01217793865 info@solihullsolo.org

Embracing Disability, Empowering Lives

Welcome to SoLO. SoLO’s services are delivered by highly skilled and professional people leading to a reputation of being the best provider. Offering Adult and Children’s services of the highest standards our organisation provides the widest range of support. Each one of our Projects is specially designed to add value to the lives of individuals with learning disabilities.

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Find out more about what’s happening at SoLO

Startling new report on shortbreaks for children

Parents of children with learning disabilities are being pushed “to breaking point” by a lack of support during the holidays, Mencap says. The charity said access to childcare in the summer break was “insufficient” and “inflexible” in many council areas. In a survey of 316 parents, 56% told Mencap they struggled to access short breaks and respite services. The Department for Education said it was doing “more than ever” to support families with childcare. SoLO will provide, over the year, in excess of 8000 shortbreak activities for children within Solihull and the surrounding areas.  This is an increase of 35% on our activities in 2013.  However, since then our funding from government has been cut by a staggering 22%. Year on year, we see government funding being reduced, contracts being squeezed and a move towards ‘informal’ low cost support.  But how can you provide ‘informal’ low cost support to a child who needs regularly catheterising?  Who will run the risk of supporting a child who has multiple seizures during the day that needs to be managed?  Who will be willing to take a child with severe autism who struggles to communicate and will ‘act out’ in such extreme ways that only experienced, trained staff can get through? But the point is that these are simply children who need to have the opportunity to play, independently, with their peers.  They need to be able to have fun, play in the open air, go on a swing, get messy and go home with smiles on their faces.  Their parents need to have a break through the 6-7 long weeks of the summer... read more

Evolve – Learning for Life

Well, the first few weeks of Evolve have happened and we have been on a journey together. We are starting to evaluate the effectiveness of this programme – a day time activity programme for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and are pleased to see some very positive outcomes for our members. One parent commented: “I have nothing but praise for the staff involved in my daughter’s care, and so far things couldn’t be better! She appears happy and settled when I leave her, and collect her each day she attends. I’m also happy with the variety of activities she has taken part in, both at base, and out in the community. Like I said, I’m really happy with all aspects of the project so far, so thank you to everyone involved in Evolve, and keep up the good work!” We are loving running this scheme and look forward to seeing in grow!... read more

Startling new report on shortbreaks for children

Parents of children with learning disabilities are being pushed “to breaking point” by a lack of support during the holidays, Mencap says. The charity said access to childcare in the summer break was “insufficient” and “inflexible” in many council areas. In a survey of 316 parents, 56% told Mencap they struggled to access short breaks and respite services. The Department for Education said it was doing “more than ever” to support families with childcare. SoLO will provide, over the year, in excess of 8000 shortbreak activities for children within Solihull and the surrounding areas.  This is an increase of 35% on our activities in 2013.  However, since then our funding from government has been cut by a staggering 22%. Year on year, we see government funding being reduced, contracts being squeezed and a move towards ‘informal’ low cost support.  But how can you provide ‘informal’ low cost support to a child who needs regularly catheterising?  Who will run the risk of supporting a child who has multiple seizures during the day that needs to be managed?  Who will be willing to take a child with severe autism who struggles to communicate and will ‘act out’ in such extreme ways that only experienced, trained staff can get through? But the point is that these are simply children who need to have the opportunity to play, independently, with their peers.  They need to be able to have fun, play in the open air, go on a swing, get messy and go home with smiles on their faces.  Their parents need to have a break through the 6-7 long weeks of the summer...

Summer fun continues

We have almost completed two weeks of our Children’s summer holiday activities. It has been very busy, both in the office and out on project, but seeing the smiles on our members, staff and volunteers faces makes it worthwhile. We have visited Drayton Manor Theme Park, Dudley Zoo and Conkers causing much excitement (and luckily no travel sickness!). Firm favourites such as a teddy bears picnic, chill out and chips, “the animal man” and outdoor play have also featured – it has been great fun for all. We look forward to the next few weeks of activities and sharing even more incredible memories from summer 2016. Thanks to all the amazing staff and Volunteers for making this...

