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Playscheme booking form (13-18’s)

August 2024 Booking Form (13-18)

Key information

Dates: 12th-16th August

Ages: 13-18 year olds

Who can attend: The playscheme is open to all young people in Leeds with learning disabilities or additional needs who are aged 13-18 years.

Venue: The Vinery Centre, 20 Vinery Terrace, Leeds, LS9 9LU

Times: Start at 10:00am and finish at 3:00pm (9.30am-3:30pm on the day of the trip)

Cost: £20 per day per child plus an additional £20 for the full day trip.

(Please only pay once you receive confirmation of your place from Leeds Mencap)

Contact: activities@leedsmencap.org.uk

Deadline for applications: Friday 31st May

How to request a place for your child

Please complete and return a Leeds Mencap playscheme application form as well as a booking form.

You also need to complete the below booking form requesting which dates you would like your child to attend. Please be aware that if we are oversubscribed we may not be able to offer you all the dates that you have requested.

After the closing date we will let you know which dates you have been allocated and how you can pay for your place. Please do not send payment until you receive confirmation from Leeds Mencap that your child has a place on the playscheme.

Booking form (August 13-18’s)

Date of birth:(Required)
Which days would you like to attend?(Required)
Please tick all dates that you would like your child to attend playscheme. We will be in touch after the closing date to confirm which days your child has been allocated.

If you have any queries or want to discuss if our playscheme is appropriate for your child, please contact us for more information on 0113 235 1331 or email activities@leedsmencap.org.uk

Coping with changing routines over the festive period

The festive period can be one of excitement – with lots of new sights, experiences and activities to take part in! However, all of this change may be disruptive or distressing for children and young people, particularly those with additional needs, learning disabilities or sensory processing difficulties. However, there are some strategies you can use to help make this busy time of year as manageable as possible.

Stick to usual routine wherever possible

In the chaos of Christmas it’s easy to let usual habits and routine fall away. Try and maintain as much of regular routine as possible – including bedtime and mealtimes. This consistency helps reduce overwhelm and equip people to cope better with other changes.

Prepare children in advance for new activities

Talk children through what they can expect from new events. Explain to them the kind of things they may see, hear and feel. You can use a social story to help with this. Social stories are a really helpful aid to prepare young people for new situations. Social stories can include examples of social convention – explaining the meaning behind actions, and modelling ‘correct’ behaviour. This website has compiled a list of social stories relating to Christmas experiences. It may also be helpful to explain to your child that they can leave any events at any time – make sure they know how they can show you they need to leave.

Create an event calendar

This doesn’t just have to be social occasions and events – it may also be helpful to mark other festive milestones such as taking down the decorations. Cross off the days as they happen to limit surprises and to help people visually understand how close events are to happening. Stick to this calendar and use it as a point of reference for helping to explain when events are about to happen.

Use a visual timetable

A visual timetable can help to support a person to know what’s happening now and next and lets them see the order in which they must work through activities. Check out our communication pack that can be used in conjunction with other visual timetable cards.

Take photos of your decorations

While your house is set up for Christmas take photographs of the way everything is arranged. These can be used in coming years to help explain the way the house is going to visually change – including how furniture will be arranged and where new objects can go. This can help your young person to be get ready for this change. Although festivities may only happen once a year, keeping things consistent from year to year can make this less stressful.

Relax your own expectations

So much of the festive season will be broadcast over social media which can make it really easy to comparison between you and others. This can add a lot of pressure on doing Christmas the ‘right’ way – but there is no such thing! Do what works for you and your family – don’t feel guilty for declining offers to social occasions, or for making Christmas a smaller event.

Accessible Winter Events

2nd December

International Day of Disabled People Showcase, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Join People in Action to celebrate International Day of Disabled People as some of their amazing singers and dancers perform. This event is in the Kirkgate Market Event Space and is free to attend.

