PALS (Partnership for Active Leisure Scheme) was formed in the Havant area in the summer 2000 and became a charity in September 2001. Soon after that it developed into Portsmouth and then more recently into Fareham, Gosport and East Hants. In October 2008 it was going to close as it was really struggling to survive without enough trustees. Meetings were then held to try and secure its future and it was decided it would become a project within the Enable Ability charity. The two groups had always worked well together, so it seemed a natural progression and has worked out really well.
PALS enables young people with physical disabilities aged 6-21 years to have a social life, like their peers, without their parents and carers. We produce a varied monthly programme of leisure and sport activities which take into account young people’s interests, age and disabilities and where they live. Through our activities programme we aim to build on young people’s confidence, self esteem, independence and social skills. Young people choose which activities they would like to attend. Trained young volunteers help and support them as necessary so that they can take a full and active part in the activities. All activities are overseen by trained staff.
Volunteers support, befriend and encourage the young people by taking a full and active part in the activities. This could be by helping a young person take part in sports, assisting them with arts and crafts or going to the cinema or meals out with them. Activities are all done in group sessions so it’s fun and sociable. All volunteers have CRB checks at the enhanced level and have to provide two references.
If you are interested in joining PALS either as a young person or a volunteer please contact the PALS Activity Co-ordinator on 07939 829021 or complete the online application form.
Example of activities include:- soft play areas, bowling, social clubs, archery, swimming, cinema trips, meals out, wheelchair basketball, Boccia, New Age Kurling, other sports, Paultons Park, activity centres, iceskating, arts and crafts, movie nights, horse riding and many more. If young people have a good idea of an activity they would like to do we do our best to make it possible.
A few years ago we set up a Young People’s Forum (YPF) that is made up of a cross section of users who met up every couple of months to discuss how the project is going, any changes they would like made to the service and to consult with other users to seek their views. This has been very successful and they are a real asset to PALS.
We are always grateful for any one that would like to raise funds for PALS, the money raised is always put to good use to benefit the young people.