Clearly Cool Youth Clubs by Clearly Speaking

Coronavirus status: OPEN

Clearly Cool Clubs are for all children and young people, and adults who have or may have, ASD, Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. We also support those who are 5 to 25 years of age and have other related special needs, as well as their families.

This wide range of  specialist clubs are open to children and young people who:

  • Have a diagnosis of, or are suspected as having ASD/Asperger’s Syndrome, or High Functioning Autism
  • Those with associated special needs or barriers to learning such as:
  • Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Dyslexia and Dyspraxia
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • ADHD and D.A.M.P
  • And associated behavioural and communication difficulties 

Since the Outbreak of Coronavirus, we have been offering specialist support sessions with all who come to Clearly for help and advice, with all who have Social Communication Difficulties, and who can struggle to make themselves understood, often leading to negative, aggressive behaviours if not carefully managed.  As so many children and young people have been in their bedrooms for six months and have not been able to access any online help or support. Clearly Cool Clubs have been offering one-to-one and small group sessions where we can discuss what is worrying them and why.

We are aware that for so many children and young people on the autistic spectrum, have not been able access online learning due to their fears and anxieties.  This leaves them far behind their peers who do not suffer with communication difficulties, and who were able to access learning as schools closed. Their fears are extremely high and we are using our Children and Family Centre, and the newly prepared garden, to gently support them to feel more comfortable and confident when outside their home.  Children and young people with a range of special needs and other barriers to making progress may feel like they do not fit in, or may be excluded from local clubs or activities at their school.

We have worked hard to build clubs which meets the needs of all those children and young people we meet, as well as ensuring that all members of the family are also safe and welcome.  Parents can enjoy support as well as their children, but they must pre-book a slot or place at the centre.

   

Activities

The activities we run provide discrete care and support to all our members. Clearly Cool Club look like any other youth club or activity days. Our clubs though have fewer participants and a higher number of adult supporters. This allows our specialist and trained staff to support your children and young adults more successfully. This allows them to build friendships and to enjoy their time with us in a safe and supportive environment.

All sessions help to improve social communication skills. Activities and crafts are planned to help all members to have a go with as much independence as possible. Members can also participate together so we can encourage friendships and positive relationships.

The youth clubs allow us to work closely with children and young people in a safe and supportive place. This gives us the opportunity to teach more appropriate social communication skills. We also support young people with peer and family relationship issues. We try to enable them to recognise how their behaviour may cause others to react negatively and how to change their behaviour to gain a more positive response.

   

Our Aim

Our aim is to provide relaxed, fun yet calm environments suiting the needs of the children and young people attending. We are able to set up activities which cater for specific areas of special needs and disabilities. We have a range of sensory equipment and we can offer regular sessions for families to book. Local groups working with children with more severe sensory needs or learning disabilities can also come in and use the centre with the support of our staff and volunteers.

Many of those we work with return to local clubs and activities with increased confidence and social communication skills. They may also feel more included and better able to manage and build new friendships. Our activity clubs are led by our Special Needs Consultant Janet Nicks. Jane is on hand to speak to parents about any worries, concerns or those who need help and support.

 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Janet Nicks
Contact Position
Project Director / Special Needs Consultant
Telephone
E-mail
info@clearlyspeaking.org.uk
Website
Clearly Speaking | Clearly Cool Clubs
Notes

Answerphone available if we are working with children when you call.

Email and phone contact is available.  Messages can be left as we focus on the groups which are running as a priority.  We will call you back now that we are open safely from 1 August 2020, with all advised PPE is in place. All adult visitors must wear a mask (unless previously agreed with the person they are meeting).  We ask that  children are supported to come into Clearly by themselves to avoid a possible larger group of visitors and members in the centre on activity days. Clubs are currently running Monday, Wednesday and Fridays with alternate Saturdays. We will continue to use a combination of both face-to-face and online access when it is appropriate and does not increase the anxiety of all attending groups. Careful planning will allow us to form safe, small "bubbles", centred around similar or the same interests, similar needs and difficulties and already developed friendships.

Parent Organisation
Clearly Speaking | Specialist Children and Family Support Services (Buckingham)

Where to go

Name
Clearly Speaking
Address
Buckingham Family Centre
London Road
Buckingham
Buckinghamshire
Postcode
MK18 1AS
Venue Notes

Situated between Buckingham Upper School and Swan Leisure Centre. Busses stop directly opposite the centre and to and from Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Bicester.

We hold a range of smaller groups built around small bubbles as guided by the GOV.UK website. We hope to return to larger groups in future, as things progress and schools, colleges and university return.  Everyone must book, due to the Coronavirus, we need to carefully manage our space, due to Social Distancing. Please call or text if there is an emergency and help or advice is needed quickly. Parking is provided directly outside the Centre, although it may be a pay and display during the week when Swan Pool and the school is open and is free on a Sunday. 

