What’s normal anyway?

Young autistic people, aged 16 – 25, can face considerable difficulties as they experience the world around them. Many also have additional problems with their mental health and wellbeing. Some young people feel that it is hard to know whether what they are feeling is the same as everyone else their age, whether it is because they’re autistic, or if they have mental health problems.

Yet there is very little known about how young autistic people understand their own mental health needs.

There is now a joint project between myVoice (a group of young autistic people who work together to make a difference for other autistic people), the charity Ambitious about Autism, and researchers at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at UCL Institute of Education looking into the views and feelings of young adults with Autism.

If you’re reading this and are a young person with Autism, they’d like to hear your views. Click on this link to find out more.

Keeping fit!

For the past few months a group of our clients have been enjoying a Monday morning workout at the Xercise4Less gym in Nottingham.

Satty, who’s one of the support workers attending, says “It’s a really great way of giving our clients a healthy start to a Monday, keeping them physically fit and healthy for the week ahead!”

Haydn, the instructor who takes the class, says “The energy the clients bring to the class make them great to teach”.

And our clients enjoy it too! They get on really well with Haydn. Kirsty, one client, likes the fact that it’s a social exercise class “I enjoy taking part in the task with my friends” she says.

Thanks very much to Hadyn and the team at Xercise4Less – we at Space Inclusive really appreciate the classes and look forward to continuing to go.

Planning ahead

A draft five-year plan for the future of health and social care in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has been developed. It’s called the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ (STP) for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

The plan considers how we can best improve the quality of care, the health and wellbeing of local people, and the finances of local services. This plan is a live document and will continue to evolve.

Both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils want to hear back from stakeholders, such as parents and carers. For further information about the consultation, including information on how you can respond to it, please click on this link.

A bush with greatness

After volunteering for Nottingham City Council’s litter picking team over the summer, they invited us back to partake in a few Bush Craft sessions.

Working with Park Ranger Matt Akers, we have started fires using magnesium flints, made our own Christmas wreaths, helped put up their Green Flag Award and made bird feeders from pine cones.

We have also found ourselves eating organic vegetables from the community garden, chasing an Indian Ring Neck Parrot around the forest, and, one of our clients Ashley’s favourite, drinking hot chocolate whilst hanging out with the stick insects.

One of our clients, Shan, said that she “looks forward to Bush craft because it’s nice to do different things each week and be in the fresh air. I enjoyed putting up the flag as I was able to do it independently, Matt is very friendly he makes me feel positive, like I want to be there each week”

On Target

We’ve got loads of new and fun activities which our clients are doing this year; one of the most fun is an Archery course that some of our Pelham Road clients have started at the Southglade Leisure Centre.

Archery is in Nottinghamshire’s DNA – you only have to think about Robin Hood to know that! In fact, there is still a law from Medieval times that states “All men under the age of sixty years shall have bows and arrows for shooting.” So technically, our clients are doing their civic duty by obeying this law!

More seriously though, archery is a fantastic way of improving hand-eye co-ordination and is also a new sport for many of our clients. Everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed it and they’re looking forward to going every Thursday for the next few weeks.

Have a Crafty Christmas!

At Mansfield Woodhouse our clients have been really hard at work creating some hand-crafted items that have been auctioned off. We raised a brilliant £105 on some handmade dog beds alone.

These beds will make wonderful and snug places for a pooch to pop themselves down on for Christmas Day!

Our clients made some other wonderful items such as cards and rustic door hangings – but it must be said that the dog beds were the real highlight!

The funds raised will go into helping out at our Mansfield Woodhouse site – for transport and resources – and will certainly come in handy.

Daisy, one of our Support Workers at Mansfield Woodhouse, said “It was a really great thing to do and we’re chuffed it raised so much”.

Thank you to everyone who bid. Whether you were successful or not we’re grateful you took the time to bid on the items we made.

Lynne

I have been an Occupational Therapist (OT) for many years and have a particular interest in Learning Disabilities, Autism and Asperger’s.

My skills as an OT enable me to understand the importance of engagement in occupation, promoting independence and community participation.

What is so great about Space Inclusive is that there are such varied activities and opportunities for people to get involved in.

In my spare time I enjoy gardening on my allotment and cooking the produce from it!

Nathan

I am an example of how clients at Space Inclusive can progress and do brilliant things they didn’t imagine they’d ever do when they first attended. I started attending Space Inclusive at Mansfield Woodhouse a few years ago, on Wednesday mornings. I enjoyed my time as a client and my confidence increased, especially as I helped out other clients as well. It was always my intention to move into work and, encouraged by one of the Partners, David, I started thinking about a job at somewhere like Space Inclusive perhaps! I found out I enjoyed working with others to help with their confidence, as space had helped with mine. I gained enough confidence to attend college whilst still attending Work Space one day a week. As I finished my time at college an Apprentice role came up at Mansfield Woodhouse David suggested I apply…and I got it!. My role as an Apprentice Support Worker includes taking on small groups of clients and helping out with activities. I also provide support for Lucy and Daisy, the other two staff members at Mansfield Woodhouse. I am enjoying my role at Grove Street, An Apprenticeship at Space will be a great start to my career!