Yoga to be joking

A group of clients have started attending a weekly Yoga class!

At its most basic, Yoga is simply the process of paying attention to the present moment and calming the mind. Yes, it’s physical, but it can have positive effects on the mind too. The aim is to help the person doing Yoga to experience stress-reduction, happiness and overall wellbeing.

People with Autism can experience high levels of anxiety, especially in noisy or crowded situations. For some, even being ‘stressed out’ becomes the norm, so Yoga can help to relax and calm them.

The knock-on benefits of Yoga for people with Autism are more than you might imagine; some positive effects of regular Yoga include:

• Quality and quantity of sleep
• Physical strength, muscle tone and balance
• Concentration
• Ability to go from one activity to another without stress.

So what a brilliant activity for our clients to do – it might be just once a week that clients get to do it but its benefits will last a lot longer than that.

Oh Yes They Did!

On Wednesday a group of clients went to the Nottingham Playhouse to see a performance of the Pantomime, Cinderella.

It may be coming towards the end of the run but for the clients it was a great experience! There were lots of jokes, dancing, music and drama. We were made to feel especially welcome by some of the adjustments made, as the performance was specially designed for people with additional needs including Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome to enjoy.

A visual story with widgit signs had kindly been created by the Playhouse with the help of Nottingham Mencap. It included a fantastic guide to the storyline which helped our clients understand the plot.

Support Worker Elle said “It was a really fun experience and well worth going to!” Our client Jake said “Cinderella was a wonderful show…it was entertaining and we had fun singing along with the crowd and shouting IT’S BEHIND YOU!”

Thanks to Nottingham Playhouse for a lovely time.

Location, Location, Location

Last year we made a really important decision to move our Mansfield Street service to a new location. Workspace, as Mansfield Street had been known, was the location for clients focussing on employment and skills. It was great but, due to the number of new clients, we needed a site that could better accommodate us.

We found a fantastic building in the Radford area – just off Radford Boulevard to be precise – that we moved into in late 2017.

The new site is very different to Mansfield Street in a number of respects, most especially in terms of the open plan nature of the building. That means we’ve got a more accessible space for big projects, such as the Bike Club.

James, the Manager at Radford Boulevard, has been really impressed by how smoothly everything has gone. “For me, the fact things have come together has been great.” He had some worries it might take a little while for some to adapt to the new site, however, as he says, “the resilience and speed of adaption has been brilliant.”

The new premises is a wonderful addition and in a very unique and culturally vibrant area of Nottingham, which hopefully will add to the special character of the new location.

Mansfield Street meanwhile hasn’t been neglected by any means. It is going to become our site for clients with more complex needs. It’s early days there but when we’re settled we’ll let you know!

In the meantime, we’ve still got a lot to do at the Radford site, but it’s already a hit with clients and staff alike!

3 Things we did in December

  1. On Friday 15 December our clients at Pelham Road took part in Christmas Jumper Day, which raises money for Save the Children
  2. At Mansfield Woodhouse, we are getting into the Christmas Spirit too – putting up the decorations, making fancy dress outfits for a Christmas party and creating upcycled Christmas crafts for Spacecraft.
  3. Meanwhile, at our head office staff have been busy with the change of company status for Space Inclusive – on 11 December 2017 we became a Limited Company rather than a Limited Liability Partnership; different company, but don’t worry – same philosophy, same staff, and, most importantly, same commitment to young people with Autism and Learning Disabilities achieving their full potential.

Cheque it out!

On Tuesday 12 December, some Space Inclusive clients and staff were privileged to be invited to a special presentation of a cheque following the fundraising activities of the Plough and Harrow pub Darts team in Hucknall. Led by Jackie Wilson, the group of truly dedicated and devoted fundraisers managed to raise the unbelievable amount of £2000 for Space Inclusive!

These valuable funds are going to be put to good use; we are creating a new sensory room project for clients with more acute, complex autism and physical disabilities – a Multi-sensory Interactive Learning Environment (MILE) Room.

David Bingham, Director at Space Inclusive, said “The contribution of these fundraisers is nothing short of outstanding – when we collected the cheque we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome!”

Thank you very much to the staff, customers and Darts team at the Plough and Harrow. Watch this space as we’ll keep you all informed as to the progress of the new sensory facility in the coming months.

Christmas holiday dates

We all love Christmas here at Space Inclusive. We’re getting into the festive mood. For your information however, we close for the Christmas break on Friday 22 December 2017 and will return for a new year on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

 

 

3 Things we did in November

In a new monthly online feature we look at three different activities we enjoyed doing this month.

  1. We visited Sneinton Market Square and observed the graffiti work there, taking some fun and expressive photos as we did so. We will be creating a dance piece inspired by street art around Nottingham, so watch this space!
  2. We made some fantastic hand-crafted Christmas cards, some of which will go on sale at our upcycling shop Spacecraft.
  3. A group led by our Support Worker, Levi, took some high quality Autumnal photos of our garden at Pelham Road. Great, aren’t they?

More Mount Cook Adventures

Last week we were pleased to have two more groups go to the Mount Cook Adventure Centre in Derbyshire. You may remember we went there earlier in the year and such was the popularity of the last trips that we decided to arrange another two.

Once again there were loads of fabulous outward-bound activities. One of our managers, Lucy, was there with the first group and described some of the activities they did:

“An historic walk along the High Peak Trail, the amazing view across the peaks and the autumnal scenery, an evening camp fire, warmed by hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows, fossil hunting in the craggy rock, gem panning, and there was archery too. Working together we built a shelter which we nearly all fitted in!”
As the week went on there were lots more activities:

“There was land kart building – which team would work together and finish first? And who would have the nerves of steel to race it around the field?

Orienteering had us working together in teams to find giant jigsaw pieces and get them back, build the huge puzzle first – a great test of our decision-making, communication and co-operation.”

The clients really enjoyed their trip to Mount Cook. Joe, who was in group two, asked “When can we come again…I really enjoyed it when we went out walking”. Joe also enjoyed the songs round the campfire!

Summing up the trip, Lucy said:

“We really enjoyed ourselves and are already talking about the next time!”

Thank you again to all the staff at Mount Cook. We really appreciate the chance it gives our clients to experience so many new activities and the great outdoors.

Learning Disability Work Week

It was Learning Disability Work Week from 6-12 November. People with learning disabilities have a lot to contribute to society, including being engaged in voluntary work and paid employment.

Approximately 8 out of 10 people with a learning disability who are of working age have a mild or moderate learning disability, but less than 2 in 10 are in paid employment.

With a few reasonable adjustments however, we know that this statistic can increase. With the help, support and understanding of employers and colleagues, people with learning disabilities can be real assets to a workplace.

Currently, several of our clients are doing some fantastic work placements across Nottinghamshire. We have clients in placements at Nottingham Community Transport, the Pelham Kitchen cafe, Green’s Windmill and Arnold Clothes Bank.

One client, Clare, is doing a work placement at Sherwood Playgroup. Her boss there, Louise, says “She is an asset to the Nursery”.

We also have our crafts and upcycling shop, Spacecraft, where clients serve customers and are learning about stock maintenance and handling money.

Our Support Worker, Stella, explains why work placements are so important:

“Working gives our clients responsibility and independence. It teaches soft work skills in a real life situation.  For many of our clients, self-confidence quickly grows through starting a work placement.”

Changing people’s perceptions of what people with learning disabilities can do isn’t a quick process, but it is rewarding. Not everybody with a learning disability will find work suits them, but the current national statistics don’t reflect what great employees our clients can be!

For more Information about Learning Disability Work Week, which has been organised by the charity Mencap, please click on this link.