Spacecraft – It’s Landed!

Spacecraft is a new creative shop project by Space Inclusive based on Hucknall Road. We took the premises on earlier this year; it’s a five minute walk away from our Pelham Road site.

Stella Dowbenko, our Work Placement Coordinator, has overseen a huge amount of creative activity since then and we are at a point when we will be able to open the shop to the public.

Stella said “It’s been a really exciting project to work on – I’m massively proud of the results!”

The shop’s ethos is based on creativity and upcycling. Upcycling is all about transforming by-products, waste materials or unwanted items into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value, which is just as well because Space Inclusive has always been an environmentally friendly social enterprise!

Our clients from Pelham Road, Mansfield Street and Mansfield Woodhouse have all helped in creating products for the site, from cushions to plant pots.

Meanwhile, on the site of the shop, Stella has worked with clients doing different activities such as spray painting, sanding down furniture and decorating to make both the shop and its contents top notch.

We’re really proud of the clients who have worked so hard in making the dream of a shop, where they can create and sell products, into a reality. All the hard work is about to pay off as the shop opens its doors to the public from 9am on Monday 22 May.  We’d love you to pop in!

Be heard!

On Thursday 8th June there will be a general election. It’s a chance for everyone to have a say about the future of the country as well as electing a representative in their area.

Sometimes people with learning disabilities think that voting isn’t for them. However, everybody is entitled to a vote and we at Space Inclusive want to encourage all of our clients who care about issues affecting them to register.

It’s very simple to sign up to vote: simply go to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You can also have a look at the Every Vote Counts Website by going to http://www.everyvotecounts.org.uk/voting/registering-to-vote/

Flower Power

National Gardening Week (10-16 April 2017) was launched six years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and aims to become the country’s biggest celebration of gardening.

At our Pelham Road site we’ve spent many happy hours in our wonderful garden.

Over the years, we’ve seen it transformed from an overgrown jungle to a fun, colourful garden that everyone enjoys spending time in.

But don’t take our word for it, take the word of our clients:

“The garden is great. I like going out and spending in time in it when it’s hot”

“The garden is very nice. I like the shed at the back of the garden and I like the flowers in the summer”

“It’s big and large and I love the plants. I like having a barbeque there in the summer with other clients”

We’ve got loads of interesting features in the garden. One of our favourites is a pizza oven that we built for outdoor cooking!

The garden can also be a nice place for clients who enjoy peace and quiet to spend time in. It’s nice and secluded so provides a safe space for them.

At our Mansfield Street site some new plants have been put into the front borders and have really cheered it up! Passers-by have even commented on how lovely it looks.

The gardens are very good for wildlife and for all of our wellbeing. It’s great to celebrate it!

Planning ahead

A draft five-year plan for the future of health and social care in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has been developed. It’s called the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ (STP) for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

The plan considers how we can best improve the quality of care, the health and wellbeing of local people, and the finances of local services. This plan is a live document and will continue to evolve.

Both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils want to hear back from stakeholders, such as parents and carers. For further information about the consultation, including information on how you can respond to it, please click on this link.

Have I got views for you!

There is currently a brilliant chance to have your voice heard.

People with autism need the Government to help them to find and stay in work. Without this, autistic people will continue to be left behind, their abilities overlooked.

We know how much they can contribute to the workplace – some of our employees are former clients and others have found success in sustaining work placements, sometimes succeeding in gaining paid employment!

The Government has launched a consultation to inform their plans for changes to the law about disability and work. The more people who tell them what support is needed for autistic people to get into and stay in work, the better chance we have.

You only have until 17 February 2017 to respond but we advise that you get your comments in as soon as you can.

The National Autistic Society have designed an easy and accessible feedback form on their website. It’s designed for Parents, Carers and Autistic people themselves. If you have just a few minutes to spare please click on this link and make your voice heard!

https://act.autism.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=10&ea.campaign.id=59439

All in the mind

Our Communications Worker James has written this article to mark World Mental Health Day 2016 – Monday 10 October.

