*On this page, where we use the word ‘disabilities’ we are referring to anyone with (diagnosed or not) learning, social, emotional, behavioural, or physical disabilities, developmental delays, or sensory issues including autistic spectrum disorders.*
At FACE we work with a range of people from all walks of life, and some of our members have disabilities. We try to look past the label of ‘disabilities’ and we focus very much on what people can do, and not what they can’t, and we hope that every member who joins any of our groups would develop their own independence and voice.
We encourage our members to come along to any of our age-appropriate evening groups but we also recognise that sometimes people with disabilities can become isolated or left-out with their mainstream peers, and therefore we have a designated night called ‘Ignite Thursdays’ with three groups specifically supported with additional staffing and appropriate training to better facilitate members with disabilities engaging with us.
This first group is for young people aged 11+ with complex sensory needs and meets 4.30-5.30pm. The session programme explores the different senses each week. Many of the group come with 1-2-1 support workers.
Here are some sensory summer activities we are doing: Sensory play flyer 2017
The second group is for young people aged 11-15 years with mild LD or ASD, and this group meets Thursdays 6-7pm. This is a small group which is focused on building confidence, social skills, relationship building, trying new activities, and having fun! This is a great stepping stone into our later session once young people approach the age of 16. (15 year olds may also bridge up into the Illuminators session as appropriate through the year)
Here is our current programme so you can see what kind of things we get up to: Bright Sparks April – July 2017
The third Ignite Thursdays session is for those aged 16+ and meets 7.30-9.30pm. We do not have an upper age limit for this session and encourage people to come throughout their adult life if they wish. This group is more focused on building self-esteem, resilience, having wider opportunities, developing independence skills, being ready for adult life, but also on having fun! (15 year olds may also bridge up into the Illuminators session as appropriate through the year)
Here is our current programme so you can see what kind of things we get up to: Illuminators April-July 2017
As well as the varied weekly activity programme that runs 44 weeks of the year, we also do lots of trips and activities during school holidays and we also join the two later groups together for some activities at the end of the summer and winter terms in order to bridge the groups and enable us to do some larger events (such as discos and parties). Our programmes are published the second week of January, the week after the Easter holidays (usually April), and the second week of September so please ask for a copy of our latest programme.
Our summer activity programme is here: Summer 2017 Ignite programme
Some of our disabled members bring support workers with them and this is fine; the support worker just needs to introduce themselves to our staff on their first visit and wear one of our Visitors lanyards if they don’t have their own ID.
We have higher than average levels of staffing during our Ignite Thursdays sessions, but we cannot provide personal care or any 1-2-1 level of support for members to engage with our programmes; if you need this we may be able to help point you in the right direction to get support in place to enable you/your child to come along.
We prefer members do not come with their parents as this should be a space where members learn to be more independent and develop skills to cope without their family around. Of course its great if family members want to visit for the first couple of times though until you/your child feels more comfortable with us! We also love for family to join us at various community and fundraising events during the year, and at our AGM where our members display what they have been up to!
We have 4 Volunteer Support Buddies at Illuminators, who are members of the club who have added responsibility and after a training briefing they are encouraged to be helpful and great role models for our members. Our Support Buddies wear lanyards so you can’t miss them and they are always on hand to show new people around and introduce them to people and help them to settle in. They also help acting as a go-between staff and members when needed.
We also run a daytime session on term-time Tuesdays 10am-2.30pm which enables any adults, including those with disabilities, to engage in both educational and social time together. The mornings are focused on gaining ASDAN awards (such as improving Maths/English, Work skills, Using computers or Craft skills) and then after a bit of lunch (bring packed lunch or we can provide a light lunch for a small contribution) we then focus our time more on building social skills through discussions, quizzes, and playing games together. This group is £3 for a half day or £5 for the whole day.
If you have any queries about our work with people with disabilities, would like a home-visit to talk to us about the possibility of you/your child joining us, or if you would like to come and visit us outside of our group session times so you can familiarise yourself with the building, then please just contact the office as we’ll be very happy to arrange this with you.