A story by Barnardos Apna Project
Disabled Children and Young People from Glasgow’s BME community attended our Summer School Holiday playscheme, 3 times a week for 4 weeks, providing them with fun activities while their carers benefit from respite breaks.
What Summer Playscheme did
The project delivered 12 days of summer playscheme during school summer holidays for children and young people with disabilities from ages 5 to 18 years, in Glasgow’s BME community.
The play scheme offered well-structured activities to stimulate creativity and improve the children’s health and wellbeing, e.g. games to improve physical health, interactive arts and crafts sessions, and trips to local attractions.
The majority of the children and young people accessed our summer playscheme had a high level of support need, which requires a staff ratio of 1:1. We also required specialised minibuses that were fully equipped to support disabled children and wheelchairs, so we can take the children and young people out. In addition, culturally appropriate lunches and other refreshments were provided.
The play scheme was three days/week, for four weeks during the summer holiday 2019. Our base is The Ark building, Govanhill, where we have a wide range of resources designed to engage and stimulate children and young people with disabilities. They also participated in outdoor activities/trips e.g. Glasgow Climbing Centre, local parks for picnics.
The play scheme gave carers a much-needed respite break, where they were able to relax knowing that their children are engaging in a creative and culturally sensitive activity programme. This had positive impact on the wellbeing of the whole family.
What Barnardos Apna Project has learned
We know from the families that we work with that short respite breaks are vital services for BME families who, for cultural reasons, do not want to send their children to overnight respite care.
When carers are given the time to relax, they are in a position to provide better care for their other children, which contributes to reduced stress within the family home and greater family wellbeing, alleviating the risk of family break up.
How Barnardos Apna Project has benefitted from the funding
The awareness of the project increased during the summer playscheme because carers were telling other families about the service. It definitely strengthen the reputation of Apna service.
Children and young people will be more relaxed and happy due to the experience of having fun and enjoying a variety of activities in the playscheme. They will have friends to enjoy and spend time with people of their ages.
This outcome was fully achieved. Children and young people participated in a varieties of outdoor and indoors activities. The feedback from their families told us that they were very happy to see their children enjoying the time when they were in the playscheme.
OB is a 8 year old boy with severe learning disability. His mum is single parent who was very ill during the school holiday time. OB and his brother who also have learning disability attended the club. They really enjoyed taking part in all the activities. Their mum got a much needed rest when they were in the playscheme.
Carers will understand the value of taking time out for themselves and be sustaining new hobbies or activities they developed during the respite periods. Carers will feel more confident about accessing respite for their children and young people, understanding how it benefits the whole family.
The outcome was fully achieved. All the carers got break from their caring roles when their children attended the playscheme. The feedback from them suggested that although they would have liked longer break but a break for 4 weeks was also very well received.
OB and BB's mum was very ill during the summer school holiday time. She has no family support and was in and out of the hospital. It was a very important for her to know that her boys are doing something fun while she was resting or visiting doctors. The break she got was very valuable for her and gave her time to rest to recover from her illness.
We will have provided a strong support for carers, where all their needs are met. Carers will feel confident and empowered in their caring role, benefiting from the chance to relax in a safe space and share experiences and learn from other carers.
This outcome was also achieved as carers were confident that their children who were attending the playscheme were very happy. This made them relax and they were able to enjoy the free time which mostly spend either relaxing or spending time with their other children.
Z D's mum is very busy at her work and was bit anxious how she is going to manage her work during the summer school holiday. She only managed to get a person to look after her children at home for 2 days. She was very happy to know that her children can go to playscheme for 3 days a week. She was excited to know that they will take part a range of activities and will be very happy with other children.