CARERS AND Family HOLIDAY ACTIVITY PROGRAMMES
Traditionally during school holidays Everybody Sport & Recreation Leisure Development has delivered a two hour activity session as part of its Disability & Inclusion programme. In 2015 attendances for these sessions were low, particularly with the summer programme, in comparison to previous years.
Consequently Everybody have been looking at ways to do something different with the holiday sessions to engage more families and young people.
In September 2015 Everybody was successful with a funding application to start an activity programme for carers. Since October the carer sessions have been running at several facilities across Cheshire East. As part of this programme there were a couple of sessions due to be held during February Half Term at Alsager Leisure Centre and Congleton Leisure Centre. However based on previous experience attendances were usually low due to the school holidays and parents having no child care available.
For February 2016 it was decided to do something different as a pilot session. Rather than run separate holiday and carer activity sessions Everybody combined both for one session at Alsager Leisure Centre to hopefully attract families to the session.
What activities took place?
The main holiday activities for young people ran in the main sports hall from 1-3pm. This included activities ranging from archery, wheelchair multi-sports, a giant bouncy castle, arts & crafts and much more.
Between 1-2pm there was a separate session in the small sports hall for carers to have the chance to try out some fun taster fitness classes suitable for all abilities. During this time their children were looked after in the main sports hall while parents and carers could tried out the taster activities thus removing a common barrier of looking after the cared for person.
From 2.30pm-4pm families had the opportunity to access the public inflatable swim for FREE!
- The holiday offer was very well received with a total of 55 children and adults attending the session.
- 8 adults took part in the taster session who have not attended a carer session previously. During this session people took part in PiYo, a combination of Pilates and Yoga, as well as Clubbercise.
- In the main sports hall there were arrange of activities available for people of all ages to try. This included the giant bouncy castle, arts & crafts, wheelchair basketball, soft archery, ten pin bowling, parachute games, badminton etc.
- There were coaches and volunteers supporting these activities. Parents had the opportunity to join in with the activities themselves, use the equipment to do some free play with the younger children if they didn’t want to take part in the main activity or relax and chat to other parents while their children were taking part in the activities.
- 7 families (approx. 8 adults and 16 young people) took up the option of going swimming by joining the public swim session running at the centre that afternoon.
There was fantastic feedback from the Carer and Family session with mentions all over social media and comments from the activity survey including how carers were gaining respite from these sessions and that the whole family could now be involved in getting active.
“We thought the event was great”
“There was a good range of activities and my non-disabled daughter also enjoyed it”
“The carers activity in a separate room gave us a bit of respite which was good”
“We enjoyed having a go with the wheelchair sports and we also had a go at badminton”
There are a number of activities and sessions planned for carers and their families throughout 2016. For more information about these activities please contact us on [email protected] or visit the Disability and Inclusion session pages