Day Time Opportunities for Older People & Adults with Disabilities
Modernisation of Day Services for People with Learning Disabilities
In January 2014 we received approval to develop and extend existing services through the creation of a number of Community Hubs across the Borough. This includes the retention of Park View Day Centre as one of the new hubs and the closure of Bacons End Day Centre when alternative accommodation and day-time opportunities, provided through the new hubs, are in place.
What did people tell us and what underpins our approach to the modernisation of these services?
The consultation highlighted a number of concerns:
- Management of risk and the preservation of important friendships and relationships
- Ensure that there are appropriate facilities for people who have complex needs – sensory rooms and personal care facilities.
- Concern that the review and consultation disguises an intention to reduce and close services
The consultation offered a lot of opportunities for individual discussion with people with learning disabilities and their families
What has been done:
- Job Clubs have increased to three per week. (Two at Elmwood Place one at Shirley Library). Staff and service users appreciate the modern/pleasant surroundings.
Steady number of attendees and numbers of interviews obtained by individuals who do attend has increased.
STEPS have developed good links with the Job Centre Disability Advisor who regularly attends the Job Clubs to update/undertake interview practice with service users.
- STEPS team are working extensively with site managers at schools across the Borough to provide work experience placements.
Joint working with Langley Junior School has been particularly successful. Whilst undertaking a work placement, the school enabled a STEPS service user to obtain his NVQ 2. This individual is now employed by them and is undertaking his NVQ level 3.
A second individual is now on work experience at the school and in the process of enrolling on an NVQ, supported by STEPS and the Site Manager.
- Service Users who are supported by STEPS are now able to access on line Solihull Council training.
- Twenty four people have been supported into paid employment since the last local account update. Sixty Six people have been supported into voluntary placement.
- The cafes at Park View and Bacons End have maintained their 5 Star Environmental Health status. Feedback from external clients who have been using the buffet services has been excellent and enquiries are increasing.
- Further work with local businesses with a view to getting them to work in partnership with STEPS and ultimately employ.
- Looking to increase presence on Social Media forums – already on Twitter.
- Working with a CIC company to produce a promotional film to take to prospective employers.
- Further work with the council to encourage “in house “ job opportunities.
LINKS @ Park View
The LINKS team have been very successful in supporting people to do the things they want to do in the community.
This project will run until at least mid 2016 and is a valuable opportunity for people to experience volunteering in a community setting.
The Hive @ Park View
A place swarming with activity. We offer varied and lively activities open to all.
Solihull’s Wheels for all
People from the Hive @ Park View started using the exercise bikes at Solihull Active once a week to improve on their fitness and coordination. Whilst using all the facilities that were available, it was highlighted that people who were wheel chair users couldn’t access the activity fully.
Since working together on this project with Nick Page (Chief Executive of Solihull Council), Solihull Active and Headway, the teams have raised money to purchase a bike which has enabled wheelchair users to participate in the enjoyment and experience of riding a bike. A presentation of a new wheelchair bike was made on 26 October by Nick Page at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre.
People from the Hive @ Park View join others from the local area to go to Tudor Grange Leisure Centre to attend a session of indoor archery which is lead by experts from Solihull Active. The group have enjoyed joining these sessions and gaining new skills.
A small group go to the Aqua fit sessions on a Monday lunch time at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre. They have a floor that lowers for easy access into the pool and it’s a fun way to exercise without being able to swim and is also a great opportunity to meet new people who don’t attend Park View.
Every other Wednesday afternoon The Hive offers seated yoga sessions in conjunction with Solihull Active. Marie Kennedy is an experienced yoga teacher who ensures that the sessions cater for all abilities. Yoga is a great way to feel healthier, calmer and confident.
A group from the Hive join others in Knowle every Tuesday for fun activities and every 3rd Wednesday they meet at Lee’s Chapel for a church service, where they meet up with old friends.
Twice a month Juggling Jim comes into Park View to deliver Circus skills. This helps improve coordination, communication and turn taking. People who don’t regularly attend Park View often join these sessions and it makes for a great mix of people.
Twice a month Jean Jenkins delivers a line dancing session at Park View. Jean is a professional line dancer and tailors the steps and music to the enjoyment of the group who attend.
The Interactive zone
The Interactive space opened in August 2014 and is proving to be very popular with many people.
Geoff is a volunteer who comes in once a week and leads a session in arts and crafts.
What’s new at the Hive:
Bhangra Burnoff is a high energy workout that is fun, easy to follow and a great way to get you moving. This has been added to our timetable this year and has proved very popular with everybody who has attended.
Stage View is a drama group that meet at the British Legion, Shirley. The group meets every Wednesday and is working to put on their first play in the New Year.
New developments for 2015:
In partnership with Solihull County Scouts we are now using their headquarters building in Hobs Moat, which we are calling “The Courtyard”, as a meeting place for many of our service users who live in that area.
The smaller and more intimate setting has given an opportunity for many people to come out of their shells along with an opportunity to connect with the area, facilities and people near to where they live. We began using the Scout Headquarters towards the end of September and although it is still early days the indications are that it is very popular with those people who have so far used it to meet up.
Partnering with Solihull College
Park View College Hub is about providing an opportunity for people from the Hive @ Park View to access Solihull College facilities flexibly without necessarily having to commit to a long term course. This allows people to make use of Health & Beauty and Health & Social Care facilities, access the sports centre, work with animals, use the cafeteria etc., as well as joining in with the local community.
Supported by college students as part of their course along side Park View staff who will be also be there providing support. Service users go directly from home and are based at the College all day. It’s an initial pilot of three months where service users are assessed around personal progress and can be directed in other areas.
The aim of the partnership is to promote social interaction, choice, independence and build bridges by helping to educate and change attitudes of college students in a safe environment while experiencing college life.
The long term aim is to have a permanent base at Solihull College in which to also develop independent living skills as well as still having access to college facilities and educational opportunities.