Covid-19 Updates

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We are open and We are Safe for families who need our help and support.

 

Our aims are:

  • To provide weekly respite care for those families who need have children and young people who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, (ASD), as part of their diagnosis
  • To provide support to any family who may be finding it a little difficult to manage more challenging behaviours their children, or family members are exhibiting.
  • To provide a supportive stepping –stone for those who have been ‘Self-isolating’, or ‘Shielding’, over the months since March 2020. We aim to help everyone to feel safe and to be able to begin socialising safely again.
  • We provide a safe, fun and exciting environment to enable children and young people to meet in small bubbles, or, to play or socialise together, to enjoy similar interests, and when being in the same place as other people is too frightening at the moment, to take part in online games and activities, until ready to attend the centre themselves and to enjoy time with others until they are ready to meet with other people in person.
  • To take part in small cookery sessions with adults who have special needs and disabilities, or to attend online with the help of adults on the autistic spectrum, to make a tasty meal for yourself, and to help to make a meal for other people, to be stored safely at Clearly, until it is requested. To help those who are less fortunate than themselves.
  • To build positive self-esteem, improve mental health and prevent further isolation and possible loneliness and anxiety among the children, young people and the adults who have special needs and disabilities who come to ‘Clearly’ for our help, support and intervention.

We Need Your Help!

We aim to do this by:

 

  • Providing weekly slots of time for individual families so we can meet at ‘Clearly’, get to know the needs of each family member, or to understand the wishes of each member of the family, in regard to the help and support they need to be able to identify a short, and a longer term goal, then to plan together, what help and support we can provide for you to enable you to achieve this goal.
  • As far as is possible, providing small bubbles which will allow children and young people to spend time together on a weekly basis to relax with our volunteers, where possible, individual to the individual groups and bubbles, to avoid cross contamination or the possible spread of the Corona-19- virus, and to play, enjoy time with, or to initially join in the online fun of an activity in the Centre in Buckingham. To develop confidence and self-esteem so that it is less difficult to return to school when it reopens after the official summer break.
  • To develop strategies which will help individual children, young people, and adults who have ASD as part of their diagnosis, to better understand their difficulties, and to therefore, better manage their anxiety so that we are able to avoid additional barriers to learning how to return to a social or learning based environment when their family and key adults feel that the time is right.
  • To continue to act upon the guidance provided by the .Gov websites, Government led advice sources in order to ensure that all who visit and attend the Clearly Speaking Centre, are safe and as well as can be expected over the weeks, months and years ahead.

What have we done to keep everyone safe over the next three months?

We cannot offer any drop-in support because this means we cannot provide the safe support everyone needs.

  • You will need to phone and book a slot for you and your family to come in and meet with Janet and the volunteers you are likely to be working with
  • You will need to tell us who your family members, (those who want or need to come to Clearly), are regularly in contact with. This will help us to plan the best clubs or sessions to place them within.
  • You will need to make sure we know if anyone in your family has been poorly, or has had any symptoms of the Corona 19 virus. Or the Flu virus etc.
  • You will need to fill in an up-to-date registration form. If you are an existing family member of Clearly, we may be able to do this by phone or Zoom.
  • We will plan together to identify a short term and longer term goal each family member would like our help to achieve.
  • We will also record, the actions we each need to do to help each family member to achieve their goal.
  • The key Goal of ‘Clearly’, continues to be; to have fun, to make friends, to improve confidence and communication, or, social interaction skills and, where appropriate, to improve your, or your family member’s mental health, to improve the relationships of all those you want to be able to spend positive periods of time with.

Continued

We want to continue to offer you the opportunity to improve your life chances, through the attendance at clubs and activities, to improve social interaction skills, to feel more comfortable around other people, even when this is through the use of carefully taught strategies and specialist strategies known to work for many others who also have a range of hidden difficulties and communication disorders.

  • We will continue to offer opportunities for volunteer work.
  • We will continue to work with our partner agencies who will also support with the entry to work programmes we hope will also help those over fifteen years of age.
  • We will offer entry to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and support those who wish to complete this, although, there is likely to be some disruption to this programme over the months ahead.
  • These sessions will need to be booked, but there may also be some online contact available.

We will carefully plan who will be in the centre through the days we are open

Monday morning 10am – 12pm, then 1-3pm, an evening appointment can be offered to those who need an individual session, whichever member of the family.

Wednesday 10am – 12pm, then a break for volunteers and a chance to clean down before others use the space. Then 1pm – 3pm is a cookery session, we hope with the support of FairShare, we will welcome those who have been cooking for themselves and those who need a hot, nourishing meal locally, and we will place more in the fridge to give out. We will use Zoom so that more adults over sixteen years of age can also join us and cook along. From 3.30-4.30pm, space for an individual session for anyone who needs it.

Friday – 10am – 12pm arts and crafts for the whole family. We hope to put together craft kits for parents or family members who can come to the centre and pick up a craft or art kit, then we can work with a small, pre-booked group, and invite more to join us by Zoom. 1-3pm we want to offer art and craft in the garden. This will have a garden focus as we want to get the garden back on track. We have more outdoor space for a range of ages, sit and ride toys, (Please can you donate these, if you have any your children have outgrown, trikes, 3-8 years of age please. Plus any fun sit and ride toys, but no partner rides due to the need for distance. Thank you)

For the older members, if you are over fourteen years of age and want to play Dungeons and Dragons, please get in touch so we can plan a weekly or two weekly session into our program. Using the garden area means that we can have groups containing six young people and under. we can hold more than one session of the club, depending on the play levels and interests of each person. We have a new campaign and some great new resources at the centre to help you to redesign a character for the start of the new campaign.

