One bouncing mat, six sensory panels, a stack of textured discs, a dark den, and a sequinned cushion. Still room in there for a giant box of lego, two big bertha bean bags and surely we can squeeze a mobile hoist in too. Ooh and a driver…
The day we set up for holiday club before sessions begin is always busy, with lots of runs to the venue we rent, Ben Rhydding Scout Hut, with boots full to bursting. My old Citroen Picasso buckles with the responsibility of it all and the suspension heaves. It’s not used to being used as a removal van, it’s more accustomed to being decorated with shaving foam and glitter paint by my sons and their PAs.
When we get to the venue with the first car load, the scout hut is full of wet tents hung up to dry after a rainy camp for the cubs at the weekend. Juggling rented space can be tricky, but the scouts are the kindest of hosts and arrange to move the camping gear quickly. Then it’s all systems go moving our equipment in with husbands, wives, sons and grandmas of staff and trustees all pitching in. Light up panels are switched on in the sensory room. Snacks and drinks lined up in the kitchen. Hygiene boxes are restocked with gloves and wipes. The bubble tube is filled with water. By teatime, it’s starting to look like holiday club and we’re ready for some young people to arrive!
So the stage has been set, but over the next few weeks, the young people, staff and volunteers will be the ones who make the club happen and hopefully make some wonderful memories together. There were times over the last six months we weren’t sure if we would be able to run properly this summer, so it’s amazing to be starting this week on schedule and as planned. We're keeping everything crossed now that disruptions will be minimal and everything runs smoothly.
I’m writing this in a peaceful house as my sons are in the club for their first Wednesday afternoon of the summer, and I’m so grateful to the staff and volunteers at LS29 Time for this chance to enjoy an uninterrupted cup of tea. As parents and carers we need these breaks, now more than ever. But sending our young people somewhere unfamiliar can be nerve wracking, especially if they can’t tell us how they feel about it and what they’ve been doing.
That’s why we’ve launched this blog - to give a bit more of an insight to families about club sessions. Over the next few weeks, we will try to bring you some posts from staff, volunteers, supported volunteers and perhaps the young people too about their experiences at LS29 Time. If you’re not already in it, it’s also worth joining our closed Facebook group for picture sharing, https://www.facebook.com/groups/LS29TimePics
where family members and close contacts of young people who attend can see photos of sessions.
All the best for a happy and safe summer,
Jane E x