Summer Trips 2020
A story by jack and jill support group
We delivered our a nual Summer Programme. The children/young people and their carers enjoyed weekly trips though out the school summer holidays. Some of the places we went to were 5 sisters zoo, heads of Ayr farm park and M&Ds.
What Summer Trips 2020 did
The programme of short breaks that we delivered were trips to: M&Ds theme park, bowling trip, Clyde Valley Farm Park, 5 Sisters Zoo, Heads of Ayr Farm Park, Relaxation Classes & Mascot Bear visits delivering goodies.
Our project didn't go to plan and some of the venues selected were temporarily closed. The activities that were open, were all scheduled for the traditional every Thursday during the school summer holidays period. Due to COVID our summer trips were postponed until 6th August. This date was our first trip and we managed two trips before the children went back to school. All additional trips were fitted in on Saturdays. However, the trips were still deemed successful and enjoyed by the families who attended. It made a positive difference in the lives of carers and the people that they care for.
All trips were offered to all of our families that are part of our group. Some families didn't participate due to them being worried about COVID.
At Jack and Jill we employ 10 sessional support workers and they are the same workers as the previous year used for the summer trips. The children know the workers and comfortable with them.
Staff followed strict COVID guidelines and picked predominantly outdoor venues. The families that did participate found it to be hugely beneficial as with lockdown all our carers have felt isolated and worried.
What jack and jill support group has learned
Project Planning and budgeting - every year prices go up for event entrance, transport and activities. We must factor these increases in for our following year budget and when planning ahead.
All our families that attend the group are in need of support and the activity days/summer outings are offered to all of the group. However, due to COVID, some families opted to not going on the trips. Our priorities areas are: complex needs, transaction to adulthood, and sports and leisure.
We have attempted partnership working, but our families prefer to keep within their own group due to the children and adults having additional support needs and they have a close bond.
Unexpected changes, challenges and opportunities - We had to be flexible with our dates for our summer programme due to lockdown and many venues were closed. We mainly chose outdoor venues and staff were flexible with changes of dates. We actively apply to other funders to run various areas/projects of our group.
How jack and jill support group has benefitted from the funding
Our group have hugely benefitted, from the better breaks funding. The families reported that the children were happy to have trips and get to see their friends again. Carers had a beneficial short break and connected with other member carers.
Disabled children and young people will have more opportunities to have fun, develop friendships and do activities they enjoy. Target 1 - 30-50 people to attend our summer programme each week. Target 2 - A variety of 6 to 7 summer trips on offer that have been chosen by our members.
As mentioned earlier, the 2020 Summer was different to our expectation due to COVID. However, all the families that wanted to take part had a great experience and enjoyed the trips especially as we had just came out of strict lockdown.
I first met Child A in March 2020, Child A came and joined us at our allotment that we run. Child A who has global development disorder first came to meet the other kids and young adults he was exceptionally quiet and withdrawn. There was no eye contact, and his body language was giving signs of someone who didn’t want to be in the surrounding that he was in. Child A continued to attend the group every week then little signs of his personality were emerging. First of all child A would not look at me when I was speaking. Then, slowly Child A would move a little closer, and eventually sit down at the table among the rest of the group at snack time. This showed that barriers where coming down and trust was forming. With reference to the summer trips, child A went to different outings. One of them was to M&Ds amusement and rides. Which child A and his family attended. Child A didn’t want to stay with his family, he wanted to go with staff member and his own peers. The bond of trust between child A and group now fully there. This was a great turning point for child A as he had never been on any outing before, unless he was there with his family. When child A now comes to join in with the Jack and Jill group, He continues to thrive. We now hear stories about his love of play station, xbox and his first driving lesson that the Jack and Jill took him on. Also his love of the tv series still game. Child A is no longer that quiet withdrawn, and socially distant young man that he was when he first attended Jack and Jill support group. He is now an inspiration to us all. He is very happy, exceptionally funny and his infectious laughter fills the room.
Carers of disabled children and young people will have more opportunities to enjoy life outside of their caring role. Target 1 - 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.
Parents did have an amount of time each trip where they can be provided respite and were grateful to meet other parents/carers and have a short break on the trips from the children and young people.
Parent X, has two children with Additional Support Needs. The younger child awaits diagnosis.. Mum is often on her own with her children as her partner works. When asking parent X about the benefits of having short support during the weekly trips she reported. I have attended this group for many years now and you both are a breathe of fresh air with regards to everything you do for us. The lockdown has affected everyone but families with children with additional Support needs had struggled extremely and appear to have been misrepresented with regards to support and education. The Jack and Jill group have brightened my darkest hours with the support they offer me and the activities and visits for my children. What I do enjoy is the break on these trips and the summer holidays can be a very long time for the children and trying to keep them entertained.
Carers of disabled children /young people will feel better supported to sustain their caring role. Target 1 - Support staff will provide 1 hour respite per trip giving carers a chance to connect with other carers. Target 2 - Staff will provide enjoyable activities to young people at the allotment
Alongside the summer trips, that were late in starting we also run the allotment classes on a Sunday. Which were very well attended and were fantastic as it was outdoors and most of the children's other groups/clubs were postposed.
Carer Y joined the jack and Jill support group before lockdown and knew a few families that attend. However she states that she wanted to join in 2019 and never quite got round to it. Carer Y has has 2 children with additional support needs. When asked what were the benefits to you as a carer on the summer programme and what did you enjoy most. She spoke of the allotment classes and how she didn't normally leave child B even with family members. My child expressed that he had a great passion for art. Which was encouraged during the art session that we were held at the allotment. Child B is an exceptional artist in his own right that shines through bright colours and drawing of happiness and freedom. I was nervous at leaving my child but instantly he bonded with peers and that gave me great happiness. Also I enjoyed having a coffee with other carers and being able to share experiences and have some me time.