The Anthony Lillis project provides safe, and stimulating play opportunities for children, and young people with complex needs; many of whom have been turned away by other organisations due to their needs being considered ‘too difficult’ to meet. We’re pleased to be able to meet the needs of these children, and young people, and to be supporting them in their healthy development through adolescence.
It’s a wonderful project, and it wouldn’t be such a successful one without our incredible staff team.
All of the staff team on the Lillis project are dedicated to improving opportunities for children, and young people with complex needs, and play-worker, Kwame is no exception. He’s kindly offered to tell us a bit about his time on the Lillis project, and his experiences with the Play Association so far!
“Hi – my name is Kwame, and I am a play worker with the Play Association. My role generally involves creating fun, and inclusive activities to develop children’s learning in motivating ways. I specialise in supporting children with learning difficulties through play oriented activities, and tend to support individuals who have behavioural challenges, on a 1:1 basis, helping them to be as independent as possible, and enabling them to enjoy a range of activities.
I really enjoy my role, and always look forward to Saturdays, and school holidays, when I’m due to be working on the project. I believe that it is when we are all having fun that the best links are made between us, and when children learn best.
I came to be involved with this organisation through my work within a school for young people on the Autistic Spectrum, where a colleague of mine suggested I apply to work for the Play Association. The majority of my colleagues on the Lillis project also work in schools for children with complex needs, meaning that we all have a good amount of experience in this field.
Within the role at my school, I work in a class team, and on a 1:1 basis with young people who have complex behavioural needs, generally associated with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and or additional learning needs. I also teach some sports sessions within the school, and have coordinated other extra-curricular clubs, and activities.
I am passionate about working with children, and young people who have additional needs, and there are countless reasons why, but if I had to name just a few, I would say that the best aspects of this project are: the wide-range of educational, and fun activities on offer, being able to see that the young people we work with are clearly enjoying themselves, learning all the while, and the fact that the relationships between our staff, and the young people using our service are always very positive. The project also provides a safe environment where trust can be built, the atmosphere of the team is professional, I learn a great deal from my colleagues, and feel like I’m constantly developing in my practice. The Senior Management team also support us well, there are good opportunities for career development, and the support network in the working environment is phenomenal, resulting in a real sense of community! And, most importantly, I have a lot of fun!”
Absolutely wonderfully put, Kwame! We’re extremely glad to have someone with your passion for supporting children, and young people on board.
We also asked Kwame to note down a few reasons why the Lillis project is so important for the children, and young people who attend. Here are his choices:
1. Children/young people are given the time and space to learn at their own pace through play experiences.
2. They feel included in a loving and caring atmosphere.
3. They can learn life and independence skills in a functional atmosphere without the constraints of a school curriculum.
4. They are able to build positive friendships with one another.
5. They have access to a range of activities that match individual needs.
6. They always look happy and their individual needs are met irrespective of their race, culture, beliefs, ethnicity or background.
7. The project is entirely inclusive, and welcoming for all!
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