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We have delivered three residential breaks for children and young people affected by disability; 11 children and young people benefitted from these breaks. One residential break was for 4 young carers.

These breaks took place at Wiston Lodge which provides outdoor and bush craft experiences.

The children and young people participated in wall climbing, archery, nature walks, welly walks, camp fires and group/team building exercises. Children were asked to step out of their usual comfort zones to try new activities and to build on there existing skills and abilities.

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Opportunity PLUS has delivered 57 x 2 hour play sessions for children aged 3-5 years with disabilities and 57 x 2 hour sessions of free time for parents/carers.

Children participate in baking, arts and crafts, free play and sensory play in small groups. Siblings aged 3-5 years are able to attend sessions as well which, in some instances, ensures a more complete break for the parents/carers.

Some parents/carers opt to spend time in our family room whilst others choose to do some grocery shopping or to spend time with their other children. In addition to this, transport was provided to some families to remove access as the barrier to inclusion in the project.

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Saturday Nights

To date we have held four events: a night out bowling, a DVD & pizza night at our main base in Edinburgh, a bonfire and BBQ within a community garden, and a Festive Fun party to celebrate the holidays coming. 35 young folk have attended between 1 and 4 events of their choosing, with each attending an average of 2 so far.

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We provided a weekend camp (Friday 17th May – Sunday 19th May) for the whole family who have a child with a serious illness or condition.

Using our Therapeutic Recreation model, our families participated in age appropriate activities ranging from ropes course, games, arts and crafts. The weekend gave families an opportunity to focus on being together as family.

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The Voucher Scheme enabled families to access activities such as swimming, dancing, out for something to eat visits to the animal farms, sensory rooms within the Renfrewshire area an outwith.

The Scheme has so far delivered 1472 hours of respite to 22 families, 38 adult carers, 19 young Carers and 26 young people with multiple complex needs. Families have accessed personalised tailor made respite through redemption of Care Vouchers to Care companies.

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Part A - Out of School Summer Project Part B - Out of School Summer Playscheme for Under 8's

Part A – Out of School Project Up to Oct 2013
• 9 weekends of 11 hours support for one young person
• 3, 3 hour sessions, supporting 3 young people for 1 week of Easter holidays
•18, 3 hour sessions, supporting 3 young people for 6 weeks of the summer holidays
•3, 3 hour sessions, supporting 3 young people for 1 week of October holidays

Part B
Aberlour Summer Playscheme 2013 Under 8 yr olds
Total days = 15 days / 8 hrs per day / 15 children per day
Days received 5 children received 15 days 4 children received 14 days 3 children received 12 days 2 children received 10 days 1 child received 9 days 1 child received 7 days 3 children received 5 days 1 child received Available: 225 places Used : 221 % used : 98.2%

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The Butterfly Club Summer Holiday Club

The Club was a success, partners working together, ensured the service achieved being Purposeful, Meaningful and Safe.

We ran the summer club for 5 weeks. Alternated 2 days one week and 3 days the following week. Each child receiving 12 days over the period. Every child had the opportunity of fulfilling their individual dream day.  The last day was our Family Funday which included an awards ceremony.

Summary of Excursions: (swimming pool, Dean Castle, speedboats, All Abilities Bikes, Horse Riding, softplay, Local Play parks, ferry trip to Millport)
Ball pond, Bouncy Castle, Inflatable obstacle course, Zoo Lab, Storyteller, Drake Music.

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We have set up an accessible Youth Group that runs for 5 hours every fortnight for 12 children and young people from rural areas within Clydesdale. This group has become extremely important to 7 children on the Autism Spectum who were having real struggles accessing or enjoying other local clubs and groups. This has meant a shift in focus towards providing intensive 2:1 support for these kids as it was felt that the benefit of providing this kind of support for children so often excluded from other play activities would be transformational for their families.

Our Youth Group provides such a positive, confident and intensive approach to interacting and connecting with children whose behaviour has often been deemed ‘too challenging’ that parents can then actually experience the benefits of regular pleasant breaks as opposed to irregular stressful ones where they are so worried that their child may be self-harming, hurting others or feeling left out that they get no meaningful break at all.

We are also providing intensive outreach in their own homes to 2 children whose difficulties have thus far stopped them from feeling able to leave the house without their parents and from having a social life outside of family life. Our outreach workers have built very good relationships with these children and are progressing towards accompanying them to local clubs.

What might seem like very small steps – feeling comfortable enough to sit calmly and chat to a worker or play a card game with them- are huge developments for these children and have taken intensive and careful rapport building by outreach staff. Progress is built on at every outreach session and leaves parents with a the realistic expectation that their children will soon be able to leave the house with the worker and attend a local club or other play setting.

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The Chavey Chill Out has taken place largely as planned, taking into account the individual needs of carers and the children/young people. Due to high demand, a greater number of families have benefitted– 35 rather than 30.

The Chill Out has facilitated fun, stimulating activities for small groups of children/young people, based on their interests, abilities and any pre-existing friendships. Meals have promoted healthy eating, and outdoor play was popular during the warmer months.

Transport from school and then home from Chavey Down has been provided. This has ensured carers have had extended, meaningful mid-week breaks as planned.

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Dance and Movement Group

The Dance and Movement Group (DMG) commenced in September 2013 after an essential planning and preparation period. The project has, so far, delivered 11 x 2-hour dance and movement therapy sessions to a group of 6 children with additional support needs and disabilities, alongside 11 x 2-hour short breaks for 12 carers, within the Nairnshire area.

Working with a Registered Dance and Movement Psychotherapist to provide a service that otherwise would not exist for the client group, the DMG has enabled the development of a strong partnership between Bodysurf Scotland and the Highland Council, alongside the training of young volunteers (working in partnership with HighLife Highland) and a core staffing team.

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