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Liverpool is Aiming High for Disabled Children A newsletter for disabled children, young people and families in Liverpool Issue 6

Welcome! Hello and welcome to the last edition of the AHDC newsletter. It’s been a long but worthwhile journey that we couldn’t have made without you. We have all achieved so much together over the last 18 months, and in many ways, it is just the beginning – and the future will hopefully build on the foundations we have laid for young disabled people and their families. The team at AHDC has really enjoyed meeting all the providers, children, young people, families and carers, and working with them to improve services and attitudes. We are thrilled that we’ve been able to more than double the volume and range of short breaks and opportunities available. In this edition you can see some examples of the benefits of accessing short breaks, as well as hearing from Anne Marie Carney, the AHDC Programme Manager, and her views on what has been achieved. We will as usual also share news about what has been going on recently, and what there is to look forward after March 2011.

Inside this edition... AHDC has made a very real difference to the lives and prospects of disabled children and young people. Inside, programme manager Anne Marie Carney tells us her views on the highlights of the last two years and also looks to the future.

Liverpool is Aiming High for Disabled Children... ...A programme to be proud of! Anne-Marie Carney is the Programme Manager for Aiming High for Disabled Children in Liverpool. Here she shares her reflections on the Programmes’ proudest achievements with us, as well as looking hopefully to the future and the lasting legacy of AHDC. “I think the most important legacy of Aiming High for Disabled Children will be found not only in the practical improvements that the funding has allowed, but also in the aspirational changes – the way we have altered people’s mindsets.”

The attitude of partnership has extended to other organisations and businesses – for example, Liverpool Museums, or regeneration agencies, who now look to embed the needs of disabled children and young people into their development and policies.

Liverpool is Aiming High for Disabled Children has become more of a concept, an attitude, rather than just a name, and that is what we will leave behind. And although the programme may be ending, Liverpool Aiming High for disabled children and their families will continue. That attitude has become embedded in services across the board – health, local authority, service providers, everyone. There has been a huge cultural change, and a lot of that is down to the involvement of children, young people, parents and carers. Everyone has worked so hard and so well together, we’ve come a very long way. And by working in partnership, we have been able to set the bar a lot higher. Some of the tangible changes will have a long-lasting benefit for years ahead. For example, expanding the amount of short break providers from a handful to more than 20. That means more choice for children and young people, more flexibility to suit families, and more of a range of activities, spanning the Arts, sport and leisure, friendship groups, overnight breaks, sitting service.


There are also some fabulous links that have been forged. Right up there are the links that have now been made between the young people and their families and people who plan and deliver services. At the end of the day, the parents are the experts – and we have developed systems for working with them. We have helped to build skills and confidence of parents and carers, giving them the means necessary to make their voices heard – the programme might be ending, but those voices will not go away. Parents have made it clear they want to continue to be involved, and that is welcomed.

There have also been some very practical improvements – for example working towards the Changing Places in Liverpool’s parks, and the mobile changing places that can be used at events. They will allow a lot more disabled young people and their families to go to places or attend events that they previously would have been excluded from. There are the adapted caravans that will be booked for family holidays , and all kinds of projects that have helped from a practical perspective – like grants and projects to allow youth clubs, nurseries and other community settings to welcome disabled children with better facilities; the Postural Care Clinics offering sleep systems which will have a long-term impact on children’s health and well being; the car seat clinics, and an improved wheelchair offer.

Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

On a national level, new legislation is coming into place from April 2011 that enshrines the need for short break provision, and on a local level, that commitment is already there. This particular programme may be coming to an end, but there will be continued commissioning of short breaks, and continued development of services, working with parents and young people. This has become a big priority, not just here in Liverpool, but everywhere.

in our community centres, in the city centre, at music concerts, at sporting events – and why shouldn’t we? A disabled child or young person deserves exactly the same opportunities to learn, develop and have fun than any other child or young person does. That has been the whole point of Aiming High. I feel optimistic that some real changes have been made that will lead to a more positive future. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in Liverpool’s AHDC programme – from the project team leads and members, to the members of the Programme Board and Sponsoring Group and especially to the parents, carers and young people. Everyone has played their part and everyone has made a difference.

