Limestone Way (25.3 miles)
Team Fairplay will be tackling 25.3 miles of the Limestone Way Walk on Saturday 6 June 2015.
This will take the team through beautiful scenery of the Peak District and help to raise funds for Summer Playschemes and day trips out for the children and young people of Fairplay.
Come along to what will be a great fundraising event! Monday 1st June will see our first Fashion Show held at the Fairplay Centre, showing all the latest collections for Summer from Next, Matalan, New Look and more. There will be clothing ranges for teenagers and adults so come along and stock up for Summer or your holidays! Tickets are £5 available from the Fairplay office.
You can see Ashley talking about the documentary below:
North East Derbyshire Chair’s appeal are holding a charity auction in aid of Fairplay with some exciting lots up-for-grabs! The auction, which is open to members of the public, will take place on Tuesday 16 December in the Council Chamber at Council House, Saltergate, at 12 noon.Tickets are priced at £4.50 or £3.50 for senior citizens and children, and
include an auction programme and buffet lunch. For more information please visit :
*** BEWARE OF BOGUS DOOR TO DOOR CALLERS!***
Unfortunately it has come to our attention that individuals in the Mansfield area are using our good name to sell calendars, raising funds for a minibus.They are calling door to door and are very convincing! We have or would never ask for donations or sell any merchandise door to door. We have contacted the approriate authorities regarding this matter.
On Thursday 11 September we held our very first Talent Show hosted by DCAS combined with the AGM and Volunteer of the Year Award. The evening was a great success, with 12 acts dazzling us with their talents and over 100 people attending. Acts ranged from singing, comedy and dancing with Noah and Aaron being overall winners. Well done to Callum – winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award 2014.
My name is Joanna Grace and at about this time last year I set up the Sensory Story Project. The aim of the project was to create sensory stories that families would be able to afford. Sensory stories are a fabulously simple resource that provide individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities with the opportunity to: learn; develop communication skills; express preferences and influence the personalisation of their care; bond; have fun and so much more.
I first encountered them when I taught in a school for students with severe and profound special educational needs and I loved them because they enabled me to teach all of my students together.
Sensory stories combine concise text with strong sensory stimuli. Typically they’re less than 10 sentences long, and each sentence or phrase is partnered with a really good sensory experience. My stories all use experiences that you can find around your house or in your local supermarket, things like stock cubes as smell experiences, hand soap as a slimy touch experience, coloured cellophane as a sight experience. Simple things which if used with a little bit of know how make for big sensory experiences.
Here’s a beautiful visual experience made from a straw and some curling ribbon. The sensors in our eyes which pick up movement are different from those which register colour and shape so some people may find it easier to see a moving stimuli. This one certainly draws the eye.
Sensory stimulation is essential for cognitive development. Children with physical disabilities may be less able to access stimulation for themselves. Similarly children who struggle with sensory processing may avoid sensory experiences and so miss out on all their benefits. When we learn in a sensory way more of our brain gets involved so we stand more chance of remembering.
Since launching the project I’ve discovered so much more about sensory work myself. One of the wonderful things the project has afforded me the time to do is read all the research that surrounds sensory work. It has been fascinating discovering things like the impact of sensory work on behaviour. For example one setting found that introducing sensory work lessened their need to use physical restraint to control behaviour or the role sensory stimulation can play in supporting individuals with dementia. I have remained focused on my original aim: to create high quality sensory stories which families would be able to afford and use.
The project created five stories. Since its launch two more have been added. Later this year I have a book coming out which has a further five and I’ve had the chance to collaborate with some wonderful people. This has led to there being a sensory tour of the King’s State Apartments at Kensington Palace and the creation of three sleepy sensory stories on behalf of Postural Care CIC which are to be used to support night time positioning for individuals with disabilities.
Another thing about the project which has been a real joy to me and supporters of the project has been the opportunities I’ve had to go into adult care settings and provide training in how to share sensory stories. It’s been great being able to meet Choice Support’s enthusiastic staff and to see them take sensory stories into the care settings they work in.
