We provided a 2-day break for families at Ardentinny Outdoor Education Centre in Argyll. Thirteen children and young people with epilepsy attended, along with 36 carers including young carers.
We provided transport, accommodation, catering, outdoor adventure activities and entertainment tailored to meet the needs of our group. Children and young people took part in gorge-walking, canoeing, abseiling and archery with their peers. Adults enjoyed sailing, orienteering, archery and canoeing.
Families worked together to complete “team challenges”. We also enjoyed a guided night walk, a disco, a quiz, a surprise birthday party and an “Ardentinny Champions” awards ceremony.
The project facilitated the following supported group outings and events for young people and their families:
Falkirk district families trips to Glasgow Science Centre and Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre
Clackmannanshire families trips to Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre and The Yard, Edinburgh
Falkirk district families trips to tenpin bowling and The Yard, Edinburgh
Clackmannanshire families trips to Resonate Together, Alloa and Glasgow Science Centre
Falkirk district families Play and Chat session, Falkirk
In addition, in order to target parent carers in Clackmannanshire and make the outings more widely accessible, four parents group meetings were facilitated in this area.
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.