What you can expect with SoLO

Activities

With a plan in place and needs assessed, the next question is what is there to do?  At SoLO we recognise that one size does not fit all and we offer a menu of activities to suit all preferences ensuring that the right amount of support is in place. Enough to keep the member safe, but not too much to take away their independence.

Key Life Skills

At SoLO it is all about outcomes.  Having a lovely time with friends is great, but how much better is having a lovely time that helps to keep those friends, develop relationships, build confidence, increase self-esteem and provide a platform for learning.  All SoLO services are measured by the added value their provide for the member.

Friends

We all need friends and the SoLO activity programme gives an ideal opportunity for its members to make new friends and keep in touch with old ones.  It doesn’t matter what level of disability someone has, everyone has the ability to have a friend and be a friend – we just provide the opportunity to make it happen.

Planning

Everyone needs to plan and it is exciting to do so.  At SoLO we help our members plan their future in interactive ways, using person centred planning tools that ensure they lead the process and, why shouldn’t they, it is their future after all!

Discover more about SoLO

Services

SoLO operates a wide range of projects and activities to cater for different age groups and different levels of ability.

Our Services

Events

Several times a year we hold amazing events for our members and to raise funds. Everyone at SoLO gets involved and helps.

Our Events

SoLO Voice

The SoLO Voice board is your voice within SoLO.
The Voice Group helps us to provide the best service for all our members.

Find Out More

Volunteer

Volunteer support saves our charity a staggering £230,000 each year and volunteers contribute over 18,000 hours of support.

More information

SoLO Testimonials

Philip Shelton

“I love being a member of Daylight – it is really good.  I love to help out. Every day we do something different, today we went bowling and I had a great time. I love helping the staff and planning what I do myself.  If I didn’t go to Daylight I don’t know what I would do!”

SoLO Volunteer Russell Williams

“I love being a volunteer for SoLO, it has made me feel so proud of myself and since SoLO accepted me to be a volunteer it has changed my life because I make decisions that help to change people’s lives. Being disabled myself, I enjoy helping other disabled people and enjoy doing all the activities as much as they do. I volunteer on two weekday projects, Night Owl and Waterloo. Sometime I volunteer by helping the fundraising teams on different events. If you are thinking of becoming a SoLO volunteer, it will change your life and the people you support. To SoLO`s members you will become a teacher, role model, protector and friend.”

Sandra Ballard

“When my son, who is severely disabled, returned from college, he was very depressed, because, as a young man, he needed to be independent. SoLO has enabled him to use his individual budget for a Personal Assistant who I am confident is well trained, supported and appropriate. Marcus is so much happier now. He can tailor the support he gets to suit his own individuality and seeing him take control of his life shows me how successful he will be when he eventually decides to leave home.  I cannot speak too highly of SoLO”.

Meet some of the SoLO team

Hello I’m Jan Prior.  My life is both enriched and challenged by having a son with special needs. As Chair I bring my experience and skills to shape and lead SoLO. I am supported by a great team of volunteers and staff who add sparkle to all that SoLO offers to enhance our members’ lives. Jan Prior

Chair of SoLO

My name is Janet Down, I am the CEO of SoLO, have been here for 14 years and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. It is a privilege to serve the members of SoLO who constantly inspire me. My aim is always to provide them the level of service that they deserve. Janet Down

CEO of SoLO

I am Deb Jones, Manager of Children’s Services at SoLO. I have been in this role since April 2009 and can honestly say it is the most rewarding and enjoyable job I have ever done.
It is also the busiest and most exhausting -there are never enough hours in the day!

Deb Jones

Children’s Services Manager

Hi I am Paula Burnham and I am the Adults Services Manager.  I oversee all of the activities that SoLO provides for the 18+ age group and I also manage the Personal Assistant service.  SoLO is a vibrant and energetic organisation where the staff have nearly as much fun as our members!!!

Paula Burnham

Adults Services Manager

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