Since the Out-break of Coronavirus, we have had to reduce the size of our groups, running three junior sessions and three senior sessions each week.  We have no more than four children onsite at any one time, with up to four children who can link in via Zoom and this helps to build friendship "bubbles", we then rotate those who are in the centre and those online, if they feel able to come into the centre and join their friends in person.  We will increase the size of these groups as national advice is changed and our children and young people, and their parents/carers feel it is safe to do so.  We hope to return to weekends and evening groups as schools return and children are not continuing to be at home for most of their school week.

We cannot run drop in sessions at the moment, parents, Carers and Young People must book for all sessions we advertise as we work hard to keep everyone safe.  PPE is available throughout our Family Centre and we support children and young adults in using them, for example, sanitiser stations are in place with automatic dispensers. Children are also encouraged to wash their hands regularly, but staff and volunteers are relaxed and make this fun.

masks are worn by staff and volunteers all the times and entry to the centre does require a mask to prevent the spread of the virus. Small "bubbles" are carefully matched to make sure friends can stay together and to promote positive relationships and friendships during this stressful time.  

Our Therapeutic Garden is up and running and has helped both children and adults over the last month to improve their mental health.  all are welcomed to sit in the large greenhouse and enjoy gardening, the growth of flowers and vegetables, as they feel able to chat more freely to those who listen and offer support and advice as is appropriate. The garden is a secure area where sit and ride toys are also available for younger children, as well as sensory play with both sand water facilities to help those with more pronounced autism or learning disabilities. We assess the needs of all our new members, (members are - those who register with the Family Centre and continue to use our services).  

The venue is accessible to wheelchairs and large pushchairs sand we still have a wide range of clubs and activities including, cookery, craft, gardening, knit and chat and Dungeons and Dragons. We will speak to parents about which is best for their family.

Geographic Area Covered
England

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Monday, Wednesday and Friday as well as alternate Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.
Time of day
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Session Information
You must book places for children and young people
Youth Clubs, Juniors | 10am to 12 midday, craft, games, gardening
Youth Clubs, Dungeons and Dragons Seniors | 1pm to 4:30pm
10am to 12 midday cookery club, crafts, board games, and a chance to chat and catch up.
We have additional sessions for the sharing of food made at cookery club, this includes Wednesday 5pm to 7pm, a hot meal and food available
Alternate weekends will run separate clubs as requested by either children, young people or adults, e.g. an online knit and chat for parents, and a boardgames on a Friday evening once a month, the aim to to prevent loneliness and anxiety

Other Details

Cost Description
  • First Child: £5
  • Second Child: £4
  • Third Child: £3.50
  • £2.50 for any subsequent children

Payment needs to be received in advance to secure bookings.  This is to avoid the waste of spaces as we now have to limit them in regard to being able to come in to the centre rather than being online.  We have bags of activities and crafts to be collected before the session children and young people are booked in for.  this enables them to join in online as we all make the craft items from the session.

Age Related Price Differences

The charge for all 2 to 3 hour sessions is £5.00. 

For longer sessions, often offered to adults, we charge between £6.50 and £10.00 this should reach us prior to the session beginning and it covers all the materials and equipment used, e.g. a meal is cooked so ingredients, plastic tubs etc.

Age Ranges
Junior Activities From Birth to 12 years
Senior Activities From 13 years to 18 years
Adult activities 19 years of age and over.

Referral

Referral required
Yes
Referral Details

Referrals can come from any agency or Practitioner e.g. Paediatricians, Doctor and, or GPs, Social Workers, Family workers, Schools and teachers, Nurses and private nurseries etc.  

Families can self refer but will be asked to bring any paperwork available for us to identify the needs of those they want us to support and assist.

Due to the Pandemic, you must have left a message, have agreed a booking, including a date and time,  before you can come to the centre, meet and discuss what support best suits each family or individual children/young people and adults.

a referral can be made from Clearly  to other agencies if it is appropriate or needed, parents and carers will be supported to make any transitions.

Local Offer

Description

We are able to set up activities which cater for specific areas of special needs and disabilities. We have a range of sensory equipment and we can offer regular sessions for families to book.

Our local groups working with children with more severe sensory needs or learning disabilities can also come in and use the centre with the support of our staff and volunteers. This must be booked and all who attend must adhere to the centre's guidelines. A pre-session can be held to ensure that all staff and volunteers know what is expected of them in order to keep everyone safe.

Special clubs and activities will be advertised on Facebook and our websites. These can be booked by all those who are members of Clearly Speaking and Clearly Cool Clubs; phone 01280 824 871, or online, but please make sure this has been confirmed before the session, a further call to the centre may be needed if staff and volunteers are very busy.

Contact Name
Janet Nicks
Contact Telephone
Contact Email
info@clearlyspeaking.org.uk
Local Offer Age Bands
16 to 18
12 to 15
25 plus
19 to 25
2 to 4
All ages
0 to 1
8 to 11
5 to 7
Needs Level
Communication and Interaction
Autism
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
SEN Provision Type
Universal service (No referral required)
You Said We Did

Families have stated that they do not receive a call back quickly enough.  We have tried to ask parents/carers and professionals to leave very clear messages with a phone number so we can hear it and get back to them.  We have also booked some extra opening time at the Children and Family Centre, specifically for admin such as returning phone calls and confirming bookings, and helping with registration of children and young people.

