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Special Needs Integration Project’s summer play scheme success!

Special Needs Integration Projects or SNIPS is a community group providing social and leisure opportunities for children, young people and adults with both learning and physical disabilities.

In July 2014 SNIPS were awarded £2,000 from our Leicestershire Fund towards the costs of their summer play scheme activities.

Youn boy in wheelchair

This summer SNIPS provided three play schemes in age ranges 3-7, 8-12 and 13-17 years.  Children and young people were offered up to 8 days of activity across the summer period, running 10am-3pm each day.

SNIPS used the premises at John Cleveland school to do activities such as cookery, art, computer games and also used the sports hall, swimming pool and outside spaces.   Access to minibuses from Mencap and Westfield Community Centre meant that the group were able to offer ad hoc activities chosen by the participants on the day and meant that users were able to make their own choices and be more independent.

Coming out of the water

Day trip activities included outings to Bosworth Water Park, Playpit in Nuneaton and Coombe Abbey. SNIPS also went along to get involved in local activities such as the Snapdragon Festival sponsored by Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council.

Meriel Newman, project manager, said, ‘The weather makes a huge difference and as with last summer, we had plenty of sunshine for outdoor activities.

Boy in sandpit

There is a need for respite for families caring for disabled youngsters.  Children with disabilities are often the focus of attention in the family unit, whether because of high personal care needs or challenging behaviour and it’s hard for other family members, particularly siblings, to pursue their own leisure interests.  Provision in the community is limited and not always appropriate for special needs youngsters.  By bringing youngsters together in a safe and supportive environment with appropriate staff and providing friendship from peers and volunteers, we feel we help them to develop socially and gain confidence.

It is impossible for parents to replicate the buzz and bustle of the school atmosphere and many children feel at a loss once term ends.  Our schemes combat social isolation and boredom, introduce children to new people and challenges and above all, provide something which is enjoyable for everyone.’

Girl on climbing wall