Young People Together
Mencap, in partnership with Autisim NI and the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) and supported by the Big Lottery Fund, have embarked on an innovative project to deliver a range of local activity programmes for groups of young people with learning disabilities between the ages of 7 and 17 who attend mainstream schools.
This innovative model of delivery brings together the combined experience of all three partners in delivering an individually tailored range of summer activities and social interaction, which is jointly directed by the the young people involved alongside representatives from within their local community.
The Young people together project aims to:
Improve the physical and emotional well being of children and young people who face challenges in mainstream education due to a range of emotional and physical difficulties or disabilities.
- Provide support to carers.
- Promote tolerance and inclusion within local communities.
- Provide practical training and support for schools and community facilities.
- Promote a model of good practice for future projects.
At the heart of this model of service delivery lies the “Local advisory group”, a collective of teachers, parents and representatives from local community facilities. Utilising their experience and local knowledge we develop localised programmes that are tailored to meet the needs of individual young people and are reflective of the communities in which they are based.
These advisory groups help steer the project and act as a gateway to local services and facilities. In addition to the delivery of the summer activities and follow up sessions, we also extend the support available to encompass a carers activity programme, information, training and practical workshops for teachers classroom assistants and local community facility representatives.
Beginning with activities in the summer of 2010 in two geographical areas we have now reached year three and have expanded into six areas for 2012. We will continue to grow cover nine areas in total over the life of this five year project.