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Achieving Aspirations consultation on pilot service

Published: 11th October 2019

Sleepover club

All too often children with additional needs are deprived of opportunities and challenges that non-disabled peers have which enable them to mature and grow in confidence, such as sleeping over at a friend’s house. Often the organisation of sleepovers is carried out in the school playground, where parents can get together at drop off and collection times, however for some families the 'playground' meeting room does not exist, and thus opportunity to plan events is missed.

Achieving Aspirations have been given some grant funding from Activities Unlimited to pilot a new short break service, a 'sleepover club', which aims to replicate the sleeping over with friend’s experience, in a safe and structured, Ofsted registered service. Membership of the club will also provide parents with a regular break from caring responsibilities, confident that their children are safe and having fun.

The Sleepover club is to have a membership scheme whereby members are enabled to sleepover with up to four other friends who are members. Children ages 8-16 years with additional needs, are eligible for membership.

The service model is for Achieving Aspirations to link with the Senco in the schools where cohorts of children who wish to be members of the club attend. We would then work in partnership to support 4-5 children to be able to plan and then attend a sleepover in our Ofsted Registered residential provision initially, located in Felixstowe or Shakers Lane in Bury St Edmunds.

Achieving Aspirations would host a lunchtime planning session in school with all children. The planning sessions are aimed for our staff to get to know the children and their individual support needs, using our ‘Sleepover Book’ as a care planning tool which the children would need to complete with help/involvement of parents and teachers, of course these sessions could also be used to endorse school learning objectives. The planning could also involve parents/children visiting the Centre if appropriate to help reassure all parties.

There is no referral process, emphasis is upon parents and children identifying their friendship groups and approaching Achieving Aspirations for 'membership', thereby replicating the 'playground meeting room' potentially supported by Social Media.

The actual sleepover would take place on a mutually agreed day, parents are likely to be required to get their child to the venue, but we could transport back to school on the following morning if the sleepover took place during the week. The overnight stay would be supported by a minimum of two staff to 3/4 children and an awake night staff to ensure midnight feasts don’t get out of hand!

We are very interested in your views on this proposed service, and invite you to complete and return the questionnaire below, which allows space for any questions, clarifications or ideas for inclusion in the service.

Download the questionnaire