Hello everyone and welcome to our summer newsletter from the Young People’s Team.
We are thrilled that we are gradually opening up services and seeing you and your families face-to-face again.
The past few months have been a busy one for Whizz-Kidz. Sarah Pugh has joined us as our new Chief Executive. One of the first things Sarah is doing is looking to do is get feedback on the services we deliver and what else we can do to support young people and families in the future.
A big thank you to those who have helped with answering questions and surveys already, and if anyone has any thoughts they would like to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will gradually continue to open services as we source appropriate venues and activities and your local Coordinator will let you know as soon as we have something close to you.
In the meantime, we will continue with our online Clubs twice a month, so feel free to sign up to those as well as your local activities.
We are incredibly proud of everything our young people have achieved during the last year with Employability Skills Days, Work Placements and Clubs. If you have something you’re particularly proud of, do get in touch and let us know so that we can celebrate your successes with you.
Here are some updates on what we’ve been doing!
Over the last month, we have had three Clubs run as family days including a trip to Whitemoor Lakes where the young people had a go at a zipwire!
Although there were some initial nerves, all the young people managed to do more than one zipwire each and enjoyed seeing their friends for the first time since the pandemic.
In Manchester and Liverpool we visited Vibe outdoors and tried out canoeing and archery.
In Sheffield the young people did a trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It was an extremely hot day, so a lot of the animals were understandably hiding in their shelters, but we managed to see lots of animals including polar bears that were playing in the water.
The last face to face sessions for our sports coaching programme took place in July. Those participating learnt all about the role of a sports coach, how to peer mentor others and how to deliver wheelchair skills in sports.
We are now working behind the scenes finding a sports coaching placement for each young person so they have the opportunity to utilise some of the valuable skills they have learnt. We will also be making some videos related to sport and coaching as well as the opportunity to do some first aid training.
We have been able to return to Wheelchair Skills Training in Schools and have also delivered some ‘Train the Trainer’ training which involved giving some teachers at schools the skills to deliver wheelchair skills to their pupils.
We have had a great time getting back to face to face services in the South! Our first family days have been at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire and Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent.
We have lots more planned for the rest of the year so watch this space! If you have any ideas of accessible outdoor activities you’d like to try then do get in touch, we want to make sure you’re enjoying your days as much as we are ☺
Our work placements have returned outside of the virtual world and young people are getting back to experiencing work in offices and work places. These include working at advocacy services, community centres and the British Council!
Well done to those young people who are continuing to develop their employability skills particularly throughout the summer!
If you would like to hear more about our available work placements, please email email@example.com
My Journey Folders
If you have been to a club, or to a Employability Skills Day, you may have been given a physical or virtual handout and have nowhere to store it! We often get asked if we can help and now we can!
You can have one of these great folders to put all that information in! Record your journey with Whizz-Kidz in your very own “My Journey” Folder.
Inside you will see tabs for each program that Whizz-Kidz runs, from Clubs to Work Placements and everything in-between. Use the folder to keep your notes, handouts, recipes, employability “cheat sheets” or anything else in to record your experiences at Whizz-Kidz.
If you would like one, they will shortly be arriving with your local SDM or Activities Coordinator at Whizz-Kidz, so please do let them know so we can pass one onto you!
Ever wondered what a Whizz-Kidz Work Placement is like?
Recently two London based young people started on work placements with Films For All and the Greater London Authority to produce a youth-led documentary aiming to build support for youth work in a changing London. The film will be exhibited across London during National Youth Work Week in November.
As part of the work placement, young people have started down the path towards an Open College Network accreditation in Leadership and filmmaking.
Over the next few sessions with Films for All, they will be in charge of designing, shooting and promoting the film, and managing a budget of up to £800 in collaboration with their peers from other youth work agencies!
If you are interested in any of our exciting Work Placement opportunities please get in touch with us – firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners who may be able to help you
In recent weeks, we have started working with a range of organisations who may be able to support you.
Here are a few links that may be of interest. If there is any specific information you need please get in touch and we can see if we can put you in contact with the right people:
Contact – www.contact.org.uk
Contact is a charity for families with disabled children. They support families with the best possible guidance and information and bring families together to support each other.
The organisation also helps families to campaign, volunteer and fundraise to improve life for themselves and others.
Sense - www.sense.org.uk
Sense run lots of activities for children and young people but one network which some of our families may find useful is the Siblings Network.
We will be looking to develop projects in the future, however Sense are happy to welcome any Whizz-Kidz siblings and young carers into their network.
Information is provided here or please contact us for more information.
Hopefully this information is of interest to you and in coming months we’ll share any other opportunities.
Hope you continue to enjoy the summer and see you all soon,