Normally, YMCA East Surrey’s Short Breaks team would be delivering thousands of hours of short breaks play and youth activities for disabled children and young people aged 5 to 18 years.
Although the delivery has been temporarily closed during the most recent lockdown, YMCA staff are still keeping busy in their efforts to continue offering support to local families.
“We are telephoning parents and carers who use our services, plus holding parent information events and informal drop-in and chat sessions to make sure that we stay in touch,” says Jonathan Dobson, YMCA East Surrey Disability Service Manager.
“It’s important for families to know that they can still get involved with activities online and that we are here if they have any questions or worries.”
Staff have been sharing their Makaton skills via the YMCA Short Breaks Facebook page, posting construction, painting and cookery challenges like the ones here, reading stories and holding live online Zoom sessions for both the Yippee and Yip4Youth groups.
Yippee is YMCA East Surrey’s weekend and holiday activities for disabled children aged 5-11 including children who have complex impairments. Yip4Youth is the charity’s fun and friendly youth club, weekend and school holiday scheme for disabled teenagers aged 12 to 18.
Jonathan Dobson says: “We will let families know as soon as we are able to restart onsite activities. If our planned Easter Short Breaks play and leisure schemes can’t take place, we will be sending out special themed activity packs and holding Zoom parties for both Yippee and Yip4Youth. There’s still a lot of fun to be had!”
If you would like to know more, please call 01737 222859 or see the YMCA Short Breaks Facebook page.