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  • Writer's pictureBeth Nunn

Music, Chips and Chat

Literally does what it says on the tin!! 😊

As an organisation PIE has worked with and supported hundreds of young people over the last 5 years. As part of this work, there have been many young people with additional needs who have blossomed and developed both socially and emotionally. PIE has always been an inclusive organisation and we were really keen to have the opportunity to further this work. We were originally given the go ahead to trial this programme designed for neurodivergent young people with additional needs, supported by Stockport Council last year. So, we were delighted when that trial was so successful that we were given the green light to go again this year.

As the young people all have additional needs – they were specifically targeted as this is part of the SEND short-breaks budget; we only work with a very small group of individuals (five maximum) in a safe and supportive environment – Startpoint Coffee shop. This is vital to them and their support network to feel as comfortable as possible. We were inundated with people wanting to join and had to work on a first come first served basis and then put a waiting list in place – showing how much of a need there is for this type of activity!

We started back in April with 5 young people and focused on music to begin with – Lee on his guitar and Caroline trying to sing and as the young people gained in confidence and became more comfortable they brought their own instruments – ukuleles, drums and a keyboard to name but a few! But as we had learned from last time it was not all about the music and we also spend time drawing and colouring and board games have become really popular. We actually have quite a heavily contested leaderboard for Frustration going on now!! The variations we have on Jenga are also quite amazing.

We have welcomed and encouraged parental/sibling support from the beginning with the idea being that this will ease off over time and the young people will become comfortable with each other and us and I’m delighted to say that this is definitely taking place with parents being sent packing and told quite clearly not to come back early.

We also have a chippy tea from the amazing Taylors chippy which is very popular with the group and they love sitting round and chatting about their days over this now which is fantastic to see and also shows how comfortable they feel. We will be continuing until the end of July with this group but keep an eye out for when the next group starts!

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