Time Out Group (North West) has been working in the Wilmslow and Macclesfield areas of Cheshire for over 15 years. It has from the beginning been a members’ led organisation and has therefore developed in line with the interests and needs of its membership – adults with learning disabilities.

The charity aims to improve the lives of adults with learning disabilities by supporting them in a range of experiences that enhance enjoyment, increase confidence and encourage independence. The group has employed a variety of measures to ensure it is meeting the needs of its members and achieving planned outcomes.

Since its inception Time Out has grown into the primary provider of evening-based leisure activities for adults with learning difficulties in the district. Its Unique Selling Points include its availability out of normal office hours and its emphasis on inclusion in the community; almost all activities take place in public venues and there is a corresponding emphasis on members participating in the design, delivery and evaluation of service provision.

Time Out Group’s activities are devised to improve the quality of life for members through raising confidence, increasing social & practical skills and encouraging independence.

Social activities

Programmes of evening social events and trips cover the Wilmslow and Macclesfield areas; they might typically include: cooking, quiz, karaoke, film nights, crafts, pub meals, walks, trips to Manchester. Whilst the emphasis is on enjoyment and pursuing interests, support in independence skills is inherent in the activity delivery style; for example, money management, activity planning, transport.

Sports activities

Time Out Group offers a range of supported sports activities regularly in each of Wilmslow and Macclesfield. Typically these are run from the local leisure centre in the winter months and members can choose from activities such as using the gym or swimming. Other sports activities include yoga, badminton, football, volleyball, tennis and dodgeball.

The service is responsive to the needs of members and the availability of facilities so the timetable of activities is varied and under constant review.

Drop In

The Together drop-in centre offers an informal activity programme as well as drop-in style support and information. Its main open time are Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, supporting members and bringing an increased involvement in and from the local community.

Day trips

Day trips are arranged periodically; previous trips have included Blackpool, Llandudno, Salford Quays, Manchester, and the Blue Planet Aquarium.

Residential breaks

Summer holidays are another popular activity and previously members have enjoyed stays in Blackpool, North Wales and Derbyshire. In September 2017, the first Time Out Group cruise took a small group to the Channel Islands.

Carers Group

Time Out has always included respite and support for parents and carers within its aims. As well as benefiting from regular breaks while members get involved in Time Out activities, carers are offered the opportunity to join a Carers’ Group, open to all carers and family members supporting an adult with learning disabilities. The group meets regularly and is assisted by Time Out to coordinate a programme of speakers and topics for discussion.

Members’ Committee

The direct involvement of members is built around the Committee that meets throughout the year and feeds directly into the trustee board. The Committee holds open forum meetings when anyone can attend to express their views and contribute ideas.

Other provision

In addition to the regular activities there is a programme of sessions to directly address issues such as:

  • Personal safety, computer use etc.
  • Access to service provision
  • Financial management
  • Independent living skills

Members benefit from the vast majority of activities taking place in public spaces, reflecting the ethos of inclusivity at the heart of Time Out. Members are also involved in the planning and organisation of events and activities and each member’s progress is tracked against person-centred aims.

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