I think one of the great advantages of the work we have done, and the legacy we are leaving, is the increased visibility of disabled children and young people. With easier access to the facilities they need, we will be seeing more and more of them in our parks,

Long may we all continue to Aim High for Disabled Children For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


Getting better at feedback Whilst New Year resolutions were still fresh, around 50 people gathered at a stakeholder day for parents and professionals called Getting Better at Feedback. Organised by a project group of Aiming High for Disabled Children in Liverpool, it drew together representatives from parents and carers of disabled children and the services that work with them. After a brief introduction to the day, Project Lead Lesley Wright explained that the Project Group have been working to identify the range of ways services seek feedback, and what happens as a result. The purpose of the day was to provide plenty of opportunity for the participants to discuss their experiences, identify what makes good feedback and agree some key messages to take away and to publicise. In groups people were asked to identify top tips, dos and don’ts, and suggestions for the next steps to take. Everyone was asked to make a formal statement about what they would do as a result of the event. In addition, all the key messages from the day were gathered together and agreed as an agenda for moving forward. The people who took part in the event felt that it allowed them to share views about


the strengths and weaknesses of the way feedback is gathered and used by services, and to contribute to identifying ways to improve the way we respond to your feedback Some of the key messages included: • Listen to all parents/carers • Consider timing of requests for feedback • Feedback should be real time (NOW): a little and often is better than once a year • Make sure that feedback is meaningful for everybody (services, parents/carers, children and young people) • Use different methods for collecting and feeding back results • Flexibility is needed: parents and professionals are busy • Have a consistent and recognisable model across all services and organisations • Feedback needs to be acted on – and families need to know what has happened

Over to you • What would be your top tips for improving feedback? • Should feedback about services be analysed centrally or by the services themselves? Let us know by sending your thoughts to:

Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

Out of Schools are Aiming High for Inclusion In 2010 Liverpool’s Childcare & Family Information Service successfully bid for an Aiming High grant. Its aim was to support the ongoing development of inclusive play practice and increase the number of children with SEN and disabilities accessing out of school childcare provision in Private, Voluntary and Independent out of school childcare settings. All Out of School providers are DDA compliant but many out of schools operate within shared spaces and have limited opportunities to develop the physical environment and/or store resources that enable children to freely access resources. The aim of the funding was to offer small grants to childcare settings: • To enhance shared space and accommodate resources to enable independent access by children and young people. • To improve the quality of resources available to reflect all children and families and to enable equal participation. • To offer a broader and more varied access to short breaks provision for children with SEN and disabilities aged 3-19 years within mainstream provision. • To encourage children and young people to experience increased independence as they will not have to rely on their parents to access activities outside of the school day. Revenue grants of no more than £2,500 and four capital grants of up to £5,000 were offered. Successful projects ranged from adapting kitchen and changing areas to purchasing resources and storage to enable free play. Access to facilities for children who attend settings can be problematic. Toilet areas often have very little space. Small capital grants were requested by settings to improve access to the play space and purchase appropriate changing benches and equipment.

Out of school clubs are required to prepare healthy snacks for children but some have poor resources and facilities to do this. Aiming High grants were requested to purchase new furniture and utensils appropriate for a range of children. Settings also wanted to improve access, choice, self esteem and self confidence for every child. Grants were requested to purchase mobile storage to encourage access and to create areas for different activities such as ICT, cosy areas, art and craft etc. Several out of school providers requested a grant to purchase large equipment to challenge the different needs and interests of all children and also to create sensory gardens. Others wanted equipment and resources that reflect all children and families such as books with storylines/pictures including children with special needs, bikes that seat two (or more) children and role play equipment. A full evaluation of the project outcomes will be submitted by settings at the end of March 2011.

For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


Liverpool’s 24 Hour Postural Care Project Parents, moving and handling advisors, nurses, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists are working together to develop a 24 hour postural care approach in Liverpool. Disabled children and young people with postural needs are usually provided with specialist equipment to help them sit and stand. Now with help from Aiming High for Disabled Children there is additional equipment to support their posture around the clock. Looking after posture is not just about getting a good sitting position in a wheelchair or a school chair. Out of nearly 9000 hours in a year around 4000 are spent in bed. Nighttime positioning equipment can have a therapeutic benefit even whilst a child is asleep. Sleep pattern, position and posture can all be improved as well as reduced pain and better mood. Stress levels may also improve because the less a child needs their position changed in the night and the longer and better they sleep, so do their parents.

