Home and Away
A story by Sense Scotland
To date we have delivered respite services to 2 young people and 3 carers, a 5 week arts club and an 8 week photography club.
Young people have gone out for dinner, gone to the pantomime, visited local fetes, had walks along the beach, massage/girly pampering sessions, visited local parks, taken lots of photographs, made lots of art works and held an exhibition.
Tip 1:Be prepared for the additional work load this places on existing staff.
Tip 2:Give lots of time to ensuring that children, young people and carers are fully involved in planning and choosing activities.
Tip 3:Give time to identify those most in need of a break
The photography club which ran over 8 weeks particularly inspired one young lady who talked constantly to her family about photographs she was taking and shoots in the local park. She was especially thrilled to see her photographs exhibited. We now know that this young lady is getting a camera for Christmas and that she has the confidence and the skills to take up her new hobby.
While one young man was having an overnight stay at our respite house in Glasgow, his parents were able to attend a family wedding. Like a number of carers participating in Better Breaks, these parents were able to relax into "normal" family events knowing the the young person they care for was also having fun in a safe and caring environment.
For carers so accustomed to always thinking about the needs of their child and completely disregardng their own this has not been an easy experience. Hopefully, once personalisation is fully in place, young people will be able to draw on the activities and experiences they enjoyed to make choices about their futures and carers will be able to think about what their needs are and how at least some of them may be met.
Our young people have a high incidence of epilepsy and behaviour that may be deemed challenging. Having said all that they are also brave, funny, charming, curious and talented.