A story by Barnardos
The Better Breaks Wiston Lodge Project provides activity days and residential respite experiences for children and young people with complex needs and/or disabilities.
What Wiston Lodge did
The project is delivered from Melbourne House where we already have an establishment of permanent and as & when staff who were utilised to deliver the programmes. The services we deliver (including Wiston Lodge ) are supported by a large number of volunteers. The opportunity for volunteers to support the project was advertised through the ongoing recruitment and induction of our volunteers. As a result, several volunteers took part in the Wiston Lodge activity days and residentials.
The children and young people who accessed Wiston Lodge were mostly known to us, however we also worked with children referred to us through the local Children's Disability Service and the Supporting Families Service.
Over the year we provided 5 residential breaks of 48 hour each to groups of 6 to 8 children and/or young people. We provided 9 activity days to a total of 54 children/young people.
The carers reported their ability to relax knowing that their child was taking part in activities and experiences that they were enjoying and growing from. Parents/carers stated that they knew and trusted the staffs' knowledge and understanding of their child which allowed carers to take full advantage of the break from care provided.
What Barnardos has learned
The funding Barnardo's received for the Wiston Lodge Programmes has been provided by two Barnardo's Disability Services. What the West Lothian services and North Lanarkshire services have provided in partnership with Wiston Lodge brings this type of break into the mainstream of service provision and challenges more traditional ways of providing breaks from care.
Wiston Lodge has been advertised through Signpost (a local information and advice service) The referral criteria was designed to reach those families who were not already known to us. To date we have had interest from one family. The view is that the cost is expensive. However in the advertising we identified funding streams that families could apply to for financial assistance.