In addition to equipment for home, night-time positioning equipment will soon be available in short breaks settings including Claire House, Millies, Prescot Drive, Woolton High and Zoe’s Place. There will also be new postural care equipment in use at Alder Hey Hospital to use on the wards. Parents are key to identifying their child’s needs and, working together with therapists, to working out what’s required to protect their child’s body shape. The project group has actively encouraged parents to participate and still needs more parents to get involved. If you are interested you are invited to a Postural Care Participation Event on Monday 18th April at Lifehouse from 10am until 12 noon. For more information on postural care or how to get involved please contact Steph Jackson (Community Physiotherapy) on 0151 438 2090 or Deborah Daniel (Children’s Occupational Therapy) on 0151 225 6062. For information on Postural Care Awareness Courses contact TAC College on 0151 295 3070.

In consultation with children and parents we are in the process of developing a Night-time Positioning Pathway and 24 Hour Postural Care Plans for all children with a postural need. These care plans can go wherever the child goes so their requirements are met in a consistent way by everyone involved with their support. A Night-time Positioning Equipment Evaluation Day was held in September. Parents and therapists evaluated each type and the results were analysed. Aiming High has provided a stock of this equipment. At the moment occupational therapists and physiotherapists are running clinics at Lifehouse where children and their parents can try out the equipment and then trial it at home.


Hallie’s got talent!

Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

Five year old Hallie Pickering (pictured above, centre) from Liverpool has achieved spotlight success with Fazakerley Special Needs Counting Me In Project. The sparkling youngster recently took part in her first ever stage performance at Liverpool’s Lighthouse Theatre thanks to the charity, based in Fazakerley Liverpool, and their links with Jade School of Dance. Having never set foot in a dance class before October 2010, Hallie showed great talent and promise when, after weeks of rehearsals, she and her other dance class members performed to two songs at the 400 seater capacity sell out show, receiving rapturous applause and whistles at the finale. FSNP’s Counting Me In is funded by Aiming High For Disabled Children. With this funding FSNP offers children and young people one to one or group support to enable them to access all types of different play provisions, sports activities and social settings to help that young person achieve a particular goal. Just some of the activities it has helped children and young people take part in are rock climbing, golf lessons and holiday play provisions, acting workshops, dance workshops, over night residentials and personal development courses leading to prospective employment. Counting Me In is available until March 2011 to 5-19 year olds with a disability in Liverpool. Contact Fazakerley Special Needs for details of other activities on offer for children and young people with a disability by calling 0151 521 7569 or e-mail

Liverpool Citizen Advocacy Transition Project

The Transition Project is working with young people aged 16 to 18 who are disabled and/or have longterm health issues. It is helping them look at their support needs as they make the transition from Alder Hey Hospital based services to GP as adults. Some of the issues it is looking at are: • Their hopes and fears • What they see as the barriers facing them • How different models of advocacy could help them • What they can do for themselves • What their friends and others close to them could do (including family, paid and unpaid carers) • What they can do for each other • What issue-based advocacy might be able to do for them For more information on Liverpool Citizen Advocacy transition project please contact: Sheldon Griffiths or Andy Donavan on 0151 707 1900 or email

For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


A big trip to Barnstondale! A weekend at the Barnstondale Activity Centre offered children from the Crossroads Care Liverpool and Aiming High scheme the opportunity to experience a range of activities, including indoor wall climbing, archery, group games and treasure hunts. All the children involved embraced the opportunities available and showed real enthusiasm. The aims of the weekend were to promote independence and inclusion, to build new skills, friendships and confidence and to enable the children to break free of their routine. Each child was able to try something new, which broadened their experiences and boosted confidence. Group games of football, bowling and treasure hunts enabled the children to encourage and support each other. The indoor wall climbing activity and archery was extremely successful as each child encouraged the other when attempting the climb which had positive effects on all the children’s sense of achievement and communication skills.

