Social Development for young people with autism
Children and young people with autism and/or learning disabilities experience social exclusion everyday. Our Social Development Project provides them with stimulating interactions with a wider peer group (of volunteers) during the school holidays when their sense of isolation tends to be most acute.
December 2017 - August 2018
Charity information: Kith & Kids
Our Social Development Project addresses the big shortage of out-of-school activities for children and young people 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.
Our Project takes place during the three main school holidays. It links the disabled participants with two volunteers each (close in age to them wherever possible) 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.
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 people per project, recruiting and training 70 volunteers for each project, running 20 creative/sports sessions per week
Disabled young people will have improved social and everyday living skills as well as increased confidence.
Progress (on individual learning targets) is recorded in disabled participants' 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.
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.
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 - Project Cost: £9,600Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £2,400 activity leader fees holding 20 creative/sports sessions during Christmas project £2,400 activity leader fees holding 20 creative/sports sessions during Easter project £4,800 activity leader fees holding 40 creative/sports sessions during summer project
Our project takes place in schools and day centres in Haringey (6th most deprived borough in London), including Northumberland Park School which is in the top 3% of most deprived wards nationally. The diversity of the borough overall is reflected in our projects - over 50% of disabled participants come from low income families and over 37% are from BME backgrounds (over 50% for volunteers).
Around 40 children/young people with autism and/or learning disabilities, their families and around 150 volunteers (majority in 16-30 age group). Disabled children/young people 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.
The Social Development Project (launched 1971) is at the centre of all our other activities, and is the springboard for new developments (e.g. friendship clubs, weekly healthy living activities, 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 the project is 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.
Project Manager with over 25 years experience in learning disability and volunteering fields. Provides excellent leadership, support for all involved.
Project Coordinator with 5 years experience in learning disability field, reassuring presence for all participants, leads youth group within project.
Long term volunteer, now training as speech and language therapist. Works on project as sessional organiser of team-support volunteers.