Wellbeing and Confidence – Outings Programme Impact

It has been a joy to be able to resume our full outings programme and usual group size of 15-20 people in May half-term and summer holidays. We continued to doing all our activities and food outside to reduce Covid-19 risks and planning activities that enable children to have new experiences and opportunities and to build confidence and friendships.

Highlights this summer have been a first SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding) session on the River Lee with our 10-13s group overcoming the initial fear of getting onto the river. Children’s delight at seeing Lions up close, with a few overcoming anxiety about seeing real animals for the first time at Paradise Wildlife. Freedom of water play in the splash parks. Braving walking across the glass floor in the Tower Bridge Experience with the river and road beneath. A big family day trip to Folkestone, where many children and spent a full two hours paddling in the sea!

Fifty-two children came on an outing in the summer holidays, with a further sixteen coming to the beach in addition to their main group outing. Six Mum’s joined our all ages family trip to the beach, one Mum discovering that the sea is salty for the first time.

How are we doing with our objectives for our outings programme?

We aim to increase children and families well-being and confidence and reduce isolation, primarily by enabling children to have new varied experiences, to be physically active, and providing an opportunity to build friendships with both peers and volunteers. All of our outings include lunch and enable parents and children to have some time out.

We recently completed an outing impact review process, with 75% of parents completed a review. Here are some parents comments on what the outings programme has meant for their family:

“It has helped me and my child, there are times, when I can't get up from bed but the volunteers did a fantastic job, taking them while I couldn't, I want to say thank to all volunteers.”

“Has helped her to be confident while undertaking journeys.”

“My daughter has the opportunity to go to place that I wouldn’t be able to afford taking her to.”

“My daughter has become more outgoing and confident.”

“Taking my children has helped improve their confidence, self esteem and life skills.”

“You are doing an amazing job. Am grateful for your support.”

“The outings are enjoyable for my children.”

“The girls have always enjoyed the outings and I find the staff very helpful and friendly.”

“I really appreciate all the help, thank God for you.”

Outings Impact Statements:

Parents also answered statements about outings impact, on a scale from ‘not at all true’, to ‘very much true’. The following represent the proportion of children answering ‘much and very much true’ and we haven’t included anyone from the neutral category:

79% My child looks forward to the outing

79% My child enjoys talking about and remembering outings

76% Attending outings increases my child’s wellbeing in holidays

76% Attending outings has encouraged my child to be active

75% My child looks forward to seeing friends they have made on outings

72% My child as a good relationship with the volunteers and leaders

72% Attending outings has increased my child’s confidence

69% Attending outings has helped family dynamics through respite and fun time out

General School holiday family context and experience for children:

We recognise that school holidays can be a time of additional challenge or limitation for children impacted by parents ill health, disability or depression, financial hardship and isolation. It is in light of this context that we aim to invite children out on at least one outing in an age appropriate group each school holiday.

62% My child never attends other holiday camp, activities or play schemes

60% I worry about having enough food in school holidays

58% My child never / rarely takes part in sports or exercise

55% My child is bored, lonely and experiences low moods most days

52% Watch TV or play online games for more than 2 hours a day.

48% My child never / rarely goes on daytrips with the family.

37% My child never / rarely sees friends or family.

35% My child never / rarely leaves the house to play outside or go to the park in the school holidays.