Bedford Mencap Playscheme

What our service does

To provide a summer holiday playscheme for children with a learning disability age between 4-18yrs.

The child needs to have a statement of Special Educational Needs.

The scheme promotes holiday fun in a relaxed atmosphere, with up to 60 children in attendance every day. Activities range from swimming, sports, art, yoga, animal visits, magic shows, flower arranging, tennis, art, cooking and gymnastics.

We are open for 15 days, lots of qualified and experienced staff, with the addition of volunteers (young people) to support the children.

We can offer support for a range of needs. For children who may find a busy environment difficult, we would need to plan carefully and ensure our service can offer the right support.

Location of our service

We are located at Springfield Lower School, Kempston.

We are funded by Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. We offer places to children in both authorities.

Who our service provides for

Sometimes if a child has challenging behaviour, we may conclude that our scheme would not be suitable for them. We would direct them to Autism Beds who offer a much smaller scheme, with a dedicated 1-1, more structure, and a very secure site. A child whose behaviour may challenge, physically, would be better placed here.

For a child who has additional medical needs and cannot be supported, an application can be made to the childcare development officer at both authorities. An application to panel is also considered through Social Services, Children With Disabilities Team, for a child who may need 1-1 experienced member of staff, to access the scheme, rather than a volunteer.

How to start using our service

All the booking forms are sent out through Ridgeway/Grange and St Johns Special School.

A referral can be made from school, social worker, word of mouth. The sessions are £20 per day. Some families use Direct Payments to pay for the sessions.

We are OFSTED registered, so families can claim back childcare costs.

The registration period is 4 weeks over April. After this time, names are added to a waiting list and available spaces are allocated.

How decisions are made about who can use our service

All decisions are made by the Manager, if needed after consultation with other professionals, involved with the child. If we decide that our playscheme can't meet a child's needs, then the reasons for this will be fully explained.

How we communicate with our service users

• A feedback form is sent out at the end of every scheme, to collect the views from parents, children and volunteers.
• All staff work in the local special school and can use BSL.
• If needed, we contact the social worker or school, who offer support with communication for parents.
• We have a promotional video on you tube
• A facebook page (Bedford Mencap Summer Playscheme)
• A link on the Bedford Mencap website
• We have a daily diary which is completed by staff and parents.

Accessibility of our service

• Public bus service
• Lots of parking
• Wheelchair accessible
• We adapt an area for changing with a bed and a hoist.
• Lots of rooms and space to wait.
• The activities are specialised and planned around the needs of the children. The staff are all experienced in differentiating the activities to suit the changing needs and environment.

Qualifications and training of our staff

All the staff work in special schools, their training is constantly updated through school work. They are all kept up to date with signing, safeguarding, administration of meds, behaviour support, communication and interaction, and many other specialist areas.
The manager has manager level safeguarding training.

Contact for more information

01234 781254
Opening Hours:
First 3 weeks of summer holidays 9.30/3.30

Record Last Reviewed On: 11/06/2018