What do you really know about Break?
Do you know about us because we put the Dragons on the streets of Norwich? Do you know us because you love shopping at one of our 51 shops? Do you know us from one of our many fundraising events? Or training courses? Or because you or someone you know has needed support from one of our many services?
We are swiftly approaching 50 years supporting vulnerable children and families. We do amazing things and change young lives. We support children, young people and families across East Anglia providing services supporting young people in care and moving on; children and young people with disabilities; families in need of support and children at risk.
Our children’s homes look after four young people who cannot live with their families. We strive to provide the same support that children and young people would get in a loving family home, but don’t take it from me. Let Joanne, one of our support workers in a children’s home tell you.
“These are some of the different things we do for our young people. We try and treat them as individuals and tailor the way we care for them. As a team, we like to empower our young people and promote positive relations by making our home feel like a family home and less institutionalised. We go out for big days out such as Alton Towers, trips to the famous sights in London and Colchester Zoo. We have been camping in the woods, grown veg in our garden and love arts and crafts. Some of our best and funniest days have been spontaneous. We are currently making a video where all our funny clips will be joined together to make a home movie.
These include our lip sync battles, music videos, face mask nights, Wii dance/Xbox connect competition nights and Dub smashes (we love dressing up!). We make annual holidays special like Easter, Christmas and of course birthdays and think nothing of getting the face paints out to hide and seek in the garden on Halloween or going on a ghost tour.
Each young person has a journey book to put all their memories in including any photos of that day. This is started the day they move in and is finished the day they move out. We also display art work done by our young people and staff on the walls. Lots of us have funny nick names, including the young people. (Mr. Bump and Mr. Vein)
The bedrooms are always freshly decorated when young people join us, and they are able to pick their own colour scheme. They also get to pick out new items for their bedroom so it feels like their own. Everyone gets to pick a menu choice each week and is supported by staff if they wish to cook dinner. As a home we pay for Sky TV. This includes the kids channels and movies. We encourage them to watch what they want, especially if they have missed out on watching things aimed at younger children whilst growing up. The staff will often put on children’s TV shows so that our young people can watch them with us without feeling embarrassed.
In order to help boost confidence and improve technique, the home has hired a swimming pool for an hour every other Saturday. This means our non-swimmers can learn without embarrassment, and other young people with confidence issues can still enjoy swimming without fear.
Birthdays are very special and we try to make their day one to remember, from doing the “Birthday dance” in the morning, putting banners and balloons all around the house, a birthday meal out with their favourite team member and a homemade personalised Birthday cake. The team, young people and previous residents will also meet up for a big Birthday meal out when our young people turn 18. We also try to do this at Christmas time. The young people really like everyone getting back together. At Christmas, we also like to invite our past residents to join us for dinner or to just pop in if they are passing. This helps to reassure them that we (their extended family) still care and still think about them.
As a home we have a “family” holiday once a year and have been to places such as P.G.L, Tenerife and Turkey. This helps our young people to feel part of a normal family and have normal family experiences.”
Thank you for supporting Break to go the extra mile with the young people in our care. This is what it has meant to one young man.
For the latest news from Break you can follow us on twitter @breakwriter and FB Break charity.
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