OUT & AWAY
A story by SNAP
We have delivered both weekend trips away and Out & Abouts (Saturday or Sunday outings and activities) offering opportunities to socialise and have a lot of fun!
SNAP provide leisure and recreational opportunities for young people in the Inverness area who all have a learning disability and additional support needs.
What OUT & AWAY did
We delivered: 23 x 6 hour breaks and 4 x 48 hour breaks. For our 6 hour breaks we accessed such activities as, Snow White on Ice, Rock pooling at the beach, cinema, BBQ's, Pamper Parties, Art Days, Christmas shopping and tea, Disco's Seal spotting, Treasure Hunts, Games nights, Come Dine with me, SNAP'S Got Talent, Ten Pin Bowling etc.
For our weekend breaks we, went to a bunkhouse in Tore, A lodge in Aviemore, a holiday house in Granton on Spey and a hostel in Ballater where we took sole occupancy. All weekends were quite different in feel and activity dependent on the young people we had attending and what their preferences were. On the Ballater weekend, it was high energy and we went through to Aberdeen all day and spent the evening watching the musical Wicked.
The Aviemore and Tore weekends were active and outdoor for most of the weekend, forest walks, nature hunts for squirrels and other wildlife, rope skills and a laser tag activity were just some of the highlights.
The Boat of Garten weekend was a much more chilled out affair, it was an all girls group that attended. They went to the wildlife park but the focus of the weekend seemed to be very much on beauty treatments and a very sociable catch up for everyone with so much laughter and fun, the girls delighting in the fact that they could spend time together.
We were told by our carers that they spent their time, mainly having a break themselves, catching up on lost sleep, having the joy of being able to relinquish their normal routine and a different focus, even for a few hours, helps them they have told us. A large proportion of our carers spent their time with their other children, other family members and friends. Some have been able to take up hobbies or activities that they don't ordinarily get the chance to.
We have recruited a new Deputy Team Leader to work alongside our current Team Leader (she also took on the Team Leader role while our T/L was on maternity leave) We have also enlisted 4 relief Team Workers and 5 new volunteers .
Her care provider has also removed the option to transport 'A', because of the risks of behavioural issues. 'A 'can no longer be transported unless by parents so therefore her opportunities to socialise have lessened further. She is a young lady who loves to be with people.
We have been able to offer the family regular Saturday breaks and also took their daughter away for a weekend. We have taken her 10 pin bowling, to a 21st birthday party, a Christmas meal and disco etc, where she has been part of the group with just 1:1 support and no incidents. This has provided much needed respite for the family and we feel has been a very positive input to the family's life as a whole. We have also been an advocate for the family at Social Work Meetings being able to illustrate a very different side to A's character and behaviour.
The highlight for us on one of these weekends was seeing the beaming smiles of both mother and daughter as they said goodbye to each other as the weekend began
'B' is an energetic young man with ASD and ADHD who is extremely sociable but has limited social outlets, he comes from a busy single parent family and has 3 siblings - all girls. When 'B' comes to SNAP he immediately reconnects with his peer group and has a close friendship with 2 of the other boys who attend, they are very physically active and never stop talking which is lovely to see. I
It is obvious to all what an extremely important outlet this is for 'B'. It also gives his carer important free time, she has developed a new hobby - running, which she says has given her some of the only 'me' time she has.
We have taken her daughter away for 48 hour breaks and offer a 6 hour break every 3 weeks at weekends. Her mum says each and every time that she so looks forward to this time, she really gets a chance to re charge her batteries, catch up on her sleep and just generally relax and de- stress safe in the knowledge her daughter is really enjoying herself also.
What SNAP has learnedWe see that even though we try to offer services to as many people as we can, there is a never ending demand for more services and so many people that we still want to reach.
We have learned that we just need to keep going and do the best we can. We want to continue to invent new ways to include as many young people as we can, but still keep our service personal.