Sam O'halloran in abseiling gear | Bexley SNAP Leisure Services

Sam's Story

Experience and impact of accessing Buddy Youth Club, Holiday schemes and residential weekends

Samuel has autism which affects him in a variety of ways including his behaviour and ability to communicate with others. Due to his autism he is unable to socialise with children of his own age without massive support. This can be incredibly difficult both for us and Samuel; Sam wants desperately to make friends and be a regular teenage boy, but because of the difficulties that he has this would not be possible without Bexley SNAP’s Buddy Club. This club enables him to socialise in an everyday way with people of his own age and he particularly enjoys when they go bowling. To do things which other teenagers take for granted is fantastic for him and raises his self-esteem so much. Sam says “I like going outside at Buddy Club, playing football. Playing pool is my favourite”. Sam also says "I go to football club at Woodside" (Sam’s school). Since taking part in this scheme Sam’s self-confidence and communication skills have come on leaps and bounds. Sam says “Want to keep coming to buddy club”.

Sam has even been away on an adventure holiday with SNAP, such a fantastic experience from which he took so much and returned as a far more independent young man.

SNAP holiday club enables us to give Sam his freedom, safe in the knowledge that he is cared for and supported in a friendly environment. The staff and volunteers understand Sam’s needs and know how to help him with specific difficulties that he has. This means that as a family we are able to do things that we would otherwise be unable to do with our other children. Sam has even been away on an adventure holiday to the Isle of Wight with SNAP which was such a fantastic experience from which he took so much and returned as a far more independent young man. He has also attended two other adventure weekends away with SNAP. Bexley SNAP are a very important part of our lives and we are extremely grateful and appreciative of all they do.

Written by Claire and Samuel O’halloran

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