October through November Update
Once again I seem to be writing the monthly update one week into the following month. I apologise for the tardiness of the newsletter in recent months, the summer holidays quickly followed by a half term break always means that Crocus Fields becomes exceptionally busy and "to do" lists get even longer than they were before! We hope that you all enjoyed your half term and are now counting down the days to Christmas. Families should all have now received their dates for November through to March so if you are still to receive them, please get in touch as soon as you can in order for us to send you another copy.
We would like to apologise once again for anyone whose care has been re-arranged recently due to emergency placements. This is always a last resort for us at Crocus Field's and will do everything we can in order to avoid this. Sadly there are situations when young people need to come in for a break straight away, and due to this it means we have to ask families to swap their care for other dates. Any care cancelled will always be paid back.
Crocus In the Community
Crocus Fields has always prided itself on being an active member of the local community. We have strong links with The Meadows Partnership Trust and Nemtra as well as accessing facilities across the city on a regular basis. We believe that this helps protect our young people better and increases their confidence, self worth and overall enjoyment whilst in our care
In April we launched our "Crocus in the Community Plan" which set out to take part in 12 community activities throughout the year. Up until last month we had held our very own "Crocus-Fest" to celebrate our 40th birthday, completed litter picking in the local park and entered an art competition in the local community.
However, October saw a real drive from the staff and young people to continue with this venture.
Ashley organised for a group of five young people to attend and be flag bearers at a Nottingham Rugby match.
All of the young people represented Crocus Fields brilliantly and thoroughly enjoyed the day/experience.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Nottingham Rugby club and "Wooden Spoon" the children's charity of rugby for the tickets!
Later in the month Hazel and Sarah Cox (helped by two young people) organised a bake sale in the precinct to help raise money for charity. Siobhan worked wonders with the Forest fans walking past encouraging them to buy cakes and donate raising £20. The young people will donate this to a charity during their next stay.
And finally, Daniel Berridge organised for the Notts County players to come and visit Crocus Fields and take part in a football session with some of the young people. We even welcomed ex-Newcastle legend Shola Ameobi! A huge thank you to Dan for organising this day, the young people (and Ashley) had a great time.
Moving forward we have two more community plans which we would love your help with. Nottingham Forest have offered us up to 30 tickets for a home match and we are planning on offering this out to our families to attend as a big group. Anyone interested in this should contact Dan Berridge at Crocus Fields.
Also, throughout the next month we will be collecting items to donate to one of the local food banks. If you would like to contribute to this effort please send in any goods clearly labelled during your child's next stay.
Keeping Children and Young People with Disabilities Safe
A recent report written by Ofsted (available here) highlights the importance of keeping young people with disabilities safe. Within the report, one of the ways in which families and professionals can help with this to ensure that young people have access to good quality sex and relationship education.
Understanding what is and is not acceptable behaviour of others is vitally important for our young people and effective SRE teaches exactly that. It also promotes the idea of a young persons body being their own and privacy.
We have previously advertised the parents group ran by Oakfield school which looks to help parents understand the importance of talking to children about their bodies and keeping safe. This group has been running for over 30 years and is extremely effective in helping parents develop strategies to broach and openly discuss what is a difficult topic.
The next meeting is scheduled for the 29th November from 10 am until 11.30. Any parents, carers or grandparents that wish to attend can do. We advise phoning up Oakfield to let them know you will be there on 0115 9153265 but if you decide to go on the spur of the moment don't worry, they will definitely accommodate you!
Change of Advocacy Service
As of the 1st November Nottingham City Councils commissioned advocacy service has changed over from NYAS to The Children's Society.
Crocus Fields has an advocate that visits the service once each month to offer an independent voice to the young people.
There may be a slight delay in the first visit from the new service due to some DBS problems, but we hope to have a regular worker visiting us again by December.
In addition to residential based advocacy, children and young people can access "issue based" advocacy on a variety of topics such as "review meetings", "wanting to move out" or "wanting a change to their budget". If families would like to refer their child for an advocate they should contact Joanna Manning on 07725923796 or email her on Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next parents meeting is scheduled for Thursday 16th November (10am-12pm) and will be chaired by myself (Pete Corkhill). Laura Smith from the Outreach Team will be joining us to talk about what her team offers and give some advice on matters such as sleep and managing challenging behaviours.
Following on from that the next parents meeting will be 14th December (Chaired by Daniel Berridge) where Education Transport will be joining us to address any issues that parents may be having with their son or daughter travelling to or from school.
If you have never attended one of these groups before please feel free to come along. There is no pressure to talk if you would rather listen and there is always drinks and snacks provided. We have been really pleased at how successful this group has been and feel as though it is making a positive difference to those who attend. Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you then.