We are advertising for someone who is able to help us two days a week with these specific tasks as their priority.

Parents wanted more opportunities to meet and just relax together, talking things through. Due to the Coronavirus, we have had to move some of our activity time online, this has given us more flexibility when booking knit and chat sessions, although we will hold the sessions at Clearly Speaking as our facilities expand, or as advice from the Government changes and allows us to have more people on site, larger bubbles etc.

General Local Offer Response

What needs does your service or activity aim to meet for children and young people with SEND and their families?

We aim to prevent loneliness and promote positive relationships and friendships.

We aim to help those on the Autistic Spectrum and who struggle with Social Interaction, we discretely teach new social communication skills, through play, fun or activities enjoyed by others in the group.

Adults on the Autistic Spectrum often live alone, or can be isolated at home as they struggle to communicate - we aim to help adults to avoid social isolation, to be able to travel independently and to reach the centre where friendships are encouraged and supported.  

We build local friendships for younger children, through the clubs and activities we run.  This can take time, however, with clubs and activities continuing to run throughout the year , we can help children and young people to learn new skills and to improve social communication skills as they enjoy their regular clubs and providing families with weekly respite.

 

What outcomes does your service or activity aim to achieve for children and young people with SEND and their families?
  • a removal of some, or the many barriers they face during childhood and when transitioning into adolescence, and adulthood.
  • to increase confidence and self esteem, improving mental health and aiding progress within areas of their own interests for example, employment or further education.
  • alleviating issues which can have a detrimental impact on a child or young person's health, and supporting them to develop better coping strategies. To increase independence skills and self-esteem.
  • to improve relationships within the family as challenging behaviour can cause extreme distress for all members of the family.
  • to ease anxiety and teach new ways of managing stress and anxiety throughout daily issues, relaxation and 'mindfulness'. 
  • to improve play and social skills within the clubs and activities taking place at Clearly Cool Clubs, with the special care and support in place.
  • To help children and young people (and adults) understand what was said in school/college and perhaps why it was said, then to help them to recognise the cue for a response such as, move to a safe place, or smile and accept a compliment this helps to avoid many conflicts.
  • To prevent Social isolation. Often those on the Autistic Spectrum do not talk to those around them, including their families. This can cause them to increasing withdrawal from society and lead to them refusing to participate within any peer based activity. We aim to alleviate this by working with them initially on a one to one, then slowly increase their peers and volunteers at the centre. As their confidence grows, we will increase their opportunities to volunteer and help others. This can be in place for as long as it is needed.
  • We support our members through important transitional periods of their life and support and guide, the family where needed, to make sure transitions and periods of change go as smoothly as possible for them. We keep the link open after transition to ensure they are not associated at any time, and feed back to parents/carers as is wanted and helpful.
  • through our volunteer program, we teach work based skills and help to build confidence as they grow, improving opportunities for employment, or apprenticeships in the future.
How can children and young people with SEND and their families start to use your service or activity?

Contact us by phone or email and give basic details of the issues of concern. We will then call or email back with an opportunity to meet is appropriate, or complete a registration form sent to families by email or by post.

How is your service or activity fully accessible to children, young people with SEND and their families, for example, facilities, support from staff?

We have a wide range of experience from the many children and young people we have seen at our Family Centre. All staff and volunteers attend Safeguarding training and can ask for specific training if they are unsure of how to best support a condition they have not encountered before.

I am a wheelchair user, I also have medical conditions which mean that I need to manage my care during the day at Clearly, children may ask about my wheelchairs and this breaks down barriers, and facilities for disabled children and adults are available on site, ramp access is available and all areas of the building can be accessed as a lift is available.

We have a shower available on site and changing facilities if needed, although the Coronavirus would cause us to have to call parents should your child require this level of support.

How do you communicate with children, young people with SEND and their families?

We generally speak to our children but can use Makaton if needed, we can increase training should a new communication style is needed.  We often use art, or gardening to distract and enable communication from those who wish to remain silent of who find communication very difficult.

What training have your staff and/or volunteers received to support children and young people with SEND and their families?

All our staff have been given an enhanced DBS Check, along with manual handling training, first aid, Child protection training, Safeguarding run by an external provider, as well as our extensive training package for Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Mental Health and physical disability training. 

We are always happy to add to the training available, we recently enabled volunteers to take their City and Guilds Level 2 Food and Hygiene as they were cooking. This can also help when applying for part time work such as bar work.

What future plans does your service or activity have for developing its SEND provision, for example, training, facilities?

We hope to increase external training in regards to the families who come to us for help.

We are looking for a more accessible kitchen so more people can cook safely at once and we can prepare more meals for those who need them. We hope to provide the special diets for families locally who need them.

Last Updated
14/10/2020

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