PACC PFA Healthy Lives Report Published


PACC ran the Preparation for Adulthood Healthy Lives programme over the Summer of 2022.  This programme explored a new way of supporting young people aged 14plus with SEND, to stay fit and well, which as become even more important following the Covid Pandemic.

When planning the programme we focused on what SEND families had told us: 

  • We knew that SEND families often find it difficult to find activities to participate in, particularly during the holiday periods and as young people get older.  This means that young people might not be as active as they could be and don’t get the opportunity to spend time with friends outside of school or college. We know not being active and being lonely is not good for your health.
  • We knew that understanding how to stay healthy is an important part of preparation for adulthood and that young people with SEND often do not get the chance to learn about how to stay healthy and importantly what help is available to ensure they stay fit and well.

With these things in mind PACC worked with Adult Social Care and in particular Day Opportunity Services to develop the PFA Healthy Lives programme.

The PFA Healthy Lives programme aims were:

  • To provide information about how to maintain good health and wellbeing - We wanted to introduce young people to such things as Annual Health Checks, what a healthy diet looked like, how much exercise is good for you and the importance of personal hygiene such as hand washing. Keeping fit and well will help reduce the impact of things like Covid 19
  • To provide a range of practical opportunities to practice healthy living because for all of us the best way to learn is through doing.  This included increasing activity levels and practicing making healthy meals and doing things for others, which is one of the 5 steps to wellbeing
  • To Introduce young people and their families to adult services, such as Day Opportunity Services.  Families had told us that they didn’t really know what these services were like or what was available for young people as they got older
  • To bringing older young people with SEND together to create opportunities for them to develop friendships and to support each other.  Connecting with other people is another of the 5 steps towards wellbeing, evidence shows that reducing loneliness can improve both physical and mental health

We worked with a range of Adult Service providers to deliver the programme

Our core programme was built around Shropshire Council Day Opportunity Services but we also worked with a number of providers from the private sector to extend the offer.  One of the benefit of this approach was we were able to create an offer that was spread across a wide geographical area and to move away from the centralised approach where everything is focused on Shrewsbury.  We were able to create a wide ranging offer that covered a significant proportion of Shropshire and included a wide variety of activities around the core theme of healthy living.

The programme ran through out the summer holidays and included 14 providers offering 33 different activity sessions, which translated into 246 places or 1133.5 hours of activity.  56 young people took part in the programme, taking up 188 activity places.

An important part of the project was ensuring that we support families to access it – so there was a particular focus on speaking directly with parent carers, understanding the needs of the young people, and ensuring that families understood what we were offering.  Following this, personalised timetable showing what was being offered to each young person registered on the programme were sent out.  PACC also spent a lot of time making sure that the providers had the information they needed to provide suitable support and activities for the young people.

You can read the full project report here

PACC will use the learning from this programme to inform our continuing discussions with Shropshire Council and Shropshire health services about how to deliver a positive experience of transition into adulthood for young people with SEND and their families.

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