It’s a fact that Mental Health issues and Autism are interlinked. As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, I can attest to this myself having suffered from Depression. However, it’s not just my personal experience that bears this out.

More than 40% of people with Autism have a least one anxiety disorder at any one time. This is compared to 15% in the general UK population. Depression is also very common. At least 20% of the general population have Depression at any one time, but in people with Autism it is significantly higher.

What are the causes? Well, firstly it’s the struggle to cope with everyday life. For people without Autism that can be difficult, but when you struggle to focus on things and get confused by the world around you it can be a lot worse. People with Autism and other learning difficulties can often find it hard to cope with people looking at them disapprovingly.

But there are ways that we can change this.

Firstly, an increased awareness of the link between Autism and Mental Health issues. If the general public can understand its prevalence then they will begin to be more accepting of it when they see it.

Secondly, openness about it. There’s nothing shameful about having Mental Health issues. In fact, it’s quite understandable if you look at it dispassionately.

Thirdly, making friends and having more social connections. Many people with Autism can end up isolating themselves from society, whether by circumstance or choice. By making friends, doing activities and generally getting out and about, positive change can happen. And that’s where Space Inclusive comes in handy too. We provide activities and social interaction for our clients, and because of that they are happier and feel they can achieve more. Their self-esteem is lifted!

So, on World Mental Health Day 2016 spare a thought for people with Autism and other Learning difficulties who have mental health problems.

They’re also a valuable part of our society!

Nice one, Notts County!

A lot of our clients enjoy the beautiful game – football. However, for many people with Autism (even without it, in truth), football matches can be rather intimidating places to attend.

The loud noises from the crowd and the sheer number of fans there can make people with Autism feel uncomfortable, even if they enjoy watching football. Also, there are many parents who have children with Autism, who’d love to go to a match but might find it hard because they’re scared of going.

Notts County have been innovative though. They’ve designed and created an Autism friendly room for people to watch matches in. It’s a new and bold step for a football club to take – so far the only other club to do this is Sunderland – but it’s one which we fully approve of.

Making places Autism friendly is a win-win situation for people with the condition. Now there is a safe place that people with Autism can go to and enjoy the game.

Well done Notts County!

Brian Rix

Sometimes there are people who can make a real impact because of their celebrity status, but, as you’ll find out in this short piece, Brian Rix was so much more than a concerned celebrity. He helped change perceptions – indeed, he actively devoted himself to doing so.

Brian was a comic actor. During the 1950s and 60s he starred in more than 90 ‘farcical comedies’ alongside some of the great comic actors of the age. However, Brian wasn’t content with just being a figure of fun.

Brian’s daughter Shelley had a learning disability – Down’s syndrome. During the 1970s he saw that perceptions of people with learning disabilities were often not as positive as they could be.

However, Brian challenged this. In the 1970s he presented a programme called ‘Let’s Go!’. It was aimed to highlight the potential of people with learning disabilities, showing that they can achieve a huge amount.

In 1980 Brian became the General Secretary of the charity Mencap. In this role he campaigned tirelessly for people with learning disabilities. He championed the idea – radical at the time – that people with learning disabilities have a full role to play in society and can achieve a huge amount. Initiatives such as supported independent living were championed by Brian.

The work of Charities and Social Enterprises such as Space Inclusive owe a huge amount to the pioneers of learning disability campaigning. Brian Rix really was a pioneer. It isn’t just Mencap – the charity he became President of – that’ll miss him but the wider community as a whole. Thank you, Brian, rest in peace.

Evidence needed! Can you help?…

Members of Parliament on the Communities and Local Government Committee want to hear about your experiences of accessing adult social care support and services and providing care.

  • What works and what doesn’t work about the current system?
  • Have you seen services in your area change?
  • How could services be improved?
  • As a carer, what do you think are the challenges facing the sector?
  • As a carer, are you getting the support you need, financially and in terms of your health and well-being?

Click on this link to submit evidence to their enquiry on an online form.