Over the past few months we have been reintroducing our projects in a series of blog posts. Last week we reintroduced our Antony Lillis project with part one of its two posts and now we have the second post ready for you all!
If you haven’t read part one, click here for the post!
Now, without further ado – let’s pick up where we left off.
Our specialist play scheme service operates on Saturdays and in school holidays. We’re currently providing respite for families in Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Brent, and we also provide bespoke services for young people who cannot easily access the play-scheme. Our age range has always been 8-18, however some of our Children’s Services users have turned 18, and instead of moving on to other services, have stayed with us as they are familiar and happy with the service and support they receive.
The children we care for are extremely vulnerable, with varying needs, such as: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, development delay, mobility issues; including wheelchair users, sensory impairments and challenging behaviours to name a few. We are allocated children who have some of the most complex and challenging needs in West London, and for the families of children that are unable to access other provisions or have been excluded from other provisions, we are often their last hope! We have never turned a child, or young person away and have always endeavoured to work with the families and other professionals as much as possible to extend opportunities for children with complex needs. We attend strategy meetings and acquire information from other settings and professional bodies. This allows us to ensure our practice is of the highest calibre, enabling us to support children and young people with complex needs as they journey towards adolescence.
We aim to support the children and young people in our care by developing positive life skills, building confidence and self-esteem through praise, encouragement and short trips into the community. The children help to prepare snacks for themselves and the and learn to tidy-up after themselves too. Most importantly, we encourage these children and young people to be independent and to reach their full potential. Play schemes such as ours enable children of differing abilities to play adventurously, creatively and imaginatively, while developing important skills for later life.
Children and young people learn through play – this is their primary way of learning. Through play children learn self-direction, how to make appropriate choices, to respect others and themselves, express their feelings and take responsibility. Play engages children in physical activity, it promotes language, communication and social skills, improves concentration and self-control, promotes resilience, confidence, a sense of well-being and all areas of healthy development.
It’s safe to say that this is a monumentally important project for West London, and we hope you have enjoyed reading a bit more about why we work so hard to offer play opportunities for children with complex needs. We’ll leave you with these two wonderful quotes!
“There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender or disability.” Sharron Angle
“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” Kay Redfield Jamison
For more information about our organisation and the other vital projects we’re currently running, have a browse of this site.