What a racket!

A group of clients from Pelham Road have started a beginners Tennis course and are thoroughly enjoying it!

They all have very different levels of ability but are all enjoying giving it a go. To start off with, in the first session the instructor initiated a few games using the racket that help with hand-eye co-ordination.

Later on in the course our clients will learn to play the game of Tennis itself. We’d like to thank Suzzi Garnett, the community officer from Tennis in Nottingham, for taking the session and our clients are looking forward to coming back to learn more over the next few weeks!

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!

Beside the seaside!

We went on an excursion last week to Mablethorpe.

Mablethorpe is a great town for seaside holidays on the Lincolnshire Coast. It’s sandy beaches have been awarded with a blue flag.

As well as visiting the town itself we visited the seal sanctuary and animal farm. The weather was lovely – nice and sunny. Everyone had a great day and enjoyed themselves. Genevieve, one of our support workers, said “It was lovely day and we had lots of fun, especially when we saw some seals!”

Tyresome? No Way!

Ian Rees, one of our support workers, came up with a brilliant way to re-use some old tyres he’d found: Paint them!

We’ll all for helping the environment out in any way we can here at Space Inclusive – especially if it’s fun and involves recycling. As we have a wonderful garden it made perfect sense to create some planters out of them.

We’ll let you know on twitter when they’ve been put to good use, but in the mean time, it was a really fun activity during the hottest week of the year!

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.

E up my duck!

At Space Inclusive we are constantly finding new ways of telling people what we’re doing. That’s because we believe we do a good job and we want to share that with a wide audience.

We also want to stay in contact with people because it means if we do have important news, people will find out quickly. That’s why we have a website and a twitter account. But from September we’ll be launching an e-newsletter!

It’ll be fun, easily readable, and a great way to let people know about the work we do.

It’s early days yet, but we hope and believe it’ll be a success! You can sign up to it by clicking on this link!

Just what we do: James

In the first of a new series of blog posts by people that work at Space Inclusive, James, our Communications Worker, takes us through the work he does and why he enjoys working here.

Working at Space Inclusive is something I’m very proud of, not least because I used to be a client here many moons ago. In many ways I feel that my current job is repayment for the time when I was a client!

My skills lie in communications, and whenever you see a tweet, or a news item on our website it’s me that does it.

Working on social media is very rewarding in many ways, especially on Twitter. You can easily measure the impact of what you’re tweeting about by checking the number of Re-tweets and ‘likes’ by people. So, what things are most popular on social media? Well, photographs are always good, especially photographs of activities that our clients are doing. And I take plenty of them. However, you do need to be careful in case the person being photographed hasn’t given permission for it to be used publically. Data protection and privacy are highly important when working with people who have learning disabilities and everything we do has the safety of clients first and foremost.

There are sometimes downsides to working on social media. Looking at a computer screen for too long can not only do damage to your eyes but in extreme cases cause you to have a headache. In order to avoid this I always make sure to leave my workstation and make a cup of coffee or talk to colleagues and clients. This helps in showing my presence to people who may not otherwise know what I do.

I’m actually really proud of the work I do here at Space Inclusive, and I look forward to carrying on with it!

Well done Natasha!

Natasha started her placement as a Volunteer Assistant at the Barista Café in Woodthorpe two years ago. She’s a very capable person, and this placement has helped her to gain new skills that she can put on her CV. She did a range of activities during the placement, including helping with delivery, serving customers on the till and making hot drinks. This brilliant new range of skills was not only welcome but also helped the team at the café out.

Lavina, who worked with Natasha at the café said of her: “She was lovely to work with and she came on leaps and bounds”. Space Inclusive would like to thank the staff at the café, especially Nicky and Heather who were very helpful in making the placement such a fantastic success.

For Natasha, it’s very much a case of onwards and upwards and she has fantastic new skills that she can put on her CV. We would very much like to find a new placement for her. If you could help with opportunities please get in touch by e-mailing mail@spaceinclusive.co.uk.

Just good friends

So, its Learning Disability week 2016, and we thought we’d tell you all about how we at Space Inclusive help in building new friendships and relationships – which is the theme of this year’s Learning Disability week!

At Space Inclusive, one of the great things about all of our activities is that they are not only positive in promoting personal independence but also in helping to build new friendships and relationships.

For people with learning disabilities it can often be hard to make friends with others, especially when at times it feels as if other don’t understand your point of view. Even if you make friends with someone, that relationship can sometimes be strained because it may be hard for the other individual to appreciate the other’s condition.

That’s where the activities we put in place are so great! Whether it is learning to clean around the house, cooking meals or even our Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, our clients are learning about teamwork – and through that teamwork they’re making new friends.

We also have regular socials too, like visiting art galleries and going to the cinema. Again, this helps to encourage new friendships and relationships to develop.

We’re pleased that our clients can build new friendships here at Space Inclusive, and long may it continue. After all, life would be pretty boring without friends to share it with sometimes, wouldn’t it?