Since the beginning of lockdown, PaCC steering group reps and colleagues from Amaze met weekly via Zoom to discuss the many issues that families were facing because of Covid restrictions. A regular theme of discussion was the lack of access to open spaces, the lack of leisure opportunities, the lack of PAs and the concerning aspect of isolation that remaining within the home brings.
In June, PaCC sensed a mounting anxiety ‘how will families cope in the summer holidays?’ after four months of lockdown. Fiona England (PaCC chair), raised with senior leads at BHCC a likely under spend on the Inclusion budget (that pays for 1.1 support for CYP in mainstream schools to attend after school clubs and holiday clubs). Georgina Clarke Green, Assistant Director for Send confirmed that there was an under spend and agreed to use the money to allocate funding to PaCC partners that successfully submitted an offer of summer activities, both outdoor and online.
We wanted to bring you a small round up of info, quotes and photos from families who benefited from this exciting project:
Fresh Youth Perspectives – The Mind, Body and Football project with Mentivity
Fresh Youth Perspectives and Mentivity supported young people aged 11-19 during the summer holidays. The project supports positive mental, well-being to help counteract the negative feelings many are facing due to Covid-19 and the impact of lockdown, bereavement, loss and anxiety and to empower young people to make positive contributions to their lives. This took place during football coaching sessions. 17 young people from the BAME community benefited from this important project and you can view some highlights here.
Pebbles organised a number of trips out to leisure parks and venues, including Knockhatch Farm and Drusillas Park. Parent carers’ had positive feedback about the trips:
“Money is very tight so we wouldn’t have gone on these trips if it wasn’t for funding. (It) gave us a real lift emotionally knowing we were going on a trip and that we would know lots of people to chat to… who will offer help if we need it.”
“(An) opportunity to spend quality time as a family doing something we usually wouldn’t afford to be able to do. Was a real treat and really made the holidays!”
“Participating in activities alongside other families facing similar struggles offers a supportive environment and reduces feelings of isolation.”
T21 Brighton and Hove alongside Brighton and Hove Table Tennis club and the Down Syndrome Development Trust also offered online and outdoor activities. Singing hands were a popular feature as was table tennis.
Yvonne Smith and her daughter Ellie say ‘Our Ellie is a regular at Singing Hands and has loved every opportunity of joining in. Her Makaton signing wouldn’t be as progressed without these sessions, that’s for sure. A big thanks to all who have made it possible’
Linsey and her daughter Kezia really enjoyed Table Tennis on the Level ‘It was so wonderful to be interacting with real people again after so long stuck with just her Mum and brother for company. Kezia found her focus again really quickly and loved playing against her favourite people’
Anna and her son Ben went kayaking at Hove Lagoon ‘Ben had the most amazing time joining in with kayaking at the Lagoon and meeting some new young people. It was the first time he had ever been in a single kayak by himself and was so great for him to learn a new skill”
PaCC will continue to talk with decision makers at BHCC to stress the importance of projects such as these. We will keep you posted if we can successfully influence the need for these projects to be sustainable.