All the activities available on the Barnstondale weekend proved to be a welcome challenge and appealed to the children’s sense of adventure. The following feedback was received from parents: Daniel’s mum said she noted a marked improvement in his ability to communicate on his return from Barnstondale, he seemed to have gained confidence verbally and socially. He also appeared to have eaten and drank enough, which is often a problem for him, for a first weekend away with new people. Edward’s mum said the trip was very well organised, lovely helpful carers, the whole experience was excellent. Michael’s mum said they even managed to decorate his bedroom, he seemed very happy and relaxed on his return.

Remember when... ...we won the game!

Wheels for All The Wheels for All project aims to provide individuals, groups and families with the opportunity to cycle together, irrespective of ability, needs, or age. Those who are unable to ride a 2 wheeled bike get the chance to cycle with friends or family, in a safe and secure environment.

These are the times at Greenbank until end of March 2011: 19th March (11am-1pm, 2 hours outdoors) 26th March (11am-1pm, 2 hours outdoors) We also run cycling sessions at Greenbank every Tuesday from 4-6pm.

The children and young people enjoy a trip out cycling


Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


What’s on at MYA? Merseyside Youth Association has a number of projects taking place in the near future. Choices Project will be working in partnership with Fazerekley Special Needs club running 4 sessions and providing a residential break at Colomendy at the end of March 2011. The focus of the group will be on fun and building up young people’s confidence and selfesteem and giving them new opportunities such as caving, abseiling and fencing whilst on residential. Choices will also be working in conjunction with the M2i music project to deliver a 6 week scheme based at Chadwick Mount Church, St Domingo Road, Everton. It’s aimed at giving young people the chance to try a new musical experience by participating in guitar lessons, drums and DJ workshops to name but a few. The sessions will be running from 5pm-7pm every Monday evening till the end of March 2011. If you are interested in any of these groups or would like more information on how to access any of these services please contact the Disability & Inclusion Team at MYA on 0151 702 0700

Youth projects The Disability Equality project is continuing to support Splice, along with Fusion & Liverpool Youth Service. Currently there are activities running in Harthill On a Tuesday 6.30 8.30pm, Unity 4 Walton (Tuesday), Clubmoor and Childwall (Wednesday) and Knotty Ash (Thursday). If you of if you would like your son/ daughter to attend any of the Splice sessions contact MYA on 0151 702 0700. The Disability Advisory Group continues to be a voice for disabled young people across the city and has been heavily involved in the consultation process currently being undertaken by Liverpool City Council. The group recently facilitated a meeting for disabled young people and their parents/carers with Ann O’Bryne, a local councillor, to put their views across. You can read an account of their meeting elsewhere in this newsletter. For more information on accessing any these services please contact a member of the Disability & Inclusion team on 0151 702 0700.

Liverpool is Aiming High for Disabled Children... Sexual Health Training AHDC Liverpool and Cheshire and Wirral Sexual Health Network have been working together to develop a Sexual Relationships and Education (SRE) training programme for children and young people with Moderate Learning Disabilities/Learning Difficulties across Merseyside. We have been able to provide15 appropriate professionals and parents/ carers from the area with the opportunity to devise their own SRE training model which they can then take back to the workplace or community. Training will allow participants to discuss and learn about the issues in relation to disability and SRE including the perspective of the parents. This training model will deliver courses for parents of young people with disabilities enabling them to feel comfortable about tackling sexual and relationship issues with their children. The first day out of three has been delivered so far and participants felt it was both a useful and interesting day. One participant said: “It was really interesting to be able to work with other professionals who have an interest and experience in this field alongside parents who gave us an insight into their perspective. In order for us to develop an effective programme it makes sense to work together


Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

and understand the issues faced from both the professional and parent perspectives. The delivery was relaxed and fun; the exercises/ role play gave us some examples of how to enable parents to discuss SRE with their children and the difficulties they face.” Another said: “I thought the training was good. It was well facilitated with just enough time allocated for each activity to run smoothly and to discuss. I enjoyed being in a group with a mixture of professionals and parents with children with disabilities both with mixed levels of understanding.” We hope that through this training opportunity both parents and professionals will be able to share and deliver much needed SRE training with colleagues/ parents /carers in local communities.

