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Hard Decisions

Hard Decisions

SoLO has had some really hard decisions to make, in the past six months, as a result of the withdrawal of funding for adult social care.  This money, which for the past 17 years has formed the foundation of our funding for all of our adult social activity programme (Night Owl, Thursday Crew, Funky Fridays, Open Door, Icebreakers, Leisure Links and Get Active) was withdrawn on the basis that the money would be channelled through direct payment and individual budgets to those who meet social care funding criteria. In making the decision of what to do, the Trustees and Senior Management have had to look at the bigger picture and ensure that any action we take will not destabilise the whole organisation and put all of our members at risk. From October 2016 – March 2017, we have worked with staff to consider how we bridge the gap in funding and we have taken account of the fact that many of our members with more severe needs now have their own funding to pay for their activity programme.  We have also recognised that, for many of our members with lower needs, the social activities that we provide through Night Owl, Thursday Crew, Funky Fridays and Get Active are the only opportunity they get to meet up with their friends.  Many, due to no funding, have no other outlet at all. We have had the benefit of a social return of investment report that has been carried out on Night Owl, Thursday Crew and Funky Fridays and the evidence, that for every £1 we invest in these programmes delivers £14...
SoLO DVD about to be launched!

SoLO DVD about to be launched!

There has been lots of excitement at SoLO this last few weeks as we have had a film company in who are producing us a lovely new DVD to promote our work. We are currently testing it out with some independent people to ensure that it is getting our message out and will launch it soon……. so watch this space. We always love to talk about SoLO and what is...
Change

Change

If there is one thing that we can be certain of is that nothing is never certain! Yesterday, we heard that the country will be going to the polls yet again, soon we will have a new Mayor of the West Midlands, the national minimum wage went up on 1st April, and new drivers will be tested on how well they use a SATNAV! One of the main reasons that SoLO is still in existence is that we have been prepared to change and adapt to the environment that we live in.  Only today, I was reviewing the annual reports that we have on file since 2004 and was amazed by the evidence of how different some aspects of our organisation is and the developments that have occurred within a short space of time (13 years)  There is, however, some interesting similarities. So what has changed since then? In 2004, we were called Solihull Leisure Opportunities – we are now SoLO Life Opportunities. In 2004, we worked with 78 children over the summer – this year we worked with over 450. We also worked with 230 adults during 2004- this year we worked with over 550. In 2004, we delivered 2948 leisure experiences to our members, over the past year we will have exceeded 24,000 leisure experiences. In 2004, we received a grant from the local authority for adults services – from June 2017 we will no longer receive any money from the local authority to support adults. In 2004, our chair person was a parent of a young person with a learning disability.  In 2017 this is still...
SoLO Fun

SoLO Fun

One of our core values is fun and this has stayed with the organisation since it was first conceived. The dictionary definition of fun is  “enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure” There is a danger that we can devalue fun when we consider it in this context. However, there has been significant research into the impact of fun on learning.  Dorothy Lucardie, for instance, wrote on 14th August, 2014 in Science direct on this subject: “Firstly both having fun and experiencing enjoyment were perceived by both learners and teachers as a motivator to attend classes and learn the knowledge and skills. Secondly fun and enjoyment were considered a mechanism that encouraged concentration by learners and helped in the absorption of learning. Finally having fun and experiencing enjoyment were identified as a proven way to build a socially connected learning environment. The research indicates that a greater focus on the affective domain of adults learning experience, in particular fun and enjoyment could prove to be as beneficial and important as it is currently considered in children’s learning. A different approach to the design of adult learning experiences and methods that incorporates greater use of fun may mean that more adults are encouraged and motivated to participate in learning with enthusiasm for the journey and optimism for the outcomes.” So, as SoLO reconsiders its values and looks to the future, we stand firm that we will continue to keep one of our core values as ‘Fun’. We will continue to weave this into all of our programmes working with children and adults ensuring that they achieve the best outcomes through the use of...
Evolve Love

Evolve Love

Our Evolve members have written a song and I just had to share it! “let us tell you about the Evolve Love” Started Evolve and we love it, making lots of friends Playing the guitar, happy as we are   “And I love my Evolve Friends And I love my Evolve Friends”                   Painting and making things to keep, Cooking meals, biscuits and cookies We sing and we dance, laugh and play Learning lots of things along the way   “And I love my Evolve Friends And I love my Evolve Friends”                     Going shopping, exploring on the bus, Planning our days and what to do Researching on the computer too   “And I love my Evolve Friends And I love my Evolve Friends”   (written by the Tuesday Evolve Group – Sophie, Connor, Dennis, Anthony, Mace and Marcus) TAKE A BOW...

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