Imagine when you’re a teenager, all that drive to be independent, to strike out on your own or hang out with friends comes to nothing.
Parents may be the most important people in our lives, but most of us also take for granted the freedom to get out and explore, to develop our individuality, personality, preferences and experiences. As an essential part of growing up, teenagers need space to breathe.
Without help from people like you, disabled teenagers may never get that chance.
In Sutton, Springboard Project’s short breaks group for teenagers fills that gap. Springboard Project works with local disabled young people from 12 up to 18, providing social and leisure opportunities for many who would otherwise go without.
It is about having a good time and providing activities that are carefully tailored to the needs of disabled young people so that they can experience the real world. Everything from making choices, to using transport, ordering their own meals, spending money and budgeting is part of the sessions provided.
The group equips their members with the skills they need to build self-esteem, confidence and independence. Parent carers get some valuable time off so they can enjoy a break which helps to reduce stress, gain free time to be with siblings and improve family relationships.
In an effort to build empathy and understanding, Springboard Project recruits local young volunteers to be at the heart of their organisation.
With a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service under its belt, Springboard Project has the experience to build on its solid reputation for success.
When asked if ‘I can try new things?’ a parent commented that ‘My son can be quite timid and reluctant to try new things but joining in with the group has given him the confidence to be out of his comfort zone. An example is we have been trying to get him interested in indoor rock climbing. He wasn’t really interested in doing this activity with us, but when he tried with his friends in Springboard Project’s group he overcame his fears and now LOVES it’.