Training will allow participants to discuss and learn about the issues in relation to disability and SRE including the perspective of the parents.

For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


Liverpool is Aiming High for Disabled Children... Make Information Count During the Aiming High for Disabled Children Programme the IMT Project has been working away in the back ground to support the recording, sharing and use of information amongst providers of care & services. The Painting a Picture of Disability project has strived to pull together information from a number of sources to paint a fuller picture of disabled children and their needs, across the city of Liverpool.

Supported by the Local Authority & Liverpool Primary Care Trust, the Painting a Picture of Disability project will continue to gather, analyse and monitor information, ensuring that those who commission services have the information to support them with meeting the needs of disabled children, young people & their families.

This information can be used to predict future demand for services; for example predicting that the number of children and young people with complex health needs is expected to double by the year 2025.

New developments Update on Fixed Changing Places AHDC are proud to announce that work has now started on both the Croxteth Park and Calderstones Park fixed Changing Places. We have been advised the building work will be completed at the end of March and that an official opening of the changing facilities in both parks will be held before the Easter break. These new toilet facilities will enable families with disabled children to make the most of these lovely Liverpool park settings. Please check on the Liverpool City Council website or log onto to see when these great faculties will be open to the public.

Mobile units We have purchased two mobile changing units for the city of Liverpool. We are working in partnership with Liverpool Sport and Recreation Service who will take over the booking and management of these brilliant new facilities from April 2011. Disabled children, young people and families will be able to attend and enjoy events across the Liverpool region, visit places of interest, attend sporting and cultural events, and much more. These are excellent quality mobile units and of a size which can be transported to most venues at short notice; the changing units will significantly encourage families who may care for a disabled person  to visit venues and attend events by removing some of the barriers. If you feel you


Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

could benefit from these facilities for your visit please contact the venue or the event organiser. If you would like more information on hiring out these facilities then please contact: Tony Yih on 0151 233 6341 or the Events unit on 0151 233 6362 If you would like to know more about the National Changing Places campaign or for further changing places across the region, and nationally go to: or telephone: 020 7696 6019 or Email:

Adapted Caravans Update

We are now able to tell our readers that both caravans are now on site, with the second one due for completion of all adapted features any day now. A local school has kindly come forward to manage the booking process and the AHDC Programme Manager and Headteacher of the school have been on a recent site visit to finalise all the booking, arrival and cleaning contractual arrangements. We will let people know the booking arrangements as soon as possible.

For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


Disabled Young people meet Councillor Anne O’Byrne As part of the ongoing consultation about Liverpool Youth Services, disabled young people had the opportunity to meet with Cllr Anne O’Byrne, who is responsible for Liverpool Integrated Play and Youth Service.

A note from the editor...

She currently attends the DAC project (Disability Advisory Group) and has also used LYS for over 6 years. Jemma said: “I was able to tell Cllr O’Byrne about the current media project I am doing with the DAC Project. Its about a day in the life of a disabled person and how society sees disabled people in general. I was pleased at the fact that Cllr O’Byrne expressed an interest seeing the DVD once it was completed.

...We do

Feedback please! We hope you have enjoyed reading all the editions of Aiming High for Disabled Children newsletter. It has been our aim to provide you with interesting and informative articles about disabled children and their families, as well as useful facts about opportunities or services.

Disabled young people, along with their parents and carers, were able to ask Cllr O’Byrne about the future of Liverpool Play and Youth Service for disabled children and young people. Jemma Towey, one of the young people who attended the consultation, shared her thoughts on the evening and on the review of the youth service in general.

You say...

“I thought that it was worth while attending the consultation evening as if councillors are interested in what disabled children and young people think, then we are half way there trying to keep as much youth provision as possible for disabled children and young people in Liverpool. “I go to youth clubs because I really get listened to by the staff and I know I am valued. Youth workers are a valuable asset to the Youth Service and I hope that youth workers are able to continue to work in our youth clubs across the city.”

