Every day of the School Holiday Program brings challenges, new experiences, and learning for everyone. Today our South West Team Leader Beth Stone shares with us some important experiences and lessons learnt by our participants in the April program.
Learning from adversity
Working with disability often means that other medical issues play a part in our daily life. As so, on one of the days we had to assist a participant through a medical incident. We made sure she remained safe and received the right medical treatment at the hospital.
As you can imagine, this was something that was likely to distress some children.
But we didn’t let it hinder us. Our team of supportive staff made sure to talk to each participant and make sure that they understood what had happened and that there was nothing to worry about. They were given the opportunity to ask questions and enquire about their friend. Soon enough, everyone’s spirits were restored.
As with anything in life, you can’t always be prepared for everything. But our participants showed their resilience that day and handled the situation incredibly well. They also gained a new perspective and greater acceptance of others and different circumstances.
Giving back to others
As part of the program, the children worked together to create blankets and toiletry packs to give to a homeless organisation.
The participants tied together ends of a thick fabric to create some soft blankets, and gathered shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothbrushes to wrap inside. It was great to see the participants working together as a team and doing their part! Suffice to say, everyone enjoyed themselves and were keen to help others in need.
We receive good feedback from participants, families, and staff every year, which we incorporate into our future programs. And for this April program, it was great to hear how much the program meant for not only the children, but parents and carers too.
As the mother of one of our participants told us:
As a single parent, the program has been a great help. It gives me a bit of time to get the things I need to do done.
From my child’s point of view, it’s given her another perspective on the world. She’s come out of her shell since she started attending three years ago… it’s opened up her world.
Our SHP aims to do just that: provide children with positive social experiences and the opportunity to do explore new things. Suffice to say, the April 2018 SHP was another great success! We’re counting down for the July holiday break!