Preparation For Adulthood Healthy Living Programme


Establishing healthy habits in childhood is important for adult health, but data shows that children and young people with SEND are more at risk of having lower activity levels, unhealthy diets, being under or overweight or suffering from poor mental health. 

Being active can bring lots of benefits, helping young people to develop their confidence and build friendships, as well as improving physical heath.  This was recognised by the Chief Medical Officer in recent recommendations for physical activity levels for disabled children and disabled young people. An infographic has been produced sharing the following key messages;

Getting and staying active is about:

  • equality
  • inclusivity
  • finding what’s fun
  • exploring what activities make you feel good


Benefits of physical activity are;

  • meeting new people
  • improved confidence and concentration
  • a sense of achievement
  • improved mental health
  • being calmer, less stressed
  • improved balance and coordination
  • improved strength and motor skills


How much physical activity should I do?

  • For good health benefits, do 20 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • When starting, build up slowly. Ask: can you do this today?
  • Do bitesize chunks of physical activity throughout the day.
  • Do challenging but manageable strength and balance activities 3 times per week.
  • Small amounts of physical activity are good for you as well.

One of the challenges faced by SEND families is finding opportunities for their children and young people to participate in the community-based activities that others take for granted.  This is why PACC developed the Actio Consortium, to create a programme of inclusive community-based activities, bringing families and young people together and improving health and wellbeing.

It is also important that young people with SEND learn the value of looking after their own health and wellbeing as they become older, understanding the importance for example, of establishing a good dental routine or of washing hands when handling food.  Providing opportunities for young people with additional needs to understand how to stay healthy, both physically and mentally is an essential part of preparing for adulthood. 

With all of this in mind PACC has been working with Adult Social Care and in particular Shropshire Day Opportunities Service to create the PFA Healthy Living Programme.   The programme has a number of aims including;

  • Providing information about how to maintain good health and wellbeing, increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of this.
  • Providing a range of practical opportunities to practice healthy living, including healthy eating, self-care, maintaining wellbeing and establishing good levels of physical activity, to improve health outcomes for young people with SEND.
  • Introducing young people from the SEND community who are in transition to adulthood, to Day Opportunity Services and what they offer, as well as other activity and support providers for the 14-25 age range, helping them to lead full and active lives.
  • To bring young people together to support the growth of peer friendships.

The PFA Healthy Living Programme will be launched at Derwen College on the 25th July 2022, with lunch, refreshments and a full day of activities.  The programme will be available to 14 – 25 year olds and there will be a range of activities offered throughout the summer and a feedback and celebration event in October.  We are currently making the final tweaks to the activity programme, but we are asking you to register your interest in the programme now.  Those families who register will then be contacted directly to have individual conversations about support needs and to help you book your preferred activities.  The programme cannot provide 1:1 but some additional support will be available and if a young person has an existing support worker they are welcome to attend. If 1:1 support is needed to support participation we will work with families to explore how this can be provided. The programme will accommodate 40 young people and a number of the sessions will be delivered in small groups at the Day Opportunities centres located throughout Shropshire, with experienced staff.  We will also support you to book onto activities offered by Actio providers throughout the summer months.  All young people will be provided with a record card to log their activity and we would love to see photographs of what they have been doing at the celebration event in October.

If you would like to register your interest in the PFA Healthy Living Programme please email Cathy on by the 24th June 2022.

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