Myself and the team have really enjoyed hearing from families, children, young people and all the providers. We hope you have found some if not all of the information in our newsletters useful and interesting. We hope that this kind of information will continue to reach families, but it may not be in the same format. It is our aim to ensure that you still do receive information about services, and we will try very hard to continue pushing for more information for families. So please do keep logging onto the Family Services Directory website - uk - to find about projects and services local to your area. I would like to thank all our readers who have taken the time to contact us with their views and stories.


Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families

Here is some of the feedback we received this time round: A parent’s views on Crossroads Short Breaks Service:

“We have spent quality time with my son’s younger brother, who has been able to be centre of attention for a change.” “We have been able to go away for the weekend and do all the attractions and enjoyed it.”

“My daughter has come back very happy, confident and full of the whole experience, just what she needed! Nothing is too much trouble for this service I am very happy with it!”

Liverpool is Aiming High for Disabled Children...

For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022


AHDC Useful contacts

Contacts for AHDC projects funded so far…

Anne-Marie Carney Programme Manager on 0151 296 7709

Aspire ‘Time to Play’ Project: Culturally diverse dance and arts activities (Call Mike Hobbs on 0151 639 9231)

Lou Dukalski / Carol See Short Break project Leads on 0151 233 2163 or email Louise.Dukalski@ Fusion 0151 233 6894 Family Service Directory on 0800 085 2022 Parent Partnership on 0151 233 2848 Integrated Play and Youth Service - Careline on 0151 233 3007 Parent Carer Forum For training opportunities for families whose child has a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and families waiting for an assessment for their child through the ASD Pathway Contact Tracey Williamson Claudia Armstrong on Tel 0151 233 2525 or 233 1101 Email tracey.williamson@ claudia.armstrong@liverpool.

Making Faces Together: Face Painting taster sessions and an introduction to face painting with accredited training available (Call Claire Bullen on 07853 064029) Henshaws Society for the Blind: Sensory activities for visually impaired children (Call Elaine or Hannah for more details on 0151 708 7055)

Everton Football Club:

Football for Deaf children: After school football sessions for deaf children. Powered Wheelchair Football: After school football sessions for powered wheelchair users. Alder Hey Activity Sessions: Physical activity & social sessions for disabled children at Alder Hey Hospital (Call Steve Johnson on 0151 530 5256)

Greenbank Project:

Schools Out: Inclusive sports, dance, drama and arts activities during school holidays. Schools In: Inclusive after school sports, dance, drama and arts activities (Call Greenbank Sports College on 0151 280 7757) Greenhouse ‘Open Wings’ Project: Inclusive dance and drama sessions (Call Debbie Wright on 0151 726 8099) Merseyside Youth Association: Choices Project (Call Neil Jackson on 0151 702 0700).

Liverpool Crossroads for Carers:

Additional Needs: Range of support including emergency provision for children with additional needs. Sitting Service: For families in their own home covering a wide range of additional needs including complex health needs. For all information on Crossroads services call Jackie Coles on 0845 601 1990. Creative Space: Inclusive creative music sessions (Call 0151 236 4725) MSDP: Deaf Active: Activities for deaf children including kick boxing, archery, street dance & football (Call Ian Duncan 07515 639 473) Fazakerley Special Needs ‘Count us in’ Project: Supporting children and young people to access play and leisure activities (Call Eamon on 0151 521 7569 Specialist Equipment: For Equipment queries call 0151 282 7717 Fusion: for Inclusive social and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people - Call 0151 233 6894 to speak to the Fusion team. Mersey Tigers: For access to this project contact Stephanie Naylor 0151 285 3820. Daisy UK on 0151 220 2319 For inclusive opportunities for disabled children and young people in sports, arts, dance, relaxation and much more. Inclusive Cycling Project: for more information please contact Daniel Coonan - Wheels for All Co-ordinator on 07772161 710.

Planned Short Breaks: For children & young people with a physical disability, including overnight stays. Access to Play: Supporting children with social & emotional difficulties to enable them to access local play and leisure.

Committed to improving services for disabled children, young people and families For more information visit: or telephone: 0800 085 2022

Aiming High for Disabled Children  

A newsletter for families affected by disability in children and young people, highlighting new and positive developments

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