I began volunteering at Fairplay in April 2014. The reason for this was because I am looking to pursue a career in counselling children and young people, or family therapy, therefore, an organisation such as Fairplay is an ideal place to begin gaining experience relevant to my future.
Although it may seem as though I haven’t been at Fairplay for a long time right now, I feel as though I am already learning new things and meeting new friends, as well as being able to apply some of my own listening and creative skills to my volunteer work. I love being active and trying new things, which volunteering with Fairplay definitely provides me with the opportunity to do – this summer, for example, I will be visiting the Magna Science Centre and helping out at the Summer Ball for the first time! There is always something exciting to get involved with, and no two sessions are the same.
So far in my volunteering journey, I have helped out at Girls’ Night, making friendship kits and discussing what makes a good friend; something very important to realise whilst growing up. This is one of the main things I like most about Fairplay – all of the staff and other volunteers are so welcoming, positive and fun to be around, which in turn influences the mood of the children and young people who attend. Everybody feels included and ends up with a smile on their face!
The first trip I went on with Fairplay was to Chatsworth Farm Park with the Under 8’s. We were lucky because it turned out to be a sunny day, and the children loved meeting the animals and running off steam on the adventure playground.
As well as the above, I regularly volunteer at the Parent and Toddler group, working with the Under 5′s and their siblings. This session is great, because I am able to work with the children as they complete a range of activities, such as jigsaws, construction (building toys), water play, reading stories, and spending time in the sensory room. All the activities available help to develop the children’s learning, senses and awareness, which I believe is invaluable, and such an amazing thing to be a part of.
Volunteering at Fairplay is, in one word, awesome! I would recommend it to everyone. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference giving up just a few hours of your spare time each week can make, both for yourself and those you are working alongside. I’ve found that it has helped my confidence, and broadened my knowledge of what working with children and young people with additional needs involves, as well as the unbeatable feeling of happiness in knowing that you are making a difference, and contributing towards an amazing cause.
This weekend the Fairplay team tackled the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge . Last year when we completed this, the sun was blazing hot, almost too hot. This year it was the extreme opposite! Rain, gales, wind, sleet and hail seemed to never end. Despite the weather we still managed to complete the route quicker than last year (14 hours) in 13 and a quarter hours.
We have also reached our target of £1000 and money continues to come in. Thanks so much to everyone who has donated. It was a hard slog but it’s well worth it! If you want to donate please bring donations into the office.
We have so much fun doing this, so if you are a staff member, parent, associated with Fairplay and want to join the team ( you need to be fit or walk on a regular basis) and raise funds for Fairplay please contact us for more information. It will involve a full weekend and we do camp!
Our latest newsletter is now available to read! Please click here to view and see what’s been happening at Fairplay.
We have now a dedicated fundraising group who are in the process of putting together an exciting plan of events for the year. The next fundraising meeting is 8th April 2014 at Mes Amis on Chatsworth Road in Chesterfield at 6.30pm-8.30pm. If you would like to be a part of the group (or have any fundraising ideas) please contact Heather Fawbert at the the Fairplay Office on 01246 203963.
(Thanks Bethan for the lovely graphic!)
I became a volunteer because I want to gain experience working with children and young people with disabilities, as I’m working towards becoming a SEN teacher. I will always carry these experiences with me.
It has given me self confidence in my teaching skills and allowed me to make many new friends. With a background in the creative industry as a Graphic Designer I particularly help out with the creative projects , encouraging them to find the skills they may already have such as drawing, painting, crafts etc. This gives them a chance to share their skills with staff and other young people.
Volunteering at Fairplay is an amazing experience. I work with some great people, staff, young people and children. I mostly volunteer with with the Independent Living Group (aged 16 to 25) where young people develop independent skills. Being with them day to day and seeing improvements is very rewarding. To see them proud of themselves sets them up to continue to succeed with the skills they have developed.
