Part A - Out of School Summer Project Part B - Out of School Summer Playscheme for Under 8's
A story by Options - Borders
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
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%
[Six weeks] Summer Out of School
[One week] October Out of School
[One week] Xmas Out of School
[One week] Easter Out of School
Three sessions per YP per week. Each session lasting three hours. Three out of four YP will participate. Another YP was to receive eleven hours per week every second week throughout term time.
Part B - The Playscheme was to operate a rolling programme in order that families would gain positive experiences and increased benefits from multiple visits. Each child was to receive an allocation of fifteen sessions over the six week period with each session lasting seven hours. Eight children using existing core services met the criteria and a further seven places were to be made available to young people who were new to the service.
Tip 1:Build evaluation in to the service you are providing, from the start. This way, when it comes to an end, all the information required for reporting is at hand.
Tip 2:Use e-mail for sending and collecting data from families, you are more likely to get a return in my experience.
Tip 3:Early planning and organisation is key!
Some of this behaviour has been very difficult for his parents to manage when Dave is home for long periods of time over the holidays. Dave has previously attended our generic summer Play scheme but found the environment difficult and was spending more and more time away from the Playscheme having 1:1 time with a member of staff. The opportunity to attend an autism specific playscheme funded by Better Breaks made a huge difference to Dave’s summer. A service was provided where Dave could go out in small groups with other children facing similar challenges. The activities were tailored to specific needs and the environments were managed to allow Dave to be relaxed and comfortable in his surroundings.
Taylor is a 7 year old boy who lives at home with his mum and older sister. Taylor has Downs Syndrome; he has limited verbal communication and uses some sign along and a communication book. Taylor has no road safety awareness and needs assistance with all aspects of personal care, as he is also doubly incontinent. Taylor likes to be busy and enjoys doing arts & crafts, music, playing with cars and trains as well as going to the park and swimming. As mum is a single parent with limited support from extended family she said “the play scheme was fantastic I am not sure how I would have managed to keep him going this summer without it”.
Aberlour ensured consistent and familiar staff supported Craig in these activities which kept his anxiety levels low and hence led to fewer episodes of challenging behaviour. Staff also ensured they used consistent strategies and motivation techniques with Craig which we use at home again providing consistency and keeping anxiety levels low. The outings also gave Craig a chance to be with peers from the local community which is difficult during term times as Craig attends a residential school.
As a family we benefited from having some time to ourselves to relax, meet with friends (which is not usually possible when Craig is at home),catch up on jobs in the home and garden (again tricky with Craig around as he becomes anxious when others move around too much) and for myself to provide care for my father who had recently been in hospital. We were able to do these without worrying about Craig as we knew the staff were familiar to him and aware of the strategies we use at home to ensure Craig remains calm and settled. We were also reassured as each time Craig was dropped off he arrived home with a smile. staff also took the time to chat with us about Craig`s afternoon and ask advice on future planned trips out.
Lilly lives at home with her parents and twin brother. Lilly has Downs Syndrome and has no verbal communication, she has no sense of danger therefore needs 1:1 supervision at all times. Mum describes Lilly as “lying on the floor and not moving if she does not want to and needs lots of encouragement” Lilly enjoys lots of activities including playing ball, baking, Lego and building, arts and crafts, tactile play and role play e.g. tea parties but needs support and guidance to share and play with others in an appropriate manner. Mum says that the playscheme has been “a godsend for Lilly and her family. It’s been good practice for being at school the whole day in primary one. I have been able to spend a lot of quality time with her twin brother jack. A big thank you from the whole family”.
Harry is a 7 years old boy who lives at home with his parents and older brother. Harry has a diagnosis of autism and global developmental delay. He is described as needing one to one supervision at all time, having no sense of danger and cannot tolerate loud noises. Harry also needs to be busy and needs a lot of physical exercise otherwise he becomes frustrated. While harry attended play scheme his parents were able to spend some time with his older brother doing some of the activities that he enjoys and that they otherwise would not be able to do. Harry’s brother enjoys going out on his bike and going to the cinema and at this time these are some activities that harry does not take part in. Mum said that it’s a “brilliant service. I would not have got through the summer without it. Hope you are running it again next summer”.
*Full care planning/profiling process by Aberlour staff for every child.
*Grouping of children carefully considered to ensure compatibility and relationship building.
*Choice of dates offered to all families and service planned around this.
*Child centered approach, focusing on individual needs, desires and abilities whilst planning all aspects of service delivery. *A carefully planned mix of indoor and outdoor activities were on offer. Children were encouraged to participate and be as active as they could with one to one support for most parts of the day. *Families were given the opportunity to meet with staff on the first day and have a look around and ask questions and seek reassurance. *Feedback at the end of each session was provided to families and pick up drop off times stuck to, to ensure continuity for both the child and family. *All staff were trained in all aspects of service delivery and aware of each child's individual requirements. *Children were encourage to make suggestions and choices with regard to the activities they took part in.
This was difficult in such a rural area however with personalisation at the heart it was important to make sure that we could accommodate everyone as best we could.
Part B - Under 8's Summer Playscheme ran on 15 days, as we are aware that families have holidays and other things planned over the summer it was important to give as much choice with regard to dates for children to attend as possible.
Whilst many children with Autism can and do attend our 8-16 years playscheme, their needs with regard the environment and the stimulation offered can be quite different, some do not always find a 'playscheme' environment the most conducive to their enjoyment of activities. By introducing an 'autism specific' activities service, 3/4 boys form the Tweeddale area of the Borders enjoyed a summer packed with fun, safe and appropriately stimulating activities, with staff that know them well.
As these boys attend residential schools outwith the Borders area, the opportunity to take part in activities with Aberlour staff during the other holiday periods throughout the year was also a huge benefit to children and families.
Staff acted as positive role models and many children about to start school, got the experience of being away from home for a full day for the first time. Children returning home from residential schools for the extended school holiday periods had the opportunity to spend time safely with their peers and positive role models from Aberlour, they took part in lots of different activities that they would otherwise not have had the opportunity to do.
As all families were not able to use all 15 days, due to prior arrangements, more children actually got the experience and benefits of the playscheme.
Whilst not completely unexpected, the geography of the Borders and providing transport for everyone was challenging although manageable.
I like this form of reporting as well although am finding it difficult to upload any photo's!