A story by JACK AND JILL SUPPORT GROUP
We delivered summer trips, the funding allowed us to take our members away for 6 day trips throughout the summer holidays.
This is a difficult time for parents and families who are isolated and living in poverty and looking after a child with additional support needs.
What Summer Outings did
Our short Break activities 2018-2019 gave our carers a break from being a main carer and we had plenty of sessional staff to assist in our Thursday weekly trips. This was as beneficial to the carers as to the children and everyone had a fantastic time.
As mentioned our activities for the summer were days out on the Thursday beginning with Heads of Ayr farm park on the 5th July 2019, followed by Troon on 12th July, The peoples palace and trikes on 19th July, The 5 sisters zoo 26th July, M&D's theme park on 2nd August and Blair Drummond Safari park on 9/8/19.
Outwith this we had a drop in for families every Tuesday of the summer holidays from 11am-1pm. All of these sessions were offered to all of our members. The project was very successful as parents received 1 hour minimum respite and the children enjoyed the safe environments.
What JACK AND JILL SUPPORT GROUP has learned
I have learned about project planning and budgeting breakdowns. We regularly try to engage new member to our group as we have recently got new business cards made and have attended a few additional support needs funday's at school and in the local community to promote our group.
Additionally we have met with Health visitors in the Coatbridge, Airdrie, Motherwell, Wishaw and Shotts and Bellshill to promote our service.
How JACK AND JILL SUPPORT GROUP has benefitted from the funding
Our organisation as benefitted from being able to continue with the annual summer trips which offer respite for the families and familiar surroundings.
Children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) will have more opportunities to have fun, develop friendships and do activities they enjoy. That everyone will have had an enjoyable time and can look back with fond memories of their time spent with the group.
A variety of 7 summer outings that have been chosen by our members. 20 families to attend our summer activity program each week.
The Jack and Jill Support Group was set up over 26 years ago as a parent support group. Jack and Jill ethos is if we have happy guardians/parents/carers and kinship carers we have happy children. Our children and young people are involved in decisions such as what trips and activities we will be organising, this takes place during the Easter holidays. Although this case study is about the child/young person, the whole family input is equally important from a holistic approach. The writer met up with the whole family from Case Study B at the beginning of February 2019. Mum B has 3 children, aged 12 (Child A), 9 (child B) and 5 (child c). Child A is on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The middle child at 9 is a young carer. My little one at 5 has issues going on but he’s too young to be diagnosed and labelled. My youngest additionally has multiple food allergies (predominately being, diary, eggs and wheat intolerance). He often can have a lot of sickness around this and sometimes I know if he has eaten something he shouldn’t have as he will have a hive on his face. Mum is married, however dad works away Monday to Friday and Mum throughout the traditional school week has main responsibility of the children. Mum has family and in-laws nearby but don’t offer much support due to work commitments and being elderly. I asked mum “What do you your kids say when someone asks about Jack and Jill”? My kids and I laugh say that they are our second family. We call them ‘Our Jack and Jill Family’. I asked all the children individually what things they liked about Jack and Jill, Child (A) who is 12, said “I really enjoy going to the caravan every year” When I explored further, Child A said” He loves that his good friends are there and they go and have fun at the complex and can play games”. I asked mum what Child A likes about the caravan and she said “Well, I will tell you what he likes about the caravan. It’s like he’s getting a sleepover and he loves that. As he is autistic and it’s hard for me or other mums from the school to do sleepovers. Mum also highlighted the parent support group is great as children who go to Additional Support Needs Schools are picked up by bus or taxi to school and mum misses out on the school gate talking to other mums. Child (B) who is 9, and is a young carer, said “Well I love to go to the Xmas party and the family night and dance all night with my friends” and listed quite a few. Mum highlighted that child B is often with her 2 male siblings and as the typical household goes, child B doesn’t get on with her brothers and highlights how she loves to go to Jack and Jill family events as everyone is treated and seen as an equal. Child A is very caring and can be sensitive to other people’s feeling. For example the writer observes when she is within the group she displays her caring side and befriending not only children her own age but younger ones to and display great patience. Additionally, she loves everyone in the group wither disabled or not which is lovely to observe. The writer suggested to mum that there is a cookery class block starting in a few weeks’ time and Child B should come along to get some time away from the boys. Mum said that’s a great idea. Also we will be putting on something in the near future for young carers. Child C who is 5, said “I love when we go to the beach. Louise, helped me build a sandcastle and chased me. It was fun” He also said that he loved Blair Drummond but there was too much to remember all the animals and things he did. When speaking with the children together it is obvious that they all have a true love of animals, they have dogs and reptiles which the children showed me. The children spoke of loving the Blair Drummond park and 5 sister zoo visits also. In conclusion, family B joined the jack and Jill support group 3 years ago. They heard about it through word of mouth. Mum said “I don’t work so I attend the Thursday morning group most weeks. I and my children have met lifelong friends that we might not have met otherwise”. Furthermore, mum spoke of the summer programme.” is outstanding and we all equally look forward to them for different reasons” It was highlighted to the writer “As a demented parent with 7 weeks long holidays and lack of finances to take them all out time on a regular basis. Additionally, II struggle taking the 3 of them out myself. They can be a handful, my eldest is very boisterous. The writer highlights a common voice from the support group is that it’s hard for families with disabled children to access services and support over the summer, the trips make families feel less isolated.
What will success look like for your project in 12 months’ time? Parents will have had an amount of time on each trip where they can be provided respite.
Support staff will provide a minimum of 1 hour to each family per trip, target 2 Support staff will run activities with young people during centre times.
What will success look like for your project in 12 months’ time? Parents/Carers feel more confident within their role as a main carer and can support each other through difficult times knowing support is available to them.
Support staff to provide 1 hour respite per trip to give carers a chance to connect with other members carers. Staff will provide enjoyable activities to young people at times within the centre.
Our families can look back with fond memories of the experiences they have had at the times spent on the trips and within the centre.
7 weekly summer trips and support staff to provide respite sessions during the time on these summer programmes.