4th December

Relaxed Skate Session, LS-TEN Skatepark, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Join LS-TEN for a relaxed skate session this Sunday. They are delivering a Relaxed Skate Session for neurodiverse young people this Sunday from 10am – 12pm, which will include additional coaching staff and a quiet break out space. Numbers in the park will also be limited, to ensure a more relaxed and easy-going environment. Entrance to the session will also be a little cheaper, and we can provide equipment if necessary. Read more here.

4th / 7th / 21st / 27th December

Cinderella (Relaxed Performance), Carriageworks Theatre

Enjoy the fantastic Carriageworks pantomime in a more relaxed and autism friendly environment. Relaxed performances allow audiences to move around freely, leave or enter the auditorium as needed. The lights never go completely dark and sound effects are softened. Carriageworks are offering a variety of dates and times for this – which you can check out on their website.

6th December / 15th December

Relaxed visit with Santa and the Elves, Lotherton Hall, 3-6pm

Families who have children with additional needs can book to enjoy a relaxed visit with Santa and his elves at Lotherton’s Christmas Experience between 3pm-6pm on these days. Find out more details about the event and book tickets here.

16th December

Stick Man (Relaxed Performance), Leeds Playhouse, 1pm

An adaptation of the beloved children’s book. This play is suitable for ages 2+. Find out more and book tickets here.

20th December

Family Yoga for additional needs, Shadewell Studio, 11:00am – 12:00

Yoga for children with additional needs includes the classical yoga practices of movement, breathing, deep relaxation combined with sound, rhythm, massage and sensory integration techniques. Join Debs for a relaxed, fun, festive session! Read more here.

21st December

Christopher’s Christmas (Relaxed Performance), Carriageworks Leeds, 1pm

Christopher’s Christmas is written especially for children aged 2-7 and their families. This is a Makaton friendly and relaxed performance. Find out more and book tickets here.

29th December

The Storymaker’s Apprentice (Relaxed Performance), Leeds Central Library, 1:30pm

Watch this lovely, festive tale in an informal, relaxed atmosphere with softened noise and reduced lighting – ideal for children with sensory processing difficulties. Find out more and book tickets here – carer/essential companion tickets are free.

10th January

Jack and the Beanstalk (Relaxed Performance), Bradford Theatre, 6pm

We are delighted to present a specially adapted Relaxed Performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Alhambra Theatre in Bradford on Tuesday 10 January 2023, 6pm. Starring Bradford panto legend Billy Pearce, Emmerdale star and King of the Jungle Danny Miller and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK runner-up Divina De Campo.

Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, learning disability or sensory and communication disorder into theatres. It provides the opportunity for those who would benefit from experiencing live theatre in a less formal environment.

Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or for Groups 20+ 01274 437788 and the team will help plan your magical trip to the pantomime.

Inclusive Events Calendar September – December 2022

13th – 14th October

Leeds Night Light, Various Venues

Watch the city of Leeds light up! There are plenty of things to see and do across the city, and all main venues have accessible toilets and are accessible to wheelchairs and buggies. Read more here.

Leeds Night Light, Leeds Central Library, 14th October, 6:30pm – 10pm

Ideal for families, relax in the chill-out sensory area, get creative with craft activities and have lots of fun with games. Booking not required.

30th October

Inclusive Family Yoga for families with a child who had additional needs, Shadewell studio, 11am – 12

Join the fantastic Yoga with Debs for a relaxed, fun (and spooky!) Halloween yoga session. This session is fun for all the family, and is especially for those who have a young person with additional needs. Fancy dress optional. Find out more and get tickets here.

6th December / 15th December

Relaxed visit with Santa and the Elves, Lotherton Hall, 3-6pm

Families who have children with additional needs can book to enjoy a relaxed visit with Santa and his elves at Lotherton’s Christmas Experience between 3pm-6pm on these days. Find out more details about the event and book tickets here.

16th December

Stick Man (Relaxed Performance), Leeds Playhouse, 1pm

An adaptation of the beloved children’s book. This play is suitable for ages 2+. Find out more and book tickets here.

