What we did in the holidays

Access to holiday activity provision for disabled children and young people, and their families

As the summer holiday period draws to a close, Scottish charity Shared Care Scotland is asking disabled children, young people and their families “What did you do in your holidays?”

The question is being asked as part of a national research study building valuable evidence that will help us understand the challenges faced by disabled children and young people in Scotland in accessing holiday provision.

For many Scottish families holidays can be a juggling act of balancing work, meeting day-to-day demands, and keeping children and young people occupied.  But for families with disabled children the struggle to access suitable activities over the holiday period can be even more challenging.  The absence of these opportunities can have a huge impact not only on the young person, but also on their siblings and wider family.  And with just under a quarter of children in Scotland identified as having some form of additional support need, the effects are wide-reaching.

 To better understand these challenges Shared Care Scotland has commissioned Simon Jaquet Consultancy Services Ltd (SJCS) to research the scale, nature, and delivery of holiday activity provision for disabled children and young people across Scotland.  This work will support future efforts to improve policy and practice, and the targeting of resources.

The research will take in the views of a variety of groups and individuals including disabled children and young people themselves, parents, siblings and carers, campaign groups and representative bodies, activity providers, local authorities, national organisations, and funders.

Three major online surveys are being launched in the autumn to seek these different perspectives. The surveys will explore:

  • The nature and quantity of holiday activity programmes available to disabled children and young people;
  • Other leisure and recreation activities experienced by children and young people, and their preferences for future activities;
  • The experiences of parents and carers in being able to access suitable holiday activity programmes;
  • The key characteristics of good practice in the planning, commissioning and provision of holiday activity programmes;
  • The challenges faced by those responsible for commissioning and providing holiday activity programmes; and
  • Practical solutions that could help overcome the challenges identified and improve quality, choice and availability

Don Williamson, Chief Executive of Shared Care Scotland added:

“This timely research will give us a much clearer picture of what holiday provision is available and to what extent this is meeting the needs of disabled children, young people and their families.  If we are to protect and invest in these services going forward it is vital we have good evidence that supports these efforts.  We hope as many people as possible will complete the online surveys and take this opportunity to have their voices heard.”

To find out more information about the surveys, and how to take part, contact Simon Jaquet (Director SJCS) at simon@simonjaquet.com

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