A group of young adults chose to do an ASDAN on the topic of sex and relationships, as they recognised that they felt they did not know sufficient about the topic to engage in healthy relationships, with the possibility of these developing into sexual relationships. This group meets weekly as part of a ‘peer group’ and discuss these topics in amongst others.
Sporting activities provided are recorded by staff, numbers show a consistent number of ‘repeat attendees’ attending the regular sports activities and increased numbers (nearly all members) attending ‘specialist’ sporting activities e.g. rock climbing, archery and fencing.
Carlisle are working towards partnerships with Cumbrian Autism society and Cumbrian Cerebral palsy society to encourage young people to attend CYZ and work towards appropriate signposting for relevant services.
Cumbria Youth Alliance have been coming in to provide educational activities regarding finance, working individually with a number of young people to focus on their needs and understanding in regards to finance. In this activity we are looking to increase individuals understanding, and confidence with finance.
Inclusion: Within Inclusion club there have been a number of ‘life skills’ activities running looking at day to day activities we all do such as planning a bus journey, or going to the cinema. In these activities young people have been focusing on the skills required to complete these tasks. This project has aimed to raise self-esteem, confidence and aspirations of what can be achieved by young people.
Cooking: Cooking is a popular activity. CYZ have been looking at healthy eating, using home grown vegetables from the CYZ gardens where possible to embed the culture of fresh, healthy eating and the benefits it has alongside regular exercise. Within this activity young people also learn a skill base they can use outside of the Youth Zone in regards to kitchen skills, as well as numeracy which is embedded in the activity. In addition to this we are increasing young people’s confidence within the kitchen environment, and working towards a greater sense of fitness and well-being.
Football: Football has a large regular number of young people who get involved. These young people are working towards being a competitive team to take part in local competitions. In football young people learn discipline, team work skills and communication skills as well as working towards increased fitness and well-being, and raising confidence and self-esteem.
Case Study: Member 1 has been attending CYZ regularly for a number of months. Member 1 has autism, and is ‘high’ on the spectrum. He attends every Saturday with his parent or carer. Member 1 often struggles to focus on specific activities for period of time longer than a few minutes. Member 1 shows increased interest in activities such as cooking and gardening. Over the last few months is has been noted by numerous members of staff in the debrief at the end of the session how Member 1 is developing. Member 1 has over the progression of time adapted his behaviour, having previously been noticed for ‘inappropriate touching’ of staff members, often laying his hands on peoples chests, hugging without invitation, and touching people’s faces/necks. His behaviour has improved vastly with constructive feedback from staff, parents and carers, offering high fives and requesting hugs if he wants one. Member 1 has also developed a greater sense of calm and patience during his time at CYZ. Member 1 would often dash from activity to activity without focus and would struggle to wait in line to take a turn on any given activity. Member 1 will now patiently wait for a turn in an activity, and will actively seek to help others if he can.
Member 1 has shown development in health and fitness as he has focused more in sessions, developing a greater sense of hand eye coordination in basketball, boccia and kurling. He has started regularly using the gym, where he has taken to using the running machine, continuously working to go faster for longer. Alongside improving his fitness in the gym, and with sports, Member 1 has been a frequent attendee in the cooking sessions, where he will discuss with members of staff why the ingredients used are healthy- and enjoys working alongside others to make a tasty snack. The feedback from parents and carers has been positive, they feel that Member 1 has become more independent in his time here – actively seeking activities independently, and working alongside his peers to achieve a common goal. They feel that he requires less 1:1 support, which lessens the impact when he is at home. His carers in particular feel that the relationship Member 1 has with CYZ and its staff has helped move him towards a more independently lifestyle, and is giving him life skills which will enable him in the long run to move into supported living accommodation. Member 1’s parents feel that the club provision allows member I to feel safe in his environment to try new activities, and interact more socially. They also feel they are involved in what goes on at CYZ through the line of communication between them and ourselves.