21st December

Christopher’s Christmas (Relaxed Performance), Carriageworks Leeds, 1pm

Christopher’s Christmas is written especially for children aged 2-7 and their families. This is a Makaton friendly and relaxed performance. Find out more and book tickets here.

29th December

The Storymaker’s Apprentice (Relaxed Performance), Leeds Central Library, 1:30pm

Watch this lovely, festive tale in an informal, relaxed atmosphere with softened noise and reduced lighting – ideal for children with sensory processing difficulties. Find out more and book tickets here – carer/essential companion tickets are free.

Temple Newsam

Located in the East of Leeds, Temple Newsam is a beautiful grounds and park with an accessible toilet and changing places toilet with a hoist. The circular walk by the bond is totally wheelchair and buggy accessible, and motorized scooters are available to hire.

Oakwell Hall and Country Park

Oakwell Hall is located to the South-West of Leeds. They have an accessible toilet and a lovely access path route with a smooth tarmac surface that is ideal for wheelchairs and buggies. Check out their accessibility map here. They also host events and activities throughout the year which you can view on their website.

Lotherton Hall

Lotherton hall has a range of activities and events which you can read about on their website. They have a changing places toilet and their grounds are largely accessible by wheelchair and pushchair.

Golden Acre Park

Golden Acre Park is in North Leeds. They have disabled parking, an accessible toilet and well maintained routes around the park that are accessible by wheelchair and buggy, as well as motorized scooters for hire. Read more here.

Early Years Stay and Play Coffee Morning, The Vinery Centre, 9:30 – 11:00am

Join the Family Services Team at The Vinery Centre for an informal chat and a cuppa. These sessions are free of charge and there’s no need to book, just come along with or without your child. Our softplay will be open for any attending children.

Upcoming coffee mornings: 30/09, 7/10, 14/10, 21/10

We will return after the October half term – dates TBA

Little Hiccups Stay and Play Sessions

Little Hiccups run twice weekly stay and play sessions for children with additional needs. Please register with them for free before signing up for sessions. Find out more here. Little Hiccups also run Family Fun Days which you can read more about on their website.

ZigZag Inclusive Trampoline Sessions

ZigZag run inclusive sessions for children and young people with autism. You are required to sign up for membership before attending these sessions. Find out more details, including dates and how to sign up on their facebook page

Sensory Storytelling for National Read a Book Day!

Tuesday 6th September is National Read a Book Day! This is a day to encourage us to engage with storytelling and get lost in a book. The benefits of reading are endless – and there are lots of ways you can enhance the experience of sharing stories even further. In this blogpost we’re going to take the classic tale of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and provide some ideas for sensory play and crafts that can make the experience of reading even more engaging for young people.

You can view The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle online here.

Create a The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Tray

A sensory tray is a great way to engage children with new textures, feelings, ideas and experiences. Sensory play allows for children to explore their senses in a safe and controlled environment and can provide opportunities to develop self-regulation in response to these sensory experiences.

You can buy specific ‘Tuff Trays’ or assemble your sensory tray in a washing up bowl, baking tin, or another suitably sized object.

If you’re worried about mess, lay out a towel or sheet underneath your sensory tray.

What to include in your The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Tray

Sensory Trays can be created using any range and combination of items and materials – meaning you can tailor it to meet your child’s current sensory needs.

In the story, the Very Hungry Caterpillar munches his way through all manner of fruits and foods including pears, plums, strawberries, oranges, cake, pickles, cheese, pie, watermelon, sausage! This is a great opportunity to introduce your child to samples of the food – allowing them to explore the textures and tastes.

However, there are other ways you can explore the textures and smells of the Hungry Caterpillar’s feast:

  • Strawberry jelly – a lovely fun colour, scent and texture
  • Dried leaves
  • Playdough rolled into different sized balls
  • Brightly coloured tissue paper / fabric – to scrunch and wave to represent the caterpillar turning into a butterfly
  • Dried beans/lentils/rice
  • Shredded tissue paper as grass
  • Sponge – representing squishy sponge cake
  • Dried pasta
  • Pom Poms
  • Pipe cleaners

Wiggly Caterpillar Craft

The paper chains create a wonderful caterpillar that you can squish, wriggle, stretch and bounce. You can even turn him on his side and use each ring of his body to fill with a different number of fruits, foods or objects.

