Since receiving Reading Dispensary Trust’s grant in October 2018, Reading Youth has run every Saturday in term time and throughout the school holidays from Brookfields School. A typical day has run from 10am from 4pm, and is led by a team of enthusiastic, highly trained youth workers. We have delivered 1,167 hours since October, and have supported 22 young people aged 13 to 18. These young people have a wide range of impairments, including learning disabilities, communication difficulties, and complex behaviours. The 1:1 and 2:1 support on offer for anyone who needs it has meant that everyone has been able to get involved with all the fun on scheme, regardless of their needs. Local disabled young people have enjoyed loads of exciting activities over the last few months thanks to your generous grant. These have included a picnic in a local park, a visit from a reptile handler, a Chinese New Year celebration, bowling, pizza making, and much more! Each day on scheme also has time for young people to hang out and relax together, doing what they want with their free time. This might be doing some creative arts and crafts, taking part in sports and games, or chilling out with a book or a movie.
Many of the young people on scheme make friends, and also push their boundaries by trying out new activities which they may otherwise not have access to. At the same time, parents and carers have had vital respite breaks, helping to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the whole family.
By attending Reading Youth local disabled young people not only have loads of fun with friends, but also develop key life skills, especially around socialising and communication. Spending time relaxing and having fun with peers directly tackles social isolation, and helps young people to build both self-confidence and independence.