Tour de Force

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.”.

A lot of fun at the allotment

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

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”.

Horsing Around

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.

Well Done!

When Space went to Space

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.

Dino-mite!

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.”

Wear it well

A group of our Pelham Road clients have just finished a four month work placement at a local charity.

Sharewear is a charity providing free clothing, shoes and bedding to people in crisis in Nottinghamshire. They also have an outreach scheme to help as many people in need as possible, who for whatever reason are not able to make it to their referral sessions. It’s run completely by volunteers.

The role of our eager group of clients was to sort through the donations into different categories. For each item we had to do a quality check making sure the clothes didn’t have stains or rips and making sure it was suitable to wear.
The group learned a lot of new skills such as sorting, folding, and working with new people.

By the end of it all the group had developed good relationships with all the other workers there and were able to go work without the help of our support workers.

Over the time we helped out at Sharewear we formed a really great relationship with the charity. It’s certainly boosted the confidence of our clients, who received a certificate of achievement for their time volunteering there.

Now we have a new group of clients that have just started on a work placement there. Best of luck to them!

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!