You will need:

Green paper (cut into chunky strips)

Red card

A pair of scissors

A glue stick/tape/stapler

Optional: Any details you want to add to your caterpillar face – pipecleaners, googly eyes, felt tip pen drawings all work well.

How to:

Create your caterpillar face by cutting a circle out of your red card. Let your creativity out here as you design your caterpillar face.

Make the caterpillar’s body by securing each green paper strip end to end to make a loop. Secure each loop to another – I used staples for this step.

Attach the face to the front of your chain – I used a loop of tape for this step.

Happy reading!

Inclusive Summer Events Calendar (UPDATED 29/07)

It’s Learning Disability Week! This year National Mencap are highlighting how people with a learning disability are reconnecting with their friends and their communities. Now the sun is finally starting to shine, we’ve compiled a list of inclusive and accessible events across Leeds to keep you busy and connected to your community this week and beyond!

Some of these events require booking in advance, so places may be subject to availability.

Wednesday 27th July

Healthy Holidays at St Vincent’s: Visit to Ilkley Soft Play Centre, 11:00am

Transport and Packed Lunch provided. This event is for children who receive free school meals. Meet at St Vincent’s at 11:00am.

Places must be booked in advanced – contact Tim on 0112484126 or timd@svp.org.uk for more information

Thursday 28th July

Healthy Holidays at St Vincent’s: Fun and Games day, Newbourne Church Hall, LS9 8JP, 10:00am – 12:00

Lunch provided. This event is for children who receive free school meals.

Places must be booked in advanced – contact Tim on 0112484126 or timd@svp.org.uk for more information.

Breeze in the Park, from 11:00am, East Ardsley Recreation Ground

A family friendly event with arts workshops, performances, inflatables and sports.

This session has a relaxed opening for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, running from 11:00-12:00.

Find out more information and how to attend here.

Leeds Weekend Care Association Summer Fair, 11:00am – 4:00pm, Vine, Foxgrove Close LS6 3NT

Enjoy crafts, activities, games and stalls at the Leeds Weekender’s Summer Fair!

Friday 29th July

Leeds Mencap Stay and Play Early Years Coffee Morning, 10:30 – 12:00am, The Vinery Centre

Join us at the Vinery Centre for a cup of tea and a chat with our family services team! This is for parents of children aged 0-5 with additional needs, and you are welcome to attend with or without your child. Siblings and other family members welcome! Our soft play will be open for any attending children, with activities for older siblings and plenty of cups of tea! This is completely free and there is no need to book.

Leeds Waterfront Festival, 11:00am – 4:00pm, Armouries Square, Leeds Dock

An amazing FREE event, designed to be accessible for neurodiverse, autistic and people with learning disabilities of all ages! Includes fantastic activities like canoeing, canal theatre walk, scavenger hunt, arts and crafts.

Read more information here.

Friday 5th August

Breeze in the Park, from 11:00am, Cross Flatts Park

A family friendly event with arts workshops, performances, inflatables and sports.

This session has a relaxed opening for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, running from 11:00-12:00.

Find out more information and how to attend here.

Community Fun Day with Project Hope, The Vinery Centre

Join Project Hope at the Vinery Centre for a host of family friendly activities.

Saturday 6th August

Sunshine and Smiles Summer Social, Temple Newsam, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Join Sunshine and Smiles (Leeds Down Syndrome Network) for a relaxed and informal meeting at Temple Newsam. Pop down with a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the beautiful grounds of Temple Newsam.

Read more details here.

Wednesday 10th August

Breeze in the Park, from 11:00am, Kirkstall Abbey

A family friendly event with arts workshops, performances, inflatables and sports.

This session has a relaxed opening for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, running from 11:00-12:00.

Find out more information and how to attend here.

