Learning Disability Work Week

We are currently in 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.

Jake

Last year Jake helped out making some cushions for pets that were later sold on at the  Mansfield site’s Christmas fayre and in the Spacecraft shop. From then on he became interested in textiles and sewing. He started developing his interest by making new clothes – he  made a simple cravat and then his own waistcoat. Now he has branched out into creating a fully lined coat from scratch in the sewing group, adapting a pattern to include a cape, based on one worn by the Third Doctor Who. This, as Support Worker Daisy notes, “shows Jake’s creativity and self expression”.

Jake is one of those people who learn as they’re going along – he likes the trial and error method of learning. He’s always helpful and always good company, whether it’s in the sewing group, cooking, or in other activities he always gives a hundred per cent.

Lucy, the Manager at Mansfield Woodhouse site, is impressed by Jake’s progress. “It’s lovely to see a young man who knows what he wants exactly and stays focused and works hard towards the end result…” says Lucy, “…He’s got a fantastic understanding of tailoring. He’s very meticulous.”

Jake currently attends Space one day a week alongside his studies at West Notts College,  and twice a week during the holiday breaks.

Bike Club

At Space Inclusive we have loads of great ways to engage our clients, and one at our Workspace site in Sherwood is the bike club.

The premise is really simple, it aims to help our clients learn more about bikes, whether it’s maintaining and repairing them, or riding them. The skills clients gain are numerous, from problem solving and team-work skills to some practical and vocational experience that can be used if clients are taking the next step to paid employment.

Our support worker, Dave Bevan, says “All the clients in the bike club get a huge amount out of it. They are learning new skills and are developing a real interest in bikes”.

Autumn at Spacecraft

There are loads of great new products for the Autumn in our fabulous shop, Spacecraft, right now.

From bird feeders to some Halloween-inspired pumpkin cushions, there’s plenty of stuff to help give both your home and garden a bit of an Autumnal twist.

So, if you go past 102 Hucknall Road, make sure to pop in for some Autumnal cheer. We also make a great cuppa if you want one!

Don’t forget to follow Spacecraft on Instagram and ‘like’ Spacecraft’s Facebook page too.

Another new experience!

On Tuesday 3 October a group of our clients went to Nottingham Council House for a special workshop to mark Nottingham’s bid to be European City of Culture in 2023.

Run by Nonsuch Theatre in conjunction with Nottingham 2023, our clients learnt about and practiced the traditional Indian dance of Kathak.

Our Support Worker, Elle, who was also at the Workshop said “It was an excellent opportunity for our performing arts group to experience a new style of dance whilst also learning historical and cultural facts. Everybody had a great time.”

We would like to thank Nonsuch Theatre for giving our clients the opportunity to participate in a new and exciting experience.

Autism Hour!

At Space Inclusive we are pleased to be supporting The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour.

Over the next week starting from today, shops and services take 60 minutes to provide autistic people with a break from the overload of too much information.

Businesses, from major shop chains to small local cafes, are participating all over the UK and holding their own Autism Hour. They will take simple steps for 60 minutes, from dimming the lights to turning down music.

The National Autistic Society have provided a map of all participating locations taking part in Autism hour. Click on this link to find out more.

Sew far sew good

A group of our clients have been busy working on some fabulous handmade items at the Textile Workshop on Mansfield Road.

Over a six-week course they will learn skills such as sewing, knitting, pattern cutting, dress making, printing, art, felting and embroidery. Many of the items created during the course will, in time, go on sale at our shop, Spacecraft. An example of the work being done is a lovely bouquet of flowers made from pipe cleaners and buttons!

One of our support workers, Kelly, says “The course is a great way for clients to get creative and focus on creating some fabulous items. It’s also a perfect way to help the mindfulness of clients.”

We would especially like to thank Karen Taylor, the tutor taking the group every Thursday morning, for her time and obvious enthusiasm.

James

James has been attending Space Inclusive since November 2014. To see the immense progress he’s made you simply have to look at what aims he and his parents had when he started.

His parents wanted him to be able to travel independently, especially to places he hadn’t been before. Whilst living with his Mum and Dad, they wanted him to lead as independent a life as possible, to be able to plan and cook simple meals and manage his money.

When you look at his achievements, he’s gone above and beyond what his parents wanted in many ways.

James has volunteered for a charity shop – the Marie Curie store in Bulwell. He’s made and prepared loads of fab food in the kitchen at Pelham Road. He’s started handling money independently, purchasing lunch from a shop every Friday. Whether it’s playing sport, gardening or art projects, James always gives 100%.

Perhaps the most marked difference is in travel. When James started at Space Inclusive he would travel by taxi. Today, he is confident in travelling on the bus by himself!

Senior Support Worker Brie is understandably delighted at the progress James has made. “I am very proud of James…” she says, “He has developed in leaps and bounds and the fact we’ve been part of that process has been a pleasure!”

Space-at-Sea

While hurricanes and severe weather conditions are in place around the world, we were lucky to be met by sunny skies on our day out at the coast.

Before summer disappears completely, and winter takes hold, clients at our Mansfield Woodhouse site travelled to Sutton-on-Sea, to enjoy that feeling of sand between your toes, a game of football, collecting shells paddling in the muddy waters of the North sea, and the brave few, even went for a swim!

We had fish and chips for lunch with a Great British cuppa on deckchairs in front of the beach hut.

And to top it off, we played karaoke on the scenic journey home. Another grand day out!