After children have finished working with us, they told us that they can sometimes feel worried that they wont be able to cope or remember the strategies that we have taught them or have someone to talk to. To help with this and keep ongoing contact we have secured funding from Children in Need to run activities during the school holidays. This helps to keep a connection to Safety Net, gives children the opportunity to try out the strategies that they have learned in different situations, like risking on purpose at an adventurous activity and also meet new people and make friends. Many of the children we see struggle with social skills and are referred to us for that very reason. The activity days have proved to be a way of improving and building on these skills.
D (10) had just completed 1:1 support sessions with Safety Net. We were asked to work with him as he was having trouble interacting with his peers and communicating with others.
D attended three activities with us over the Easter holidays. On each one staff and volunteers expressed how well he got on with the other children and how well liked he was by them. He engaged well in all the activities, took turns, was polite and seemed to be having a wonderful time. He said he especially enjoyed the Wild Nature Day when he got to design and build a den with three other boys. These boys had also struggled with social skills at school. They all worked really well together. Staff and volunteers praised D’s efforts and commented on how well he had done. It was interesting to see how well he behaved once in a different environment to school.
Staff fed back to his mum how well he had done and how he had got on with the other children. She sent an email saying:
‘It’s great to hear that D was a pleasure for you – it’s not something we hear very often because of his issues, but we know he can be a treasure, so it’s nice to hear someone else can see it! He really enjoyed all the activities and has already said he would love to join in with more of them in the summer. I’m so glad he got on well with some of the other boys.’
On D’s evaluations after the activities he said he had enjoyed making new friends and trying new things such as lighting a fire. He also said the days had helped him improve his listening skills, team work and communication.
Who can join the activity programme?
Children aged between 8 and 13 who have previously worked with Safety Net are eligible to take part. Contact Katie Cotterell-Snow for more details on 01273 411613.