Social Clubs for young adults with challenging behaviour
A story by Orcadia Creative Learning Centre
To provide a weekly social club for isolated young adults with additional support needs and challenging behaviour between the ages of 20 and 30 so they can socialise and take part in monthly outings. The social club runs for 50 weeks of the year on Wednesday nights from 6 to 9pm. Club night also provides vital time off for the parent(s) of the young people who all live at home and many of their parent(s) may not be so young themselves or may have their own health issues.
What Social Clubs for young adults with challenging behaviour did
We have run a full programme of weekly activities on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9pm.
This is a very simple pleasure that most people take for granted but for Susan’s mum it is therapy, she can relax and ‘switch off’ safe in the knowledge that Susan is having a great time in a supported and stimulated environment that suits her needs.
She takes part in all the activities and especially enjoys art nights. She has gained in confidence and self esteem and often meets up with her friends to go to the cinema or bowling. Emma’s parents now go out for a meal just the two of them on most club nights, something they haven’t been able to do in a long long time.
Now he is becoming much more confident and has a few people he sits next to, and when he arrives others are asking how he is doing and giving him high fives. In the last few weeks in particular we have seen a big difference in Steven, he has now integrated well and has been giving ‘good news’ at the end of the night, standing and talking in front of the whole group.
Working together Staff at Orcadia and Mum have now encouraged Abbie to travel independently, this was done gradually from Mum putting Abbie on the bus from home and Orcadia staff escorting Abbie to the bus stop after the Club, always keeping in contact. Abbie has progressed so well that she now travels to Orcadia with her group of friends and last week for the first time she left the Club on her own to get her bus home. As a result of attending the Club Abbie and her fellow Club members have begun to socialise with each other beyond Club hours.
These days they often “go in for” each other on the way to the Club. We have seen a real change in Abbie’s behaviour as she is less anxious. She is far more settled in the Club and with her increased confidence is far more likely to join in with activities than previously, she has particularly flourished with the art projects and works well in the team building projects.
What Orcadia Creative Learning Centre has learnedWe have tried out a number of different formats for the club night and found what works best is where the young people initially come up with the ideas on what they would like to do or any places they wish to go to. This information is then made in to a 3 month programme a copy of which is given to all the participants.
For the evening there is a planned structure of different activities which the staff consider in advance of the evening. Usually there are around 4-5 different activities which the young adults participate in throughout the course of the evening. As the club takes place over 3 hours there is always a chill-out period where the young people can share a snack together in the café.