How can you help us to give local children and young people the best and most positive change to be able to return to school successfully in September?

We welcome any local teachers who feel they could offer a 1 hour maths, Literacy or science session at the end of our Centre Day. This is to ensure that all those who may not have managed to do any, or very much learning, during the closure of schools, we would be extremely grateful to any local teachers who feel able to help us with this essential support, if those pupils on the autistic spectrum and those with associated difficulties, are to return to school successfully in September, we really do need your help.

We would like the teaching session to take place at Clearly with 2-4 children, where possible, who are socially distancing or using PPE, and with the use of Zoom, for all who are able to tune in, to also join us. This will help everyone to understand what they may have missed, which areas they may need to catch up on, and, and where parents/carers can focus their help.

We ask that the sessions are fun, inclusive, as visual as possible. We would love to be able to record them if teachers are happy with this, so that families have some back up should there be any difficulties in returning children to school in September. We can support children by reminding them of their success during the fun, positive holiday learning sessions.

Please get in touch as quickly as possible if you feel able to offer one or more of these sessions.

We will use the garden space much more so we do not have to have masks on all the time, we can socially isolate as directed by the DWP/DfE and other advice agencies. It will be very helpful to talk about how your family members are coping with PPE, hand washing etc.

We will book individual sessions for your family members. Please make sure that you attend on the sessions you have been given access to. This will make sure that we are not mixing across the centre all the time. We need to plan and then maintain bubbles of support in the centre. We will plan the first sessions with you so that your family members are with their friends.

Please do not waste the sessions you are offered as this means that other families are losing out. Please make sure you pay for sessions in advance of them taking place, if you can pay directly into PayPal, it means that we are not trying to manage money rather than booking children and young people into their sessions, supporting hand-washing etc.

We Need Volunteers!

How have we made sure the Centre is Safer?

The centre now has multiple sanitiser stations, all at the correct height for all members of your family. The soap dispenser is also infra-red, these are all automatic so there is no need to touch anything, avoiding any cross contamination. The paper-towels are also pull and tear, with peddle bins to put the paper straight in to.

We must thank the wonderful volunteers from Buckingham Rotary Club for all their hard work. They put all these up as well as repairing the greenhouse, giving up another outdoor space to use. Thank you.

 

  • All staff and volunteers will be wearing PPE, masks, gloves and aprons. If a child should begin to cough or appear unwell, the centre also has visors and goggles which can also be used.
  • We have a one way system at the centre. Parents/carers will drop children. Young people etc off at the front door with a good hand-over, we ask that you do not come into the centre, to avoid adding to any cross-over of germs, or possible viruses. Children, young people will then be handed over through the black gates, this will make sure that everyone is safe on site.  They will be encourages to wash their hands regularly and when passing the sanitisers, to use them.  This will be made into fun for the members of Clearly.
  • After speaking to Buckinghamshire County Council they have agreed to the purchasing of a large awning to sit on the rear of the building we lease from them. This will mean that even as the weather changes, we should still have the space we need to be able to work outside in the garden.
  • We now need to raise £5,000 for an Awning which is automatic and which fits across the back of our building. We would welcome any help and support to make applications for funding for this essential project, please do get in touch if you are able to help and support ‘Clearly’ to apply for this funding.  Thank you.

Continued

  • All volunteers are being offered additional support to understand how to use PPE properly, to keep themselves and members of ‘Clearly’ safe.
  • All volunteers are being offered the chance to take additional first aid training, online at first, then face-to-face.
  • All DBS checks are being repeated and references are being rechecked to ensure everything is up to date now, rather than waiting until next year when agencies are likely to be much busier.
  • Volunteers will only work with one or two groups, or bubbles, or, if a child needs 1:1 support, the child will always have the same volunteer if at all possible, so that we avoid crossing over germs.
  • A record of any changes will be made at the start of each session at Clearly.

We are happy to discuss the needs of each member of ‘Clearly’ and what they are already used to doing to stay safe.  Our aim is to help to increase their confidence, and to help them to feel safe when outside their home.  We plan to make sure that we are as accessible as is possible, as long as they are still safe to be on site.

We are happy to take advice from family G.P. services, for our records, please can you makes sure that any guidance and requests are made on officially headed paper so that we can include them in our planning and our official paperwork where we can record the reasons we may have changed the way we were working with someone.

All those attending Clearly over the weeks ahead will be asked to sign a form to state that they have read and understood the requirements of being onsite at the Children and Family Centre, and that they will work with us to keep their family members safe and well, and that of all who are on the site of our Children and family centre over the weeks ahead.  This will also state that children and young people will do all they can to also stay within the rules we have set out for everyone who is at ‘Clearly’, when they are also there.

Any child who appears to have any symptoms of the corona 19-virus when being brought to the centre, will be asked to leave and to be checked by their GP or an appropriate nurse or doctor.  They will not be able to be left with a member of the Clearly team until another relative can come to pick them up. They will remain within the responsibility of their family.

We hope that these instructions are clear and that they are understood by all who see them.  We are happy to go through with individual families so that they can then be signed and placed within the file of each member.

Our aim in supporting all local families who have children and young people with hidden special needs, is to make sure that they are not left behind and left to struggle because they do not meet the criterion for those who had a child with disabilities,  we want to make sure, that anyone who need care, someone to listen, someone to understand, and someone to help to make the world to make sense, is here.  Clearly Speaking is listening, and is here to help  you, and cares, for as long as you need us, particularly at this very difficult and confusing time.  Please do reach out and ask for help if you need it and we will do all we can to help you.

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