- On Friday 15 December our clients at Pelham Road took part in Christmas Jumper Day, which raises money for Save the Children
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
A few days ago our Mansfield Woodhouse clients experienced all the excitement of a major sporting event – the Tour of Britain.
Our Senior Support Worker at Mansfield Woodhouse, Lucy, takes up the story:
“We knew we were on the right track as we passed the decorated buildings, bright yellow bikes and even a hillside with a large chalk bike, enroute to our reserved seats out front of The Old Reindeer at Edingly, where a few clients were already well known to the landlord! We enjoyed a quiet drink, getting to know the locals, while the roads shut around us and we waited for the race to come to us.
“A noisy procession of police bikes and team cars warned us of the imminent arrival of the cyclists and we moved forward to the roadside to get a better view. We cheered them all, the small group that came through first, then bike after bike after bike, hot on the tail of each other, speeding past at around 45 miles an hour, until the last man passed through.”
“The rain had threatened and the windchill had a few of us running for cover inside. Mostly wrapped up warm, we braved lunch outside enjoying the party atmosphere and even indulging in the roadside food, while the roads reopened.”
Lucy and all the clients really enjoyed the atmosphere and the buzz of the Tour. As Lucy puts it “Definitely a day to remember.”.
Over the past few months our Mansfield Street based Support Worker, Lucy, has taken groups of clients to work on Space Inclusive’s very own allotment.
Lucy has had her own allotment on the site for six years. After looking for a site to use to launch her Grow, Cook and Eat scheme STAA (St Anns Allotment Association) very kindly offered us the shared use of the nursery. Additionally, they let Space Inclusive use the site rent free for twelve months.
Because of the previous user, the site was already set up with great facilities including a shared eating space and an incredible 50ft glass house!
The wonderful thing about allotments is the knowledge and understanding of self-sufficiency that a client can get out of working on it. To be able to grow your own fruit and vegetables helps teach clients about healthy eating and gives them an appreciation of nature and the world around them.
One client, Kate, has been helping out since May. “I’ve done planting, weeding, watering, chopping hedges, composting and growing tomatoes.” she says. “It’s nice and peaceful…it helps me relax”. So, has she got the gardening bug? Yes – “I’ll definitely carry on” she says.
Kate has already had a chance to try some of the produce from the garden, which is all organic. “I’ve had cucumbers, peppers and courgettes” she says.
Lucy is delighted with how the allotment has progressed, “It’s been a great opportunity to enable clients to experience nature through growing their own produce. We’ve gone from sowing to planting out and harvesting…”
“Having the opportunity to pick from fresh organic vegetables which are prepared and cooked on site for a shared meal has been fantastic” Lucy says.
The allotment is a relatively new innovation but it’s become an indispensable part of Space Inclusive.
Shan came to Space Inclusive two years ago. She has CHARGE Syndrome, which affects her ears and eyes. As a result of this Shan has unfortunately lost her sight. However, Shan was driven to succeed despite everything and this has been helped by a great sense of humour. “Since school,” Shan says, “my dream was to work in an office”.
With the help of Staff Inclusive staff, Shan has found a Work Placement – Volunteering at Nottingham Community Transport’s Sherwood depot one morning a week. Shan’s placement includes answering the telephone, contacting clients to let them know when their transport will be arriving, booking transport, typing up documents and photocopying.
Shan needs some support for these tasks but, with the reasonable adjustments in place, she is very independent. Nottingham Community Transport have been very supportive and will soon be introducing Dolphin Guide Software to help Shan even more.
Aside from her Voluntary Work Placement, some of Shan’s other achievements include using public transport with minimal support from staff and helping to create fabric products to be sold at our shop, “Spacecraft”.Shan is keen to make her own hot drinks using a liquid level indicator which gives her more independence and confidence.
“Space has allowed me to be myself, my own person and given me the confidence to express myself” Shan says. “With the help of the staff, I have been able to achieve my dreams”.
Following our success at the Special Olympics Midland Games a few weeks ago, another of our Mansfield Street clients, Kirsty, has achieved Special Olympics sporting success – but at a national level this time!
With her horse, Charlie, she took part in the Equestrian events. Kirsty achieved a Gold medal for Dressage, Silver medal for her Horse Care and Knowledge and a Bronze medal for her Working Trials.
Kirsty’s head coach went out of her way to say that Kirsty was an excellent team member who offered a lot of support to a younger member of the team and that she was very helpful to all of the members of staff.
We are extremely proud of Kirsty’s achievement and we would like to thank her mum, Pauline, for letting us know of this wonderful success.
A group of clients have had a great day at the National Space Centre in Leicester. With six interactive galleries, the National Space Centre is the largest planetarium in the UK.
This was a day trip chosen by clients as a reward for hard work at our Spacecraft shop. One client, Evie, said the day was ‘awesome’. Another, Ashley, said his favourite part was the rocket launch! We learnt that we’re all made of stars and another client, Clare, said it was a ‘Stellar’ day.
A group of our clients have been to Wollaton Hall’s special ‘Dinosaurs of China’ exhibition.
Featuring fossils and specimens never before seen outside of Asia, the exhibition brings to life the story of how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live alongside us today. However there was more than just a huge dinosaur, there were loads of different ways to learn and find out things, including quizzes and mysteries to solve.
Our clients certainly enjoyed their trip – Clare’s favourite part was “working as a team, finding answers to clues.”