A story by Stanmore Playscheme
Stanmore Playscheme was delivered in school holidays at Stanmore House School. It offered safe, appropriate play, sporting, expressive arts and outdoor activities for young people with severe additional support needs.
The playscheme is organised by a voluntary committee and run by paid trained staff.
What Stanmore Playscheme did
Stanmore Playscheme operates during the school holidays. We provide a safe environment for young people with severe additional support needs. The playscheme is run by experienced staff allowing parents/ carers time to pursue their own activities. The young people particularly enjoyed the Samba band.
What Stanmore Playscheme has learned
We have rolled out new personal plans which are more comprehensive. We have created and distributed information leaflets about the scheme to a number of special schools and social work departments.
We have included more expressive art specialists to lead activities. All of the above have improved the services we offer to families/young people who are in need of specialised support.
How Stanmore Playscheme has benefitted from the funding
By giving us more funds to pay expressive arts specialists. Relieve the pressure of fundraising as our parents can struggle with finances and as we are a very small committee run by volunteers we find it hard to do this .
The young people will be able to indicate via their communication systems that they have been happy and enjoyed fun friendship, they will indicate pleasure when shown pictures and video footage of themselves engaged in games and recreational activities.
We had additional playschemes on Sundays during autumn and winter when a Samba Band engaged with our young people. Pictures demonstrate the young peoples joy in taking part- listening to the beat of the drums and helping to create music with support. Young people were able to use their specific communication systems to indicate they enjoyed specific activities and also took pleasure in seeing pictures/video footage of themselves taking part in their favourite activities.
A. has autism and prefers to be on his own, however he was drawn to the Samba Band , engaged with the Samba Band members offering to "beat the drums" and showing his "buddy "what to do. He danced and smiled and his parents remarked on how happy and more sociable he was after this session.
Parents and carers are happier and relaxed within their family settings assured that their youngsters are having a good time when at playscheme being assured that their youngsters are being supported by trained staff who understand their needs in a safe environment.
Our parents/carers have indicated that they relax while their young people are at playscheme. Communication diaries which are 2 way, allowed parents knowledge of their child's play activities and responses and peace of mind was given to our parents. Parents have indicated via their evaluation forms that their youngster is usually calm, relaxed and happy on their return from playscheme.
Parents of A. were able to do their Christmas shopping while A. attended our December playscheme day, safe in the knowledge of their sons enjoyment and experience they bought him drums for Christmas. We heard of their positive comments via our evaluation forms.
Young people will be looking forward to attending next holiday playschemes and will indicate to their parents/carers that they wish to attend again taking cognisance of their happy memories via their pictorial diaries.
Evaluation forms have been read and discussed by the committee members and cognisance has been taken of suggestions. Parents have received their communication diaries and news letters. New personal plans were trialled at October Playscheme.
Parents of M have commented that they think new personal plans are comprehensive and find daily communication diaries are essential but comforted by the thought that they can call at anytime and check on their sons health but so want him to attend and experience the activities with his friends. We have continued to invite parents to committee meetings and to visit the playscheme but distance and the fact that they are relaxing and enjoying precious time to themselves makes this difficult.