- Five young people with disabilities have taken the step to become Young Leaders and working as part of a team in the Youth Zone. This has given them a big confidence boost.
- Nine young people are taking part in the Senior Youth Inclusion forum which is giving them a voice within the Youth Zone. As part of that process young people are supported and trained in participation, consultation, presentation skills.
- Two young people have been supported to complete life skills sessions on hygiene and maintaining cleanliness an improvement has been noted in each case. Life skills sessions have now begun and nine young people are attending cooking sessions which is giving them skills to lead to greater independence.
- Seven young people are taking part in the 10k run in September have made great strides to get fit and healthy to take part and are in the Gym/ Sports hall at least 3 times a week. One young person has lost 4lbs through taking part in fitness activities within the Youth Zone and the Inter Youth CADS event. Seven young people also take part in Disability Football training on a Wednesday night. This is a brilliant success and is continuing to build and grow.
- Wigan Youth Zone have recently signed up with other agencies in the Wigan borough to work together to get rid of social isolation and exclusion. Three young people and families have been signposted to other agencies who will be able to provide them with appropriate support. 15 parents/families have been contacted and asked for feedback on how we can improve Inclusion at the Youth Zone. This information has been very useful in evolving our current service and how best to support young people and families in the future.
- One young person is now writing his own blog about autism and wants to do a talk in the Youth Zone about how people’s actions can affect people with Autism.
Person A didn’t really engage in sports prior to coming to Wigan Youth Zone. When he initially started Wigan Youth Zone he tended to engage in activities that his sister was also engaging in. Person A now plays dodge ball every week with a team of other young people. He really enjoys the dodge ball sessions and his ability to manage his frustration and work as part of a team has improved. His confidence levels and self-esteem has also continued to grow whilst partaking in these sessions. Person A recently represented Wigan Youth Zone in a dodge ball tournament with the team and he thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Person A has continued to train every Tuesday with the dodge ball team and partake in more dodge ball tournaments. Person A is continuing to make great progress and has a very keen interest in anything sport related.
When Person B first joined Wigan Youth Zone on 25/10/2014 it was apparent that he was an enthusiastic and energetic young man, characterised by his smiling face and his desire to communicate with staff members freely. Although Person B appeared to be talkative with adults he seemed to shy away from communicating and engaging with his peers, isolating himself from activities that other young people had joined, instead Person B opted to follow staff round the centre talking to them, helping them with their daily duties and wanting to play on a one to one basis. Over the last 6 month Person B has really come out of his shell and developed his own cheeky personality within Wigan Youth Zone. Person B is still very inquisitive as to what staff members are doing and likes to check in with myself throughout the sessions but he has made lots of progress in communicating with his peers. Person B’s confidence has improved so much he now engages in several activities within Wigan Youth Zone with groups of other children. He often signs up to the baking activities and then goes round the youth zone with his friends selling various products they have made within the session to other young people. Person B also enjoys playing snooker in the Rec area with several other young people and will be the one who approaches other young people to organise snooker matches. He has gained an interest in snooker and his skills have excelled in this area. Person B is well known within Wigan Youth Zone by both staff members and his peers. It has been brilliant to see Person B form close friendships, develop social skills and grow in confidence over this last 6 months. Person B also needs to eat snacks on a regular basis, when he first started Wigan Youth Zone I constantly had to remind Person B to eat his snacks and check his lunch bag. Person B has now become independent in this area and takes himself of to eat his snacks throughout the sessions without any prompts as all. He is also mindful of the youth zone rules and sticks to these.
Quote from questionnaires sent to Parents / Carers: – “X has been kicked out of other social groups – cubs and self-defence. He is high functioning ASD and comes across as naughty. He sometimes refuses to follow orders – if he feels pressured or does not want to etc. This results in in trouble. At Wigan Youth Zone they understand him and encourage him to try other things without pressure, or shouting at him and he is thriving. He enjoys his time there and it gives him a chance to socialise with neuro-typical children that’s not in school. This will help him in the future.”
“The team at Wigan Youth Zone have spent more time talking to me about my son and his needs than his school (frightening really). They try to accommodate his needs, are mindful of him, encourage him, inspire him, they do everything I would want them to do.”