We delivered a play scheme for children with multiple support needs over 5 days a week for 6 weeks during the 2013 school interval periods. We also offered special activity days for siblings and young people with learning disabilities during the summer school Interval.
Activities included: arts and crafts, baking, drama, dance and music workshops, as well as organised outings to settings such as The Yard, outdoor adventure parks and Drummond Safari Park.
The Dundee Activity Club has provided five activity club sessions and one youth club per week at set times to suit the needs of the families. The children and young people accessing the club have participated in a range of activities which include – baking, arts and crafts, outdoor play, sensory play and games.
The young people accessing the youth club have been given the opportunity to engage in social activities with their peers. Twelve day trips have taken place including Blair Drummond Safari Park, Codonas fun centre in Aberdeen and The Yard, Edinburgh.
We achieved our aim and more. The young people had a wonderful 2 days of activities which they would otherwise have been unable to participate in. Parent/carers also joined in with activities and everyone was able to socialise in the evening.
Parent/carers returned refreshed, re-energised and ready to continue in their caring role.
The Family Support Weekend took place at the Holiday Inn in Edinburgh from Friday 8th November to Sunday 10th November. 17 families with 25 children attended the weekend.
All children groups engaged in external sports and social activities, had structured teaching input and were given opportunities to learn practical management of diabetes by Health Care Professionals and from each other, under supervision.
Parents and carers had very wide-ranging information sessions on all aspects of diabetes management and many opportunities to share experiences and points of view, relevant to their personal circumstances. Opportunities were available for speaking to Health Care professionals on 1-1 basis
To date, the project has delivered 8 trips to the mainland for children of primary school age, two supported volunteer trips, including a weekend team building trip, and two island-based playdays in which disabled and non-disabled children have participated in a range of inclusive play activities.
Our supported volunteers have in addition helped in our Victorian-themed drama event, 2 den-building weeks, 1 themed play-week, an archaeology week and several of our volunteers are currently helping with our Christmas pantomime preparations.
We have delivered mainly short breaks of 3 – 6 hours in the evenings or weekends. Students go with a befriender on a 1:1 basis or in small social groups. We encourage age appropriate activities that the students select e.g.
• Day trips using public transport.
• Folk clubs, circus, café, restaurants.
• Swimming with trips to try out different pools.
• Walks around Edinburgh; Arthur’s Seat, Botanic Gardens.
• Pub meals hopefully preceded by some shopping for that latest glittery nail varnish or must-have magazine!
• Arts and Crafts events e.g. painting ceramic birds.
• Weekend in Glasgow with a packed schedule of concerts and meals.
The children were involved in the planning process and as the summer was so nice a lot of the activities took place out of doors. We looked at what went well the previous year and adapted on the children’s suggestions to what they wanted to do.
Cookery was again a favourite and we did baking in the venues as well as booking the local community kitchen for several days. There was arts and crafts, ball games outside as both venues had good outside areas,board games, karaoke and wii games.
There were also some music sessions with a local musician who has very good skills with additional support needs children as well as outings to the beach on several occasions,nature walks,aquarium,bowling,soft play and tubing.
The regular Saturday morning football sessions were the bedrock of the scheme, giving regular and routine activity. We were also able to enter the team in various different tournaments all over Scotland.
These tournaments offered the young people a whole day out around a structured football event, thus providing respite and a break for the parents/carers, as well as an exciting football day out for them.
To date we have delivered 2, two night/three day activity breaks / respite trips for 20 individuals from Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders. The activities on each trip were selected by the individuals and we covered hill walking, mountain biking, canoeing, map reading and orienteering over the two trips away.
In addition, we also focused on essential life skills (cooking, cleaning, planning, social skills and essential relaxation) whilst staying at the Cromdale Centre. Individual feedback as well as feedback from parents/carers has been excellent.
Over the April, summer and October school holidays we have offered 19 family day events across the authority, ranging from pony driving to golf, fishing, den building and orienteering in a forest, play at a farm park, chocolate making, icecream making and sailing at an activity centre.
In partnership with Quarriers we were able to provide pony driving in Stranraer, a remote part of the region. The families in Stranraer were particularly grateful as the pony driving centre was completely across the other side of the region.