The Butterfly Club
A story by The Butterfly club
We organised and ran a summer club for children and young people aged 5-18 with severe and complex learning difficulties.
We worked closely in partnership with a third sector organisation to deliver stimulating actives and provide opportunities which may not otherwise be available, in a fun and safe environment.
What The Butterfly Club did
Over the last year we held monthly committee and steering group meetings with Quarriers to plan staffing, training, outings and risk assessments, home visits, school visits and transport to make sure the club ran smoothly. Adverts went out in local papers, colleges and recruitment websites to find staff who were then interviewed by both Quarriers and the committee. Chosen staff were then allocated a child and conducted both school and home visits to enable them to complete a care plan. Staff worked closely with both school staff and parents and also attended core and child specific training.
Each child was offered 8 days, 9:30-3:30, throughout the summer period at a cost of £10 per day. Activities included country parks with guided nature walks, all ability bikes, Whitelee Wind Farm and Castle Semple speed boats. Children/young people also had access to the therapy pool, sensory studio and outdoor spaces available at James Macfarlane School where the club was held. On the final day of the club all children and young people attended a fun day with their families which was held at the school. There was lunch provided, hoots owls came for the day and there was bouncy castles to play on outside.
The "Butterflies" also put on a short show for their families and were each presented with a certificate and photo book keepsake of their summer. A total of 29 children/young people with Additional Support Needs attended the 2015 club with 2 team leaders, 22 support staff and 2 volunteers.
This in-turn means I not only get to spend quality time with my daughter but it allows me to have a regular break from trying to juggle my time between 2 children who have very different needs and allows me some time out from constantly supervising my son and dealing with his personal care needs and challenging behaviours.
Having these regular breaks also gives me some "me" time to just sit and read a book with a nice coffee and have no interruptions for a short time and this is invaluable when the rest of my time can be very stressful, intense, exhausting and sometimes chaotic!!" Parent of a senior Butterfly.
When she goes to the club we get to spend family time together doing things we cannot do when she is around, simple things like watching a film together or going for a walk, safe in the knowledge that she is having fun herself. The Butterfly club allows this to happen and makes our holidays so much more bearable. "
Parent of a junior Butterfly
What The Butterfly club has learnedWe have learned that in order to make sure everyone is able to access the club we should not only put out letters, which can be hard to understand or be lost, but also phone everyone to confirm of decline their space.
Also that some outings were not suitable, paticularly for the wheelchair users, and will be taken off our list.
With the fundng from better breaks our project would not have been possible and we would have to limit the number of children we can take as our biggest expense is staffing.