing and be less stressed with the time to look after their own health and wellbeing and spend time with other family members.
120 x 5 hour Toffee Club sessions providing 15 carers with 12 x 5 hour periods of respite during the 5 week school holiday period some families were 2 parent families. 80 x 4 hour home activity sessions over 8 months each carer received 8 x 4 hour periods of respite out with the Toffee Club summer period. 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 wellbeing. Several carers reported that the 5 hour respite sessions were a life saver.
Mum M (mother of A) made a point of using her 4 hours respite to do things like get her eyebrows done and generally pamper herself and having that to look forward to got her through some difficult weeks with A. She said that the support received from Geeza Break really did make a big difference to her life and gave her some light at the end of a sometimes very dark tunnel.