Fun and Breaks (FAB) volunteers spend a couple of hours a week with a child, taking them out to an activity such as swimming or the park or having fun together at home, whilst giving their families a rest.
Following an inspection in June, the CQC has rated FAB ‘outstanding’ for effectiveness and leadership, and ‘good’ for safety, caring and responsiveness, with an overall rating of ‘outstanding’.
The report noted that ‘wonderful relationships are being fostered between volunteers and families’ and that ‘children and young people are actively and positively encouraged and supported to engage in everyday activities and hobbies with the volunteers’.
Families described how the support they receive benefits their whole family and enables their child to have ‘new opportunities’, ‘be more independent’, ‘be more confident’, and ‘develop social skills’.
Social care professionals were complimentary about the ‘outstanding service provided by Fun and Breaks to families at times of significant challenges in their lives’. They described how volunteers had made a ‘real difference to children, young people and their families’.
Doreen Bradbury, the registered manager for the service, said: “We are delighted to have received an outstanding rating. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of all our volunteers do so willingly to enrich the lives of children in West Sussex.
“We would love to hear from anyone who feels that they could make a difference to a family who have a disabled child. We ensure that checks are made, provide training, carefully match each volunteer with a family local to them and provide ongoing support.”
Paul Marshall, county council cabinet member for children and young people, added: “This is fantastic recognition for everyone involved in our outstanding Fun and Breaks service. I hope that this encourages others to volunteer.”