extratime is the brain-child of two families, both with children with profound special needs. Becky Jenner and Marian Tipler, frustrated at the lack of out-of-school care for their own children, spent two years planning and working voluntarily to develop an inclusive after school club for special needs and mainstream children aged 5 – 16.
By providing affordable, accessible childcare to families with severely disabled children we enable parent carers to pursue training opportunities, return to or stay in employment, spend valuable time with non disabled siblings or allow them to take a much needed break from their caring responsibilities. It gives these families the chance to raise their standard of living and alleviates some of the stress caring for a disabled child has on family relationships.
All our staff and volunteers have experience in working with children with disabilities and play work. We provide comprehensive training over and above that of ‘mainstream’ play workers including working with children with challenging behaviour, using alternative forms of communication, administration of emergency medication in the event of seizures and use of tube feeding via the nose or the stomach. High staff to children ratios ensure we can meet the needs of any child giving them a safe and fun experience.
Building on the success of our work so far we were delighted to be able to extend our service to work with young people with disabilities up to the age of 19 years from summer 2009. These exciting new projects, located in mainstream youth centres, provide a range of indoor and outdoor activities for young people with disabilities between the ages of 11 and 19. The project is delivered in partnership with Sussex Central YMCA.
We are also continuing to develop our training, outreach and consultancy work to help other services to be more inclusive, sharing our knowledge and experience. We have delivered training locally and regionally to private, statutory and third sector providers of play, childcare and leisure services.