The group does a variety of different social activities such as shopping, which includes supporting them on paying for goods, assisting the young people to organise day trips out for everyone including looking and planning bus times, location and meal times. They also love doing fitness actives such as going to the gym which is moderated for different needs, swimming, yoga and other days include bowling, cinema and laser quest.
In my experience it’s very rewarding to give up some of your free time to support others. It gives me huge satisfaction at the end of each day and I really feel appreciated by the young people and children for every bit of help I give.
I also volunteer at the Under 5’s session, a preschool group for children with additional needs/disabilities under 5 and their siblings. I am able to teach them new skills, whether this is through numbers, counting, building, jigsaws or roleplay with the toys. It is really great to see them progress their learning skills week after week.
There is access to a sensory room designed to develop children’s sensory skills which is invaluable. All the children love spending time in there! The group also provides an opportunity for parents to get together and meet informally to have a cup of tea and chat about experiences, give advice and just have a general chat about life with other parents who may be in a similar situation.
Fairplay is a brilliant place to be a part of and if you have any time to volunteer you should give it a go, maybe it will be a career changer.
My Experiences of Volunteering with Fairplay
I first became a volunteer at Fairplay in 2008, when I was 14 years old. My friend Alice had heard about it and thought it sounded like something good that we could do, so I signed up. Perhaps because I started at a young age, my experiences of volunteering at Fairplay have played a key part in shaping and influencing the direction of my life so far. A lot of people often say that with volunteering you get out just as much as you give, and I cannot agree more with this sentiment. I would say that Fairplay has given me much more than I have given it, being time-wise a small investment but influentially a key part of my life so far.
Being a volunteer at Fairplay was the first ‘volunteering position’ I ever had – my first real position where I first gained experience of practical matters such as safety and risk with children, teamwork, social/people-skills and communication, as well as skills in caring for, communicating with and supporting children and young people who have special needs.
Volunteering gave me a small degree of responsibility for another person for the first time, helping me to gain maturity and confidence in myself. Challenging experiences are character and confidence building, and Fairplay has been no exception – an ongoing, slow-release challenge that has contributed to my development as an individual.
Whilst I was still at Secondary school Fairplay was a place where I was useful, doing something I enjoyed and where it didn’t matter how I looked or who I was friends with, because all and everything that mattered was the wellbeing of our children and young people. I felt part of a team.
Over time I got to know many of them individually and it was (and still is) a great feeling to know their personalities, their likes and dislikes, some of what they are about as people – knowing that I was a part of the experience they knew of as Fairplay.
Although I can only volunteer at the holiday play-schemes, rather than fortnightly as I did for a long time, I still recognize many of them and have met many lovely, lively, funny, kind, individual, varied, children and young people, all of whom I have learnt from.
Volunteering at Fairplay has also helped me practically. It helped me get a job in the USA last year, working for 10 fantastic weeks outdoors with young people with special needs in New Hampshire (thank you to Shauna for the references!). Then in September it helped me to get a part-time job locally, working in a support/buddying role with a young man who has learning difficulties (himself an ex-Fairplay attendee).
What’s more, Fairplay has influenced the direction of my education and career. This September I am going to university to study to become a speech and language therapist. Fairplay was where I first became interested in communication, and contributed to why I know I want to follow a career working with people who have autism, special needs and communication difficulties.
Fairplay has been an influence over me, affecting and developing me personally, socially, mentally and practically. I would recommend anyone thinking about volunteering to absolutely do so – even if it turns out it’s not for you; at least it will be something you can add to experiences you’ve tried.
Fairplay is a good organization to be involved in. It provides valuable services to children and young people with additional needs and their families in Derbyshire. The Chesterfield Centre and the play-schemes, clubs and activities have a really positive atmosphere and a lot of fun can be had by all.
Even if you don’t volunteer for Fairplay, definitely volunteer for something. Put your time to good use by helping someone else, and you may well end up benefitting just as much, if not more.
The Community Lives in Derbyshire Newsletter Issue 5 is now available.
The Community Lives programme is about finding new and better ways of supporting people with learning disabilities, meeting their needs, as well as those of their family and carers.
