Wonder Wac Arts offers a range of inclusive performing arts and media opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Young people develop skills, work creatively, build confidence and self-esteem and, most importantly, have fun!
We offer a varied programme with a wide range of activities from inspiring artwork and recording live music to swinging and movement with aerials equipment.
To make sure everyone can come along, we have two fantastic, especially adapted mini buses to collect our young people and take them home safely after their activities. These are fully equipped to accommodate all types of disabilities and allow us to offer a real respite to Camden families and carers.
The buses are also invaluable for transport to and from our residential projects in the countryside and for regular trips around the London attractions and beyond to see the sights and gain new experiences.
Wonder Wac Arts is the core project for our young people with disabilities. It now includes several new sessions as well as our established evening activities and residential trips away with Oasis.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday clubs
There are regular themed sessions on Tuesday evenings and an afternoon performing arts and media club on Wednesdays. The lively Saturday club gets young people out in the community with the emphasis on sport and socialising.
The 18+ club
For young adults living in Camden, the 18+ club is one of a kind! Our 18-25s can socialise and consolidate the independent living skills they have often learnt at our regular activities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Although we aren’t able to offer transport to and from home for over-18s, young adults are often able to access these sessions independently using nearby public transport. And we are able to take our over-18s on trips out into the community using our adapted bus, which is an added bonus. An additional group for our local young people, the 18+ club is always active and fun!
• On-site @ Wonder Wac Arts
During the school holidays we run full five-day week, on-site programmes with trips out to places of interest including the London Aquarium, our local city farm, sports venues, the adapted bike hire scheme in Regents Park and several open spaces nearby.
Our long-standing Oasis programme comes into its own in the school summer holidays and for six special weekends throughout the year!
Wonder Wac Arts members go away to the countryside with Oasis, visiting a range of different accessible outdoor activity centres. They can try out camping under canvas, or stay in lodges and converted country houses in wonderful settings with open space and woodlands.
Well supported by our staff team, young people with even high levels of special needs and disabilities enjoy fantastic outdoor activities including sailing, grass sledging and high ropes courses. Specialist facilities and opportunities on offer include; power boating, indoor climbing walls, zip wire and jet skiing! Students also develop independent living skills including menu planning, shopping, cooking and dining with their friends.
Active days are rounded off with karaoke, storytelling and discos. While their families enjoy a welcome respite break at home, young people participate in activities that push their personal boundaries in a safe and secure setting – as well as having a great time!
Wonder Wac Arts has developed a specialist Sensory Pod where young people have access to specialist sensory equipment and software that they can use to enhance their ability to communicate and develop creative ideas.
With bubble tubes, a variety of textures and mood lighting, the Sensory Pod is also used to offer students the opportunity for some one-to-one support and individual attention time. Fully equipped with a range of assistive and intuitive new technology, young people can also explore sounds and music in new and exciting settings.
Through individual and small group sessions, students are able to combine Soundbeam and other new technology with percussion and acoustic instruments, to experience music in a range of less conventional ways. Having control over the music they make is both an empowering and uplifting experience for all involved!
Buddying, transitions and advocacy
Wonder Wac Arts buddying, transitions and advocacy scheme is an exciting development in our programme for young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. Focusing on communication, interpersonal skills and engagement, these projects involve buddies and advocates in creative ways to build networks and open up young people’s worlds.
Wonder Wac Arts members are introduced to a ‘buddy’ to engage in shared hobbies and activities where friendships are then developed. Buddies are able to support young people to enable greater access to a wide range of situations and activities and to have a good time!
Sessions include trips out, activities at home, playing music, photography and other social and interest-based activities. The buddying scheme enriches lives and can provide vital links to the outside world for young people who might otherwise remain isolated and excluded. Instead, the buddying scheme nurtures friendships and enables young people with even severe special educational needs and disabilities to learn skills in activities they enjoy.
Our transitions service is all about enabling young people with learning and physicial disabilities to have more independence and manage periods of change as they become young adults.
A new and very individually focused service, Transitions is for young people experiencing a particular period of transition. It links young 15-18s with a Wac Arts transitions worker to work together on activities and encourage the development of new skills and social networks.
Parents and carers are also included with the young people and transitions worker in devising personal goals, which promote independence, confidence and self-esteem. Creative activities include a variety of life-skills tasks based on meal preparation, shopping and budgeting, travel training, personal care and staying safe.
Our innovative advocacy service allows young people with disabilities to become more involved in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. Using creative strategies we encourage young people to express their views and opinions, to help to ensure that their needs and views are heard.
This incredibly important programme aims to represent young people and especially young people who may be non-verbal or looked after, to keep them safe, healthy and feel listened to and respected.
If you would like more information on Wonder Wac Arts or any of its activities and to find out about joining please contact:
Maggie.Mendy@WacArts.co.uk and 020 7692 5812
Jo.Yeoman@WacArts.co.uk and 020 7692 5871.
Autumn Term: 8th September – 15th December 2015 (half term 27th October)
Spring Term: 5th January – 22nd March 2016 (half term 16th February)
Summer Term: 12th April – 12th July 2016 (half term 31st May)
Autumn Term: 9th September – 16th December 2015 (half term 28th October)
Spring Term: 6th January – 23rd March 2016 (half term 17th February)
Summer Term: 13th April – 13th July 2016 (half term 1st June)
Autumn Term: 5th September – 12th December 2015 (half term 31st October)
Spring Term: 9th January – 26th March 2016 (half term 20th February)
Summer Term: 16th April – 16th July 2016 (half term 4th June)
Please see Holiday activities above for details of on-site holiday projects and residential trips away during the school holidays. Wonder Wac Arts also runs occasional term-time weekends away in the countryside.