Short Break Stories

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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.

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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.
• Cycling.
• 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.

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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.

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Strollers Better Breaks

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.

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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.

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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.

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RNIB Activate

West of Scotland Sailing adventure – In July 2013 10 blind and partially sighted CYP sailed from Oban aboard Alba Volunteer for a 5 day/4 night sailing adventure.  Promoting Independence Summer Camp – Broomlee – This 5 day/4 night residential was attended by 15 YP aged 14-18. The focus was on independent living and transition.

It included workshops on developing confidence, assistive technology, cooking skills, independent travel, personal care, employability, preparation for post-16 transition, outdoor activities and loads of fun!

5 weekly Out of School Clubs :- These have been delivered at Knowetop Primary in North Lanarkshire; Uddingston Grammar School, South Lanarkshire; Aberdeen Visual Impairment Service, Aberdeen City; Darnley Primary School, Glasgow; Eyebeez Club, Hamilton. Each club is regularly attended by 10-15 children.

Family Fun Day (Borders) :- We had an Outdoor Adventure Activity Day for all the family on 2nd November 2013. Attended by 20 children and young people with 15 parents and 8 volunteers. The emphasis was on team building and confidence development. Despite torrential rain all the families had an excellent experience.

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The service delivers a dedicated short break service to young people aged between 5 and 20 years old affected by epilepsy combined with profound and multiple disabilities, and their carers.

Support hours are offered to the young person and parent/carer, and it’s entirely their decision how regularly they would like to use this allowance. Many families have expressed a preference for a little and often, this means a regular and reliable respite from the caring role but also an opportunity for the young person to routinely attend a group or take part in an activity.

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In Forth Valley and Fife – Fun day at the Time capsule, an animal fun day where young people interacted with animals at a petting zoo. Young people went to the autistic showing of The Lion King.

A young person who missed out on The Lion King went to the Beauty and Beast Pantomime. 4 hour session to ‘Sensations’. In West Dunbartonshire – summer play sessions accessing community facilities 48 hours of service delivery, 3 days per week for 4 hours each days and 2 hours on Saturday mornings for 6 weeks operating our drama and music group.

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We delivered 5 weeks for 4 days a week of summer activities which included the following
Week 1 Out in the community which included visits to The Time Capsule and Millport
Week2 Sports which included wheelchair basketball and animation
Week 3 drama and rock school
Week 4 drama and dance/cheerleading
Week 5 stage production/rehearsals and summer show
During week 5 we also delivered Inspire Me workshops which included team building and motivation

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