LUPS was founded in the summer of 1986 after several parents of disabled children asked for help during the long summer break. LUPS started out as a small scheme for a few days during the summer holidays. It has since grown into a play scheme with approximately 70 children (aged 2 to 19 years) on the register and runs play schemes for 5 weeks each year, during the Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays.
All of the children have profound and multiple physical and/or learning difficulties. This means that they require one to one assistance and care. They are dependant on their families and carers 24 hours a day. They must live in the Fareham and Gosport area or attend a special school.
We are fortunate to be in a position to utilise St Francis School to run our play schemes. We have an excellent relationship with St Francis School and Children Services, which has enabled us to develop our services and provide a high level of support to the children and their families.
LUPS aims to provide much needed short breaks for the families and carers whilst at the same time allowing the children to experience life in the same way as their more able peers. There are many different areas of the play scheme to provide a stimulating environment with a variety of activities, with the emphasis being on fun. Each of these areas has 2 senior members of staff who are responsible for the children and staff in the area.
LUPS is run by a voluntary parent run committee and over the years, we have built up a wonderful register of staff that all bring their individual and special skills to the scheme. Although the staff are paid, it is at a minimal level. LUPS does use volunteers but in order to ensure continuity and a high level of care, we need to have a core of paid staff that can be relied upon to work to a very specific job description.