Better Breaks for Deaf Young People & their Families
A story by The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS)
We provided a Mission Discovery and Adventure Week for 24 deaf children and young people aged 8-15 and 12 were aged 16-18. This took place at Blairvadach on 1-5 August 2016.
What Better Breaks for Deaf Young People & their Families did
The National Deaf Children's Society Scotland staff & Youth Support Volunteers delivered the event. Our events calendar was emailed out to all members and was available to view on our website, our Facebook page & from the helpline. Our events are searchable in the ‘what’s on’ section of our website, targeted emails were sent to members with deaf children & young people in the relevant age bracket.
Outdoor team and confidence building activities included biking, canoeing, gorge walking, ropes, sailing and water sports. While information is not available from all parents/carers on what they did during their break, parents told us things like ‘We would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved.’ ‘I cannot praise the staff and organisation highly enough.’ ‘This has been an incredibly positive experience at a difficult time’ ‘Fantastic event, "my child really enjoyed it and I was confident that he was being very well looked after.’ ‘Thank you to a great team for looking after my child’. When asked how their opinion of their child had changed, one carer said ‘He can be independent’.
Travel costs were covered for ‘priority place’ deaf children to ensure it wasn’t a barrier to attending. Travel buddy volunteers were available for two young people unable to travel independently. We covered the cost of four young people’s travel expenses, enabling them to attend.
‘[My daughter] seems far more relaxed about her hearing loss, and is wearing her aids without any prompting now. She really enjoyed herself and has come back oozing confidence, chatting about the friends she made and all the different activities.’
What The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) has learnedA positive residential experience is transformational for many young people. There is an interest from young people in running more of these types of events in the future, and this event was enjoyed by those who attended it. E.g. “The event was really fun and great…. I feel safe, happy.’
Offer flexibility in standard procedures to accommodate the most vulnerable young people. The National Deaf Children's Society was able to give one family some money to enable the young person to buy items needed to attend the event.