Leeds ABC (Autism, Behaviour and Communication) Group activity day, Golden Acre Park, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Join Leeds ABC, a support group for families with an autistic spectrum condition, for an afternoon of activities in the park. Bring your own snacks and refreshments.

Meet the team at 11:00am in the car park.

For more info email mandycraven.leedsabcgroup@gmail.com or phone 07821 535 323

Thursday 11th August

Leeds Mencap Stay and Play Early Years Coffee Morning, 10:30 – 12:00am, The Vinery Centre

Join us at the Vinery Centre for a cup of tea and a chat with our family services team! This is for parents of children aged 0-5 with additional needs, and you are welcome to attend with or without your child. Siblings and other family members welcome! Our soft play will be open for any attending children, with activities for older siblings and plenty of cups of tea! This is completely free and there is no need to book.

Friday 12th August

Leeds City Museum Relaxed Craft Sessions, Slots at 10am and 10:30am

Enjoy a relaxed craft session at Leeds City Museum. Email city.museum@leeds.gov.uk to book a place.

Wednesday 17th August

Leeds ABC (Autism, Behaviour and Communication) Group activity day, Roundhay Park, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Join Leeds ABC, a support group for families with an autistic spectrum condition, for an afternoon of activities in the park. Bring your own snacks and refreshments.

Meet the team at 11:00am outside The Lakeside Cafe.

For more info email mandycraven.leedsabcgroup@gmail.com or phone 07821 535 323

Thursday 18th August

Breeze in the Park, from 11:00am, West Park Leeds RUFC, Bramhope

A family friendly event with arts workshops, performances, inflatables and sports.

This session has a relaxed opening for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, running from 11:00-12:00.

Booking is required – find out more information and how to attend here, and view other Breeze in the Park dates and locations.

Friday 19th August

Leeds Mencap Early Years Picnic in the Park, Roundhay Park, 10:00am – 12:00

Join us for an afternoon of fun, activities and (hopefully!) some sunshine. Meet the Family Services team at The Lakeside Cafe in Roundhay Park at 10:0am. From here we plan to head to the cricket grounds for a nice spot to relax and play. Refreshments will be provided and siblings of any age and all family members are welcome!

Wednesday 24th August

Leeds ABC (Autism, Behaviour and Communication) Group activity day, Temple Newsam, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Join Leeds ABC, a support group for families with an autistic spectrum condition, for an afternoon of activities in the park. Bring your own snacks and refreshments.

Meet the team at 11:00am at the front of the house.

For more info email mandycraven.leedsabcgroup@gmail.com or phone 07821 535 323

Thursday 25th August

Carers Leeds Family Fun Day, The Vinery Centre, 11:30am – 2:00pm

Enjoy entertainment from Shabang theatre, amazing circus performances, Boccia, face painting, crafts, softplay and sensory room.

This event is free, but you must register your interest here.

Wednesday 31st August

Leeds ABC (Autism, Behaviour and Communication) Group activity day, Kirkstall Abbey, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Join Leeds ABC, a support group for families with an autistic spectrum condition, for an afternoon of activities in the park. Bring your own snacks and refreshments.

Meet the team at 11:00am behind the visitors centre.

For more info email mandycraven.leedsabcgroup@gmail.com or phone 07821 535 323

Friday 2nd September

Breeze Event, East End Park

Join the Breeze team for a day of inflatables, food, activities, crafts and fun at East End Park. This session isn’t running a relaxed, advanced opening for children with SEN and disabilities, but is local to us in LS9 and offers a host of family friendly activities.

Booking is required – find out more information and how to attend here, and view other Breeze in the Park dates and locations.

Sunday 18th September

Autism and SEN friendly session at LazerZone (Hosted by Little Hiccups), LazerZone, Castleford, WF10 4TA, 10:00 – 11:00am

Tickets cost £3 – which included 2 games in LazerZone, a party bag and a buffet of pizza.

*Little Hiccups welcome new families – but you must register with them before buying a ticket to this event. Find out more details and book here.

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