Project information

Social Development for young people with autism

Children and young adults with autism and/or learning disabilities experience social exclusion everyday. Our Social Development Projects and Clubs provide them with stimulating interactions with a wider peer group (of volunteers) during the times (holidays/weekends) when they are most isolated.

December 2018 - November 2019

Charity information: Kith & Kids

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  • Need

    Need

    Our Social Development Projects and Clubs address the big shortage of out-of-school/college activities for children and young adults with autism and/or learning disabilities in North London and their desire to mix with a wider peer group. To help them overcome their isolation they need additional support and specialised activities that take into account their special needs. By accessing such activities their (usually low) self-esteem is greatly enhanced as are their confidence and social skills

    Solution

    We run our Projects in the main school holidays and Clubs during term-time weekends. Disabled participants are linked with volunteers (usually close in age to them) who help them actively participate in the extensive range of activities on offer, including music, drama, art, dance, video-making, sports, cooking and IT workshops, as well as days out to places of individual choice. The trained volunteers provide the interaction with a wider peer group on which the disabled young people thrive,

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To run 3 Social Development Projects during the main school holidays (Christmas, Easter, Summer).


    Activities

    » The Christmas Project (5 days) provides 4 creative/sports sessions per day for each participant and their volunteers, led by special activity leaders
    » The Easter Project (5 days) provides 4 creative/sports sessions per day for each participant and their volunteers, led by special activity leaders
    » The Summer Project (10 days) provides 4 creative/sports sessions per day for each participant and their volunteers, led by special activity leaders

    What success will look like

    Success will be including up to 35 disabled children/young adults per project, recruiting and training 70 volunteers for each project, running 20 creative/sports sessions per week


    Aim 2

    To run 18 Weekend Clubs (6 per term) which provide a wide range of creative activities and sports


    Activities

    » Spring term has 6 club sessions where volunteers support disabled participants to actively participate in creative/sports activities and day trips
    » Summer term has 6 club sessions where volunteers support disabled participants to actively participate in creative/sports activities and day trips
    » Autumn term has 6 club sessions where volunteers support disabled participants to actively participate in creative/sports activities and day trips

    What success will look like

    Success will be including up to 25 disabled children/young adults in each term's clubs, recruiting and training as many volunteers , running 18 creative/sports sessions per term


  • Impact

    Impact

    Disabled children and young adults will have improved social and everyday living skills as well as increased confidence.
    Progress (on individual learning targets) is recorded in individual profiles from participants' own reporting, observations by staff and volunteers and feedback from parents.
    Volunteers gain skills and experience for work/studies. We track their progress through the references we provide for them and their self reported success in accessing work/studies of choice.

    Risk

    Volunteer recruitment is a big challenge particularly as volunteering patterns are changing (in favour of shorter spells of volunteering and one-off volunteering). We have increased the number of training opportunities for new volunteers, improved our automated enquiry email responses, increased our telephone and text contacts, and are using social media more extensively (Facebook, twitter, instagram) both for recruiting new volunteers and retaining existing volunteers.

    Reporting

    Donors will receive a newsletter reporting on the projects' progress after each main school holiday (3 times per year) always with an invitation to visit the next project if they like to see it in action. We will also email alerting them to Facebook posts about the project while it takes place.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £13,200

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,400 activity leader fees holding 80 creative/sports sessions during Christmas project
      £2,400 activity leader fees holding 80 creative/sports sessions during Easter project
      £4,800 activity leader fees holding 160 creative/sports sessions during summer project
      £1,200 activity leader fees holding 50 creative/sports sessions during spring term
      £1,200 activity leader fees holding 50 creative/sports sessions during summer term
      £1,200 activity leader fees holding 50 creative/sports sessions during autumn term
  • Background

    Location

    Our projects and clubs take place in schools and day centres in Haringey (6th most deprived borough in London), including Northumberland Park School (now Duke's Aldridge Academy) which is in the top 3% of most deprived wards nationally. The diversity of the borough overall is reflected in our projects and clubs. Over 50% of disabled participants come from low income families and over 37% are from BME backgrounds (over 50% for volunteers).

    Beneficiaries

    Around 45 children/young adults with autism and/or learning disabilities, their families and around 200 volunteers (majority in 16-30 age group). Disabled children/young adults will gain skills, confidence and a sense of friendship with a wider peer group. The latter is provided by volunteers who gain important skills and experience for work/studies. During the project parents receive much needed respite and can give their other children more attention than they would otherwise be able to.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our Social Development Projects (launched 1971) are at the centre of all our other activities, and are the springboard for other developments (e.g.weekend clubs, football and running clubs, choir). Our Projects Manager has over 25 years experience in the learning disability field and our volunteer training is highly rated. Regular feedback from families prove that our projects/clubs are highly valued by them and their disabled children who love the individual support and the wide activity range

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Robin Stone

    Project Manager with over 25 years experience in learning disability and volunteering fields. Provides excellent leadership, support for all involved.

    Elizabeth Smith

    Project Coordinator with 5 years experience in learning disability field, reassuring presence for all participants, leads youth group within project.

    Scarlett Tozer

    Long term volunteer, qualified speech and language therapist. Works on projects as sessional organiser of team-support volunteers.