In October, the Brentwood Family YMCA will break ground on its new One Brentwood site on Concord Road. Included with the plans is a dedicated space for the Full Circle program.
Full Circle provides services for those with diverse abilities from 3 years old to adults. The program comes at no cost to participants or their families and provides multiple activities to serve as a valuable resource in the community. In fact, it’s not necessary to be a member of the YMCA to participate in the outreach program.
Inclusion and increased accessibility will be key throughout the new facility. Full Circle will be housed in an area with the teen center and youth programming space, allowing for interaction with young people of all abilities.
YMCA leadership has carefully considered the population served and is including open spaces with an attention to colors, sound and design. In addition, a new zero-entry pool and splash pad will have access for those with mobility challenges and depth perception issues caused by autism.
“It is heartbreaking to see so many families on waiting lists for our Full Circle program. … The need is so great,” said Steve Saxton, district executive director for the Brentwood Family YMCA. “We are thankful to the many donors who are making our new Y possible, which will be more accessible for people of all abilities and offer expanded, dedicated spaces for this important program.”
Sports leagues, health and wellness, nutrition and life skills are tailored to meet the needs of Full Circle participants. Music, movement and art are important programming, and staff and volunteers assist participants with all activities.
From swim lessons to a walking club and art programs, there is something for everyone. The fall soccer league even kicks off Saturday, and the Ravenwood High School Lady Raptors soccer team will volunteer, as they do each season.
Bob Hines heads up the YMCA board’s volunteer committee. His daughter has benefited from the programming, and he shared a memory of the birthday party thrown for participants in 2019.
“Growing up, she never had 15 friends to attend her birthday party. The Full Circle birthday party made a difference in her life,” said Hines, who also shared stories about the sports leagues and the impact it has had on her life.
Scott Matlock, another board member, has been instrumental in starting sports programming since 2006. His son, Chandler, is now 23 years old, and he participated in soccer and basketball. His favorite was basketball.
“All children and young adults can play a sport they love, and for a parent, we can sit and enjoy our child playing like their siblings do,” Matlock said.
Williamson County high school transitions programs at Brentwood, Nolensville and Ravenwood routinely bus students aged 18 through 22 to the YMCA to participate in programming as part of their school curriculum.
Another of the significant services Full Circle offers is adult day programs offered Monday through Thursday for three hours of respite care for their caregivers.
“This program fills a void in the community,” said Susan Sistrunk, program director and manager over the Full Circle program.
After age 22, there is a gap in services offered, especially for young adults who are not high functioning, and most of the services offered are costly for families.
Saxton said the idea to start the adult day programming was brought to them by a volunteer.
“If we are in a position to do so, we should do it and serve this individual,” he said. “All the ideas have come from our volunteers as Full Circle has grown over 20 years.”
Shawn Stanton was passionate about adding the programming because her daughter, Emily, aged out of Brentwood High School.
“My daughter is non-verbal and is now in a wheelchair,” Stanton said. “I just asked, could we see what we could do to have activities through the Y? My daughter, Emily, was used to going to school all day. She needed social activities. The expansion of these services was important. I believe in this program very much.”
Full Circle will move from the YMCA temporarily to Christ Church for consistency and ease of access while its space at One Brentwood is complete.
To learn more about Full Circle and One Brentwood, visit www.ymcamidtn.org/locations/brentwood.