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Should You Get Out and About More?

Wednesday 3rd November 2010

In order to provide disabled children and young people with more leisure opportunities, Out & About has been awarded funds from Aiming High for Disabled Children to support 5-19 year-olds to join local leisure facilities within the borough.


The Out & About charity enables disabled children and young people to access everyday mainstream leisure activities. The funding, awarded by Aiming High for Disabled Children, aims to ensure that in each local area children and parents are involved in strategic decision making about the provision of services that their disabled children need. Involving carers at all levels of planning and developing services is the best way of creating cost effective and responsive services that work for families.


The scheme also sets out to identify disabled children that may be struggling in current leisure activities that are in need of help and assistance to make things happen!


Out & About run a team of volunteers. Co-ordinators find an activity (if the child does not already know of one), visits the activity and provides them with support/training and whatever is needed to be ready for when the volunteer and child start attending together.


Cllr David Sawyer, portfolio holder for Children’s Services at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Being open to a wide-range of activities and being part of a team can make young people lead happier, healthier lives. Out & About does not discriminate, it enables children with additional and complex needs to get the same universal services as other children. The funding, provided by the ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children’, will be spent wisely, so as to positively affect as many young lives as possible.”


Steve Allman, Out & About, Chief Executive said: “I am thrilled that Out & About will be working with Bedford Borough Council in the coming months to ensure that disabled children and young people in the borough can access the full range of leisure activities on offer; make new friends, have fun and become fully included in their local community.”


An ‘Out & About’ volunteer can support the child for up to 12 weeks, until the child can attend the activity alone. It is hoped that once that child has been introduced to the group, the provider may then have the skills and confidence to support another disabled child in the future, without the need for a volunteers help.”


You can also make a referral via the same website if you live in Bedford Borough and are the parent, or carer, of a disabled child who would benefit from the opportunities offered by ‘Out and About’.


Out & About will be one of the projects featured at an Aiming High for Disabled Children showcase event to be held at Borough Hall, at 5.30pm, on 22nd November.

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