Summer Trips 2021
A story by Jack and Jill Support Group
We delivered 6 summer trips for our families and children to attend over the school holidays (every Thursday) in summer 2021
What Summer Trips 2021 did
The project funded was our annual Summer Activity program. Every year we take part in trips and outings that the whole family can enjoy. This year we had a cinema and Mcdonalds day, a visit to Portabello Beach, Troon Beach, Heads of Ayr and the final trip was split into 2 trips Blair Drummond/Edinburgh Zoo. We also provide coach transport to and from the centre to ensure there are no barriers to accessing our trips. Some of our families struggle not only financially but some children and young people have poor mobility so we offer multi pick up points for our trips. Usually 5/6 points within North Lanarkshire. Such as Caldercruix, Airdrie, Carfin, Bellshill and viewpark.
The activities took take in the summer holidays in 2021. 6 weekly trips every Thursday of the summer holidays . The activities are picked by the parents/carers and their children.
These weekly trips were offered to all our families. The trips give families a chance to make memories and develop strong connections with each other. The support group also provides staff members to give extra support to those with complex additional support needs to give parents a chance to enjoy some respite time away from their caring roles. We believe we not only support young peoples emotional wellbeing but we also give parents an opportunity to seek the support of others in a similar situation which can be the most helpful time of support possible.
Our summer project addresses and promotes safety, friendships and relationships, socialisation, and having fun regardless of disabilities. Which improves quality of life and promotes independence. Also this is a safe environment for our families to enjoy time together and have staff give brief amount of respite. Often our families speak of how long the summer period is and how hard it is when the children are disabled .
With the above this will give our carers more opportunity to enjoy their lives outside of their current caring roles and carer’s will feel better supported to sustain their caring role . which also leads to improved wellbeing of the carers and their young adults.
The annual project went well and was successful.
What Jack and Jill Support Group has learned
Planning and budgeting of the summer project is a vert difficult thing to forecast. Also in 2020, the maximum unconstituted groups can receive is £5000, so we have had to adjust out trips to cheaper venues and one or 2 trips we dont need a bus.
COVID 19 restricting were still in place throughout some of the summer trips and its hard for groups who are protection vulnerable families to keep up to date with the changes and families were frustrated. For example Blair Drummond Safari Park were not letting group bookings in so families that normally like to go to the Sarafi park and didnt drive or have a friend to take them. Had to opt for the bus option to the Zoo.
Developing new activities. Every year we try to introduce new classroom games into our summer programme. This year the children really enjoyed the ZipZapZOP game that staff played with them.
How Jack and Jill Support Group has benefitted from the funding
Our organisation like every year that we receive the Better Break funding benefit hugely from the funding. We are funding fairly small amounts from several funders and Shared Care Scotland have given us every year for the Better Breaks. Think of COVID restrictions. Many of our children didn't understand why their lives have been changed by COVID and their strict routines. The families really enjoyed the trips and it gave them things to look forward TO. The money we received ensures that we can have an annual summer trip.
That everyone will have had an enjoyable time and can look back with fond memories of their time spent with us in summer 2021. As they have had previously with pictures and family feedback 30-50 people to attend our summer activity program each week A variety of 6 to 7 summer trips
Our project outcome 1 was achieved as the feedback we received from families. Additionally families had weekly opportunities to have fun meeting with their friends and taking part in activities they wanted to do
C joined 2 years ago when the boys were 3. C has twin boys. She contacted the speech and language for additional help and support. Child A communication not great and little vocabulary used and frustrated as he cant express his feeling and needs. He doesnt like strangers also and uses screaming as a deterrent. My other child B got a nursery place at 2.5 years old as support for us. Child B is great at home socially but will use his brother as a comfort blanket. Outside the house Child B copies child As behavior's (ie screaming, running asway and not listening). When I came to to the summer trips last year and met staff the boys were withdrawn. The summer trips were amazing as staff built up a relationship with the boys and they more time they spent, the boys were settling more. For example on the first trip the boys were weary of the surroundings and other members in the group as they hadn't seen a lot of members for a long time with COVID restrictions. As the trips increased and the weeks went on their was an increase in the boys behaviour towards other children in the group and the staff. By the end of the summer trips the boys built up great relationships with other members and were willing to participate without parents being there which was a big achievement for myself and my boys.
Parents will have had an amount of time each trip where they can be provided respite. Capture the moment forms and feedback comments. Support staff will provide a minimum of 1 hour to each family per trip. Support staff will run activities with young people during Centre times.
Our project outcome 2 was achieved as the feedback we received from families through feedback and pictures. Carers will have more opportunities to enjoy their outside their caring roles.
The B family has 3 male children on the autistic spectrum and a daughter aged 18 who is a young carer with anxiety problems and scoliosis. I first met the B family in January 2021. They had heard of the group and the work that we do. They emailed us and me and another staff member did a doorstep visit to explain about the group. Dad said the group has been a lifeline over the pandemic as many other similar groups were not offering any activities or support groups. They also say that the families they have met are all lovely. Child J is 7 years old and has behavioural issues (with anger and his routine being changed) and has autism spectrum disorder. Child Z is 10 years old and has autism spectrum disorder, Thrombocy Topenia, Pica, was non-verbal until 2 years ago, poor eyesight, a learning disability and runs away quickly with no sense of danger. Doesn’t like anyone touching him and reacts by biting. Z also has sensory issues and doesn’t like to keep his clothes on. He also needs assistance to the bathroom and has a therapy dog. Child N is 20 years old, he has Asperger’s, was non-verbal until the age of 6, has a learning disability, Dysmorphic Facial features, anxiety issues, auditory processing disorder and Foetal Valproate Syndrome. Mum and dad have their own health issues too which makes their lives very busy and chaotic at times. Both parents come on all trips as the children can be a challenging. The family have been on recent trips to Wiston lodge and engaged in the summer programme which they say, “it’s been great to get out and meet other families with similar issues”. Mum said Josh has loved the allotment and he has formed a great friendship with O. Mum said that he speaks of all the children at the weekly allotment and knows their names. It is staff’s observation that Child J loves the allotment and has fun and has formed friendships with a few of the children his age group. When asking child J what he likes about J&J he said I liked over the summer trips and getting a strawberry milk shake and seeing the cows getting milked. But it was smelly”. Child J also said, “I like the yoga and exploring for beasties at the allotment”. Child Z said “he likes the beach and getting ice cream”
Parents will more confident within their role as a carer and can support each other through difficult times knowing support is available. Parent evaluation Support staff will provide 1 hour respite per trip to give carers a chance to connect with other member carers. Enjoyable activities
Outcome 3 was achieved. Carers feel Better support to sustain their caring roles. This was through parent evaluation forms that were completed and case studies.
We are a fairly new family to the Jack and Jill support group, that I heard about through word of mouth. I have 2 children. One child is non verbal and severally autistic. My husband usually goes on outings with me but I went on the summer trips with the group and it was great to realise that I can enjoy my role as a carer as all the parents and families were lovely and invited me into the group. Mum were offered to go for a cup of tea by staff and replied "No we dont usually leave the children. Staff reassured Mum that the kids were safe and she could see us from the cafeteria in the park and to go and get a cup of tea. Another mum she recognised from the school offered to go with her. And when they came back she said I feel so relaxed and it was great to get a wee break and chart with nice parents. What a wonderful group". The parent attended most of the summer trips thereafter.