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Challengers Young Adult Transition Programme

Background

Challengers will spend 2017 focusing on the development of the Challengers Young Adult Service. This service already delivers programmes of schemes across the South East to provide structured support for hundreds of vulnerable disabled young adults who are transitioning from Challengers into adult life.

This project focuses on the complex and often traumatic transition period for a disabled young person when they reach the age of 18. At this age they have reached a point in their lives when they need to transition into adult services. However, sadly for many of the young adults who we know, the services on offer simply do not meet their needs, leaving them vulnerable and placing huge strain on their family.

The reality is that the majority of young adults who need support at 18 have complex impairments and it will be critical to find a way to involve and then listen to their decisions about care, goals and needs. In an overwhelming number of cases we have seen the wellbeing of the young person diminish once they move into adult care which impacts on their physical health as well as their ability to interact with those around them. It would seem that young people move from having an active social life which is structured, active and fulfilling to one of limited social interaction putting stress and the burden of care on the family home.

The project

To address these issues, we have developed and will deliver a project which provides a programme of support tailored for Disabled Young Adults alongside existing Challengers schemes.

We are now moving into the second stage of the project which will enable them to transition safely and productively from Challengers into suitable and sustainable adult services. The service will provide an opportunity for young adults and their families to meet and share experiences whilst also providing informal advocacy and support to help them reach their full potential and access post transition services which meet their needs.

In order to start this next stage of support we have designed a series of events for young people and their families that focus on specific subjects that can sometimes be difficult to navigate.

  • 31st March: Stuff to do – A chance for families to meet other providers and ask questions. Attending will be; White Lodge Centre, LinkAble, Halow and Surrey Choices.
  • 19th May: All you need to know about finances, employing carers, direct payments – Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC) will be in attendance
  • 14th July: Lisa Woodruff Truscott from The Surrey Transition Team will be there to speak about housing & benefits and what to expect from SCC

Jonathan Dobson, Head of Operations at Challengers is heading up the project said:

“Challengers meet 100s of young adults at our schemes in Basinsgtoke, Epsom, Farnham and Guildford. We know that young people and their families often have lots of questions about ‘what next for adult life’. It seems reasonable that young people would need help for such a big life change, or ‘transition’ – that includes complex decisions about employing carers, direct payments as well as all the fun things in life, like going out with friends.”

Sometimes families don’t know who to ask. So, Challengers have contacted some nice people who work across areas like independent living, budgeting, relationships, benefits and leisure and we have asked them to come along to a series of events for disabled young people and their families. As well as getting to meet and ask questions to professionals, there will be time to meet other families and get help advice from each other.

To know more about this project, to come along or if you are interested in being a speaker at one of our events email communications@disability-challengers.org or call 01483 230 060.