ACE Unlimited - Bedford and District Cerebral Palsy Society

What our service does

ACE Unlimited is a monthly youth club for disabled young people aged 18-25 to come and meet friends in a safe and fun packed environment.

ACE has exciting activities that help young people learn new life skills and have new experiences to help build self-confidence and prepare for adulthood and independence. Every young person is encouraged to think about and work towards achieving their aspirations.

Activities include, sport, music, cooking, art and all activities are chosen by the young people attending. There is also access to the youth centres usual youth group amenities e.g. pool table, television, kitchen.

The young people are encouraged to take part in organising activities that they want to do in addition to the monthly clubs. These could be trips to the theatre, days out, music concerts, sports events etc.

Safeguarding is taken very seriously. Each young person will have a volunteer or member of staff available if needed and parents are not required to stay. All staff and volunteers are trained to meet the basic needs of the young people for example; safeguarding and epilepsy awareness. Paid staff are also trained to provide first aid, personal care, tube feeds and administration of medication and emergency medication and wherever possible any other requirement of the young person.

Location of our service

ACE club is open to young people in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire.

The club is held at the University of Bedfordshire, Polhill Avenue, Bedford.

Who our service provides for

ACE is open to young people aged 18 to 25. Priority is given to young people with Cerebral Palsy and associated disabilities living in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. Young people with other disabilities are able to attend but will be offered places after allocation to those with Cerebral Palsy and associated disabilities. A copy of the criteria is available on the website.

If we cannot offer you a place, we will try our best to tell you about other groups that would suit your needs.

How to start using our service

Please contact us at BDCPS if you are interested in using our services. We will be happy to discuss how we can help you. Someone from BDCPS will come out to meet you to find out all about you and how we can help you to achieve what you would like to.

There is no cost to join BDCPS. All BDCPS needs from a young person is their name, address, phone and email (where a parent/carer is a delegated advocate this will be to them). We will do a visit to young people to get to know them and make sure they will be safe and a part of the club. Young people can come along and try a session to see if it suits them and their needs can be met.

The cost for ACE Club is £6 per session. Once young people have joined BDCPS, we have a quarterly booking system where we will send you club dates, and ask you to book the sessions you would like. You will then receive confirmation of places with a quarterly invoice. Once paid, your place is booked. You can use your personal budget or direct payments to pay for any BDCPS service. This can be arranged through social care if there are any difficulties a member of the team can help.

This club is very popular with high numbers of young people attending. There will be occasional sessions where you may be on the waiting list.

How decisions are made about who can use our service

Decisions are made by the club coordinators and are based on our criteria and the safety of those attending. All of our services are needs-led and we try very hard to have enough staff with the right training to meet everyone’s needs. Safety is really important therefore sometimes, we do have more young people wanting to attend than we can take. We may not give you a place straight away but we will put you on the waiting list. If a young person is on the waiting list for any session this does not mean they will not get a place at the next sessions. Each quarter is looked at separately.

BDCPS are always happy to talk or meet to discuss and help you understand any decisions that are made. We have a complaints procedure, this is both in written and in symbol form. We would hope that you could talk to us and resolve any issues.

How we communicate with our service users

BDCPS regularly seek the views of the people that attend clubs to find out what they want from them. They do this by asking young people what they would like to do at clubs when they first meet them, by involving young people in the planning of ACE at each club and listening to their feedback.

For those have a parent/carer advocate feedback will be given to and taken from them at the beginning and end of clubs.

BDCPS have some staff with basic signing, are familiar with various communication aids, picture and symbol aids and are always willing to learn any way to communicate with you. BDCPS has staff from varying cultural backgrounds and that speak other languages; they can also access interpreters for some languages.

There is a website where young people and parent/carers can learn about BDCPS and see clips of the clubs in action.

Accessibility of our service

The University of Bedfordshire is an accessible venues and BDCPS provides the necessary equipment and support, including changing equipment, to ensure that young people can fully participate in all its activities.

Qualifications and training of our staff

All BDCPS staff and volunteers receive a basic training in matters relating to Cerebral Palsy and associated conditions. This includes manual handling, personal care, disability awareness, communication and safeguarding. Some staff are also trained to provide first aid, personal care, tube feeds and administration of medication and emergency medication and where possible any other requirement of the young person.

General Contact Information

Please contact Rose McHugh (Children’s Services Manager) if you would like further information.

Contact for more information

Rose McHugh
Children’s Services Manager
43 Bromham Road, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 2AA
01234 351759
Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday 9.00 – 4.00 (answerphone at times staff are off site)

Record Last Reviewed On: 18/01/2017