Comments received from parents and carers of our Stockport 2018 scheme. How did your youngster benefit rom attending our scheme? Social interaction and support. Independence, getting him away from mum for a few days, being able to access a scheme that can meet his needs, he loved it. He had lots of fun and came back happy and smiling away. He definitely gained more confidence attending summer club. They get the opportunity to go out and do activities in the community. Social interaction with other young people and a change of scene as well as physical activity. He got to go out with someone other than family and enjoy nice experiences. Especially the airport, he loves aeroplanes. Independence. This is the only club that R has enjoyed and stayed with. He’s nearly at his teenage years, so he needs to start enjoying time away from his parents. He really enjoys his time with the group. He likes seeing the other children and loves seeing all the friendly staff. He gets to visit places, that he might not be able to get to otherwise. He gains self-confidence, with every trip out and learns to have trust in people. He’s always so happy when he returns, which is lovely to see. Independence (being able to go out for the day without family). Enjoys going on a minibus. F had 3 months off this summer – between the end of high school and the start of college. It was extra important that he had some purposeful, busy days so the 2 days he attended LFA were great. F was nervous turning up on the first day, but he recognised a member of staff and was a lot more relaxed. All the staff were friendly and welcoming. F really enjoyed both days. Went off happily each of the 5 days. Seemed eager to go so was obviously enjoying the timetable and company of staff and other young people. He benefits so much from this playscheme. He enjoys going to all the places. And leisure for autism gives him a chance to go to places we wouldn’t normally take him. J really enjoys going out. I can’t take him to most of these places due to problems with money and transport. It helps him to see, that he can enjoy things, without me being with him, it gives him some independence. He loves all the people that look after him. Going out without parental support. Having to communicate with adults and peers independently. Enjoying a range of great experiences whilst parents work. Experiences in fun, supportive settings. He was able to spend quality time with a mixed group of peers and staff, of different ages and abilities, enjoying fun activities and promoting social interaction and independence from family. How did the rest of your family benefit? Time for S to have in a social environment without me which helps her confidence. A few hours knowing he was enjoying himself and having a life outside the home. Being able to do some chores and work so I could save some days holiday to spend with son As a mum, it was lovely to see G so happy. I was also incredibly grateful that he was offered the whole 5 days, as he is a child that needs lots of activity. The rest of the family get a break from caring and an opportunity to participate in normal holiday activities. I have a younger son (2) and am unable to take both out together because W can be unpredictable. It is a massive help W coming to the scheme. This is the only respite we have, so it’s extremely important to us. We do need a break sometimes, and knowing that R is with trusted people, and will be really enjoying himself, allows us to fully appreciate the rest. It helps us to be able to work more, to gain more income too. I was able to go to places with his brother that usually we can’t go to with G because he is very anxious about meeting people he knows out of context. Also he doesn’t sit down for very long so usually we can’t go to cafes etc. It was great for me to have a bit of time to myself in a long summer. Able to give time to other offspring and have a break myself as summer holidays can be exhausting for a carer. As a family we benefit so much from the scheme. It gives me a chance to spend time with my daughter going shopping, the cinema etc. Things we couldn’t do with R. It helps me, have some much needed time, with his younger brother, who is really struggling at the minute. As a single parent, I struggle to give enough time with just me. Time for our daughter to choose activities that she enjoys. Respite from the focus being predominantly on A. We were able to spend time helping our daughter, who herself has additional needs, prepare for transition from high school to college and to experience excursions which K would not tolerate. Knowing that he would be well cared for gave us the peace of mind to enjoy that quality time together. Any other comments you would like to make about how we can improve our service? It would be nice if there was a way of getting a little more info about how they got on each day. I guess that’s always going to be difficult though. It’s just that picking is rushed, so we don’t really get to ask much and unfortunately, it’s very hard to get my child to say much about his day. It’s nice when we get pictures put on social media, and that does help, to try and prompt him to talk about his day. Not sure how this could be done really, like I say, as you’re all busy. Maybe just lots of pictures and a write up with it, about the day’s events, although that doesn’t really help with individual info. I’m really not moaning, just interested in how my son’s day went. G won’t go to places in the local area because of his fear of meeting people he knows out of context, so Lyme Park wasn’t a good option. Also, I wouldn’t pay £20 for somewhere 5 mins from home where we can get in free. It is always delays and hanging around before leaving that causes anxiety and for A to change his mind. This is improving though. Absolutely fantastic scheme. My daughter struggles socially and this scheme is fantastic for our family in supporting her to develop important skills. Staff are amazing and the trips are always fantastic. Extremely valuable, when there is no services locally that your child can access, LfA is a life line. Just to say many thanks. G had a great time and told me each day what he had been doing. So very happy with everything. xx Really well organised and feel my son is in very safe hands! I would just like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you. We think you’re all amazing and we’re sssssooooo grateful. R tried a few similar groups, and yours is the only one has stayed with, and is always happy to return to, so that speaks volumes to us, and hopefully, to you too. Thanks again. Your scheme is on its own in terms of what it offers – trips out with lots of carers. There used to be 11+ run by Stockport CP but that doesn’t run any more so what you offer is really important to F. I also think the scheme is really affordable – if I book a carer to take F out it’s £16 an hour and socially it’s not so good for him as he’s on his own with 1 carer. Would have liked more days but realise demand for places is high. A fantastic scheme without which the summer holidays would be very difficult. A big thank you to all involved. I am very grateful that J gets to go out and enjoy some fantastic days. I think everybody is fantastic and great with him! He had a fantastic time. We are always grateful to the helpers who give up their time/holidays. It is really appreciated and the broader range of activity on offer this year was a real improvement. A loved them all. Thank you. K has been lucky enough to attend the scheme for many years now and I honestly believe that this year’s scheme was the best yet! Carolyn and Siobhan managed the daily running perfectly, going above and beyond their remit to ensure parents’ and young peoples’ needs were met. Fantastic teamwork all round and an absolute Godsend to us. We can’t thank you enough for the support we, and in particular, K has received from Leisure for Autism. Aside from our family’s 2018 fundraising efforts on your behalf to give something back, if there is anything else we can do to support Leisure for Autism, please do not hesitate to ask. THANK YOU ALL.