A story by SNAP
We provided 5 x 48 hour breaks and 20 Out & About Saturday Breaks for 28 young people who have a learning disability and additional support needs such as a physical, sensory or behavioural impairment.
What SNAP Breaks did
People were chosen to go on trips from our existing over 20's group. The types of activities chosen was dependent on the members of the group selected, their abilities, interests and desire to take part in certain activities.
We delivered, 20 x 6 hour sessions. We wanted to get our young people moving more so that they could be fitter and healthier. We have been able to introduce more activities that involve physical activity during our short breaks but we mixed up the types of activities we offered, although putting an emphasis on physical activities in particular (archery, swimming , cycling, climbing wall etc,) We also offered art, cooking and music activities.
We delivered 5 x 48 hour breaks took place in a variety of locations and accommodation types, a bunkhouse in the Black Isle, a lodge in Badaguish, a lovely house on the shores of Loch Ness, a hostel in Grantown on Spey and Wigwams on the outskirts of Inverness.
Carers told us they made the most of their 'free time' by, meeting up with family, spending quality time with other siblings, socialising with friends, taking part in hobbies, or by taking a short break themselves.
Mum also works and doesn't get a lot of sleep due to the demands of her work and caring life, so getting these breaks allows her to recharge her batteries, catch up on much needed sleep and allow her to sustain her caring role with renewed energy.
However A came back from the weekend envigorated, enthused about the time away and was excited about when the next trip away would be. A has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and suffers from acute anxiety. A returned looking happy and relaxed and carers reported that A was so pleased with himself that he had managed to do this weekend.
There was a discernible difference in confidence levels which subsequently had a whole knock on effect to other areas of his life, and this is something we would like to build on further. A's carers were obviously delighted and also look forward to their next weekend break.
What SNAP has learnedWe find with each year that we do this that there is never any lessening of the appetite or need for these outings and breaks, families are crying out for this support. As an organisation we continually have to change and develop our practice to fit the needs of our individuals who attend and keep it fun and exiting.
This is our challenge. Creative Breaks is a vital source of funding for us that allows us to offer much needed support to our families. SNAP continues to face the challenges of working with a small and select staff team who are only employed part-time. If key people are absent or unavailable for periods of time, it can place a huge amount of strain on the organisation to deliver an uninterrupted service, we realise this is common to other organisations in the care sector.