Outward Mobility - Pathfinding Phase
A story by Upward Mobility
Outward Mobility is a short trips project that offers breaks for adults with learning disabilities. Part of the aim of the project is to provide respite for the young people as well as their family and carers.
Upward Mobiliy strive to offer new opportunities, increase independence and new experiences during our trips.
What Outward Mobility - Pathfinding Phase did
The short breaks are advertised through a newsletter that goes out to parents/carers of service users of Upward Mobility. We also make announcements and discuss trips directly with the service users themselves. We have found that this has developed with service users recommending Outward Mobility to friends and carers in other services.
We have been in contact with other agencies to build ties and provide a greater range of opportunities to the young people and carers using Outward Mobility. Outside groups and social workers have been in touch asking about the trips and reserving places on the breaks most suitable for them.
In the past 12 months we have offered 7 short breaks and day trips and we have plans for a further 8 trips before December this year. All of these trips are aimed at different groups and are built in response to feedback from young people and carers. The breaks are always evaluated and this process goes towards creating trips that offer more choice for those who have been on Outward Mobility trips before while still being open enough to welcome new participants.
So far we have offered a range of activities including Scottish Country Dancing, rock-climbing, canoeing, archery, nature walks, BBQ's and quiz and movie nights. These activities have taken place at a range of locations throughout Scotland ranging from Inverness to Kielder in the Scottish Borders. The trips typically offer 1 or 2 two activities per day and are flexible enough to change depending on the needs of the service users.
Carers have been able to have respite time to take holidays for themselves and feel confident in the level of support and opportunities available to those they care for. Through our evaluation process we have had very positive comments fed back that have focused on how the trips have been a welcome break as well as a conversation and bonding topic between the service users and those who care for them.
During the trip, staff talked over what would happen with the activity and the young person talked it over further with the other young people on the trip. When it came time to take part the young person was enthusiastic and confident which was unexpected and a very welcome development for his parents.
The short break went very well, the young person was calm and happy to be part of the activities and part of the group. This positivity was feedback to his home support who then used this to develop his support needs and allow him to go on more trips and so increase his confidence and independence.
The break went very well and the student was able to make new friendships and discuss his experiences with his family.
What Upward Mobility has learnedIn the last year, we have found a lot of interest and enthusiasm for Outward Mobility from sessional service users, but they often struggle with funding. Having the Better Breaks funding has allowed us to offer new activities and opportunities to these people as well as given us time to find our own solutions for providing these for the long term.
Word of mouth feedback from attendees has been an unexpected bonus. People have been keen to discuss what they enjoyed about the trips with their friends and carers. This has led to a lot of interest from groups outside Upward Mobility, which in turn broadens our reach and will offer these breaks to people who well outside our normal sphere of influence.
The Low Port trip was designed to encourage more anxious young people to take part in trips away, we have several such participants. We had a great response to this but, for one person, being away for more than one night was too much and he had to leave early. This was obviously disappointing but has been something we can learn from. Going forward, we will discuss things, show pictures of the activities to visualize the new places and activities more thoroughly with the participant and carers to make sure we are offering something that they will be comfortable with and are excited to take part in.