The project is run by 3rd 5th and 6th year pupils at Dyce Academy in Aberdeen. Every year around 15 1st year Dyce Academy pupils with additional support needs such as autism, ADHD, and physical disability participate. Through playing various sports and games, we aim to help these pupils learn skills and qualities (such as teamwork, confidence, and social skills) which they can transfer into the classroom and everyday life.
The benefit to all participants is immeasurable. The 1st years are given a safe environment where their individual needs are catered to allowing them to challenge themselves and achieve things they never thought they could. The life skills they learn and the boost to their self-esteem cannot be understated and this translates back into the classroom where they find it easier to make friends, participate in class, and complete their work on time. The 5th and 6th year pupils also learn key life skills such as organisation, leadership, and public speaking. From 2015 the project was funded by Sky Sports, however in May 2017 Sky Sports pulled their funding. The project received a one-time grant of £400 from Aberdeen City Youth Council but this money has now run out.
The project incurs various costs including purchasing specialist equipment, bus hire for travel to sports facilities and events, and the fuel costs of such travel. Without finding a new source of funding for the school year 2018-2019 it is unlikely the project will be able to continue. The SOUP grant would fund the project for next year and allow us to continue making a difference to the lives of our most vulnerable, young learners.
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