The benefits of learning outside the classroom are now well documented, particularly for young people with additional needs. Getting outside and exploring the world is a stimulating sensory experience for any child and can help reduce tension and anxiety. Being able to access the same facilities as their peers can help increase confidence, self esteem and improve social interactions.
In recent years we have vastly increased the number of children with Special Educational Needs benefitting from our facilities. The Sayers Croft Trust is committed to providing quality experiences for children and young people which includes ensuring up-to-date tailored staff training, the purchase of specialist equipment, increased and better supported holiday provision and a bursary scheme to support this increase in our SEN programme.
Our ‘Action Stations’ days provide young people with the opportunities to challenge themselves, gain social skills and have fun with their peers whilst at the same time giving families a short break. As well as trying new things and having fun, the young people will meet new friends and develop in confidence and self esteem as they progress. The majority of our participants become regulars allowing them to build trust and lasting relationships with both staff and children alike.
Our Action Stations days take place during school holidays from 10am-2pm and we take a maximum of 12 young people each day. We have a high staff:child ratio with plenty of Sayers Croft instructors on hand to support the young people each day. Each day costs just £8 as we cover the majority of our overheads through fundraising, donations and grant-giving charities.
Action Stations days are tailored towards the children attending and a variety of activities are available. Young people get a choice between a 'more adventurous' and 'less adventurous' option throughout the day and activities can include: archery, climbing, clay work, orienteering, shelter building, nature walks, photography, drums, ropes courses, raft building, maze, blindfold trail and more!
Due to the small group sizes often associated with SEN groups and schools, greater adult:child ratios and additional needs of these groups, many find it extremely difficult to afford trips to outdoor education centres. Our bursary schemes are supported through a number of grant-giving trusts and charities on an ongoing basis and come in two forms:
For groups, organisations and schools working purely with young people with additional needs including PRU’s, ADHD centres, young carers and specialist schools and colleges we offer bursaries of up to 60% off the total price of a trip to Sayers Croft. This means that groups can visit us for as little as £18 for an evening, £40 for half a day, or £75 for a full day of activities.
For individuals still in mainstream education with additional needs and those facing difficult financial/personal situations we can offer free places on trips to Sayers Croft. This means that these children are not excluded due to any financial, social or physical difficulties faced by themselves or their families and they can experience the same opportunities as their peers. Bursaries are offered on a per-person basis – for example for a total trip cost of £175 bringing 14 children this works out as £12.50 per child. If four children were eligible for a bursary this could mean a discount of 4 x 12.50 = £50 (up to a maximum of 60% of the total cost). To be eligible for these bursaries additional information for each child is required including age, details of any SENs (including statements), current financial/social pressures and/or entitlements that the child receives as well as whether the child would still come on the visit if no discount was available.
Dedicated youth clubs for children with additional needs and their siblings.
One of our long-term goals is to establish a dedicated youth club to support the families of children with additional needs. We are currently seeking funding for this and if you are interested in hearing more please get in touch using the details on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
Continuous improvement and adaptation of our facilities and resources to ensure accessibility for all.
We are constantly striving to adapt, improve and develop our activities to be as inclusive as possible. This includes ongoing internal and external staff training to improve our knowledge and expertise in many aspects of care, education and SEN. These improvements and training are supported through various donations, fundraising and grant-giving trusts and charities.
Most recently this has included support from:
In the past 2 years, we have given opportunities to around 1,200 local children and young people with special needs. With your help we can continue providing valuable outdoor experiences for these children and expand our Programme to help even more young people in need. If you would like to support our Special Educational Needs Programme please visit our ‘Projects’ page to donate or if you would like more information please get in touch using the details on the Contact Us page.