Introduction – The High-5 Club was formed to fill a need identified in the Monifieth area; it was found that there were many families in the community who had a child with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger’s who found accessing mainstream activities really difficult.
The idea to form a youth club with specific support for young people with HFA or Asperger’s evolved. With Monifieth Parish Church and Monifieth High School offering support and a home for the club, this idea became a reality.
The High-5 Club is like any other youth club; the one difference is that it takes into account the specific needs of young people with HFA or Asperger’s.
Young people with these conditions see the world in a different way from young people without the condition; they are sometimes misunderstood and can display a range of behaviours which may appear odd to others. Although they want to be involved in the same types of activities as their peers, these differences often prevent them from doing so.
The High-5 Club meets during school term time on Wednesday evenings in Monifieth Parish Church’s Gerrard Hall from 7.15pm to 8.45pm and is run completely by volunteers.
The club is self-funding but has also been very fortunate to have been the recipient of a number of charitable donations to assist with purchasing equipment and funding activities for the young people.
The age group for the High-5 Club is from S1 onwards but young people in P7 may also be invited to join the club to help support their transition to secondary school.
Volunteer Helpers – The Mission of the High-5 Club is to be a place where all young people can come together in an inclusive environment; can learn from each other through positive role modelling and can have fun and make friends. Volunteer Helpers are recruited from the senior pupils at Monifieth High School to run the club each week; they are responsible for encouraging positive behaviour and promoting fun activities.
Peer Buddies (volunteers of a similar age to the club’s members) participate in the club activities each week in the hope that by providing positive role models they will allow the young people with HFA/Asperger’s to feel more confident about building friendships within their peer group.
All volunteers receive regular training and are encouraged to take the lead in organising themed evenings to enhance their youth work skills.
Typical Activities – Most weeks, the club is set out in the same way as routine is important for young people with autism. Weekly activities include video gaming on Xbox, arts & crafts and board games. These activities give helpers and members the chance to chat about their interests in pairs or small groups, building confidence and communication skills.
Some weeks, however, there are more structured activities such as cooking, pizza and film nights and fitness sessions.
We also venture beyond the confines of the hall, favourites among the young people being cinema trips and occasional outings to local restaurants.
Join Us – To find out more about the club or if you are interested in joining as a member or volunteer helper, please contact Karen Morton, Telephone/Text: 07816 909466, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Information – Further information about High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s can be obtained by contacting the National Autistic Society: The National Autistic Society, 393 City Road, London, EC1V 1NG, United Kingdom / email@example.com / www.autism.org.uk
High-5 Club is part of Monifieth Parish Church of Scotland. Registered in Scotland – Scottish Charity Number SC008965.