For more information about the project visit: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/communitylives
You can view the newsletter here.
First diary post on what it’s like to volunteer with Fairplay – Thank you Ellie!
When I finished school in May 2013 after completing my A Levels, I really did not know what I wanted to do next; I decided that taking a gap year was a good option as it would provide me with some time to think about what I wanted to do as well as having a bit of fun and a break from studying! I have Cerebral Palsy, which meant that your usual gap year activities, such as going travelling and volunteering abroad, were not really going to work. However, I always knew that I wanted to volunteer for someone or something and I loved the idea of working with children & young people with additional needs and disabilities because of having a disability myself. This is when I found Fairplay.
Living in Chesterfield, I had heard of Fairplay before, but I didn’t really know much about it. In July 2013, I attended a disability sports event at Queens Park where Fairplay had a stand. I said that I was really interested in volunteering and I explained my situation. I was then invited down to the Fairplay Centre for a look around and to get a feel for the place; as soon as I walked in I loved it and I instantly knew that I wanted to volunteer for Fairplay. It had such a great atmosphere and the facilities were just amazing from the library and kitchen, to the outside garden area and the sensory room.
I promptly filled out an application form and wrote a personal statement explaining why I wished to volunteer for Fairplay. In September 2013, I attended a training course run by Fairplay, which must be completed by everyone who wishes to volunteer. Although I was quite nervous about attending the course,
I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot of stuff! After this, I was lucky enough to be selected to become a Fairplay volunteer and all I now needed was a DBS check.
I currently volunteer with the Independent Living Group, which is for young people with additional needs and disabilities to develop their independence skills. The group also have many fun and social activities and use the house owned by Fairplay known as Fairview House. The young people who I work with are all absolutely lovely and they are a pleasure to work with.
Last week, the ILG learned about healthy eating and how much sugar you find in different foods and drinks; we measured the sugar content out into clear plastic cups and I think the amount of sugar was a shock to the young people and staff alike! We also did about shopping on a budget and the young people were given different recipes and were encouraged to go onto Tesco online and cost up how much it would be to make that recipe for 10 people; the three recipes were Vegetable Lasagne, Vegetable Chilli and Vegetable Stew. The young people were then encouraged to agree on one of the meals to cook for themselves in the afternoon.
Today, I worked with two of the young people from the group on ideas for the ILG newsletter. We decided to brainstorm all of the recent activities that they have done that they really enjoyed; firm favourites included a trip to Ice Sheffield, a trip to the cinema and baking. The young people were then able to put their IT skills to use and used laptops to type up their ideas, complete with photos from Fairview House!
Ellie also has her own blog CP Teens
Fairplay publishes 3 newsletters a year; Autumn, Spring and Summer. The newsletter brings together news and information about Fairplay, highlights and achievements and also information from other organisations that we feel may be of interest to those who access our services.
Come along to our ‘Christmas Fayre’ on Saturday December 7th from 4-6pm. Browse a wide range of interesting and original gift stalls as well as to visit Santa outside in his wonderful grotto on the Fairplay garden. Food will be served as well as Christmas drinks. Everyone is welcome. For more information or if you would like to have a stall at the event, please contact Fairplay on 01246 203963.
There is no parking at the Fairplay Centre however there is FREE carparking in the Mecca Bingo carpark FROM 4-6PM ONLY.
We are pleased to announce that we now have a 5 bedroomed house called “Fairview”! The Independent Living Group (ILG) have spent the last few months choosing colours and buying furniture for the property and are now using it on a weekly basis to develop their practical skills such as washing, making beds, hoovering and cooking.
Members of the ILG have also had the opportunity to stay over at the house. This service will be offered out to other young people in the near future.
Fairview will not only provide much needed short breaks it will also be used to access levels of independence, provide a transition route into supported living, and be a good opportunity to match young people who are compatible for a supported living programme.
Homemade soup on the menu today, freshly made by our Moving Forward Group! Smells good already, can’t wait for the taste test!