Following the Inclusion Residential at Ormside Mill, BLGC’s young people created art works to reflect how they think other people perceive them and to challenge perceptions that young people with disabilities can’t achieve and do things that young people without disabilities can. The art work was then collated as an art display in the Club with captions of what their picture means and a photograph of the young person who collated the picture. The activity provoked lots of discussion around inclusion during the evening youth club sessions, and enhanced the emotional well-being of participants.
The Inclusion team have continued with their Bolton Road Show to build links with all local primary and secondary schools to promote the inclusive offer for young people at the Club. This has included attending a Parents’ Evening at Firwood Primary School to talk to young disabled people and their families about the Club’s offer and how families can also be supported.
The team have introduced a new 12-week programme to support young people to explore Real Life, Employment, Action, Community and Health (REACH). Young people have been engaged in sessions focussing on health and fitness, looking at nutrition, diet and exercise, and progress will be monitored over the coming months.
Person A is 16 years old and lives at home with her parents. Person A had just started her GCSE’s at school when the Inclusion Worker first met her and her Mum and Dad on a home visit and it was clear that Dad didn’t think that Person A should take part in the National Citizen Service programme, as he was concerned about the support Person A would receive whilst taking part in the programme. Mum explained that Person A had never taken part in any recreational activities without them being there and had never previously stayed away from home. Person A needs a lot of personal care due to her condition and a lot of support due to her being paraplegic. Mum was concerned in regards to Person A having a lack of confidence in social situations and with her peers, and whilst Person A liked the idea of doing NCS, she was very nervous and unsure if she could fully participate, and was also anxious at the thought of being away from her parents. It was clear that due to Person A’s support needs, she would be unable to stay overnight on the residential phases of the project and this was a key concern for everyone involved. The Inclusion worker reassured Person A, and her parents, that the team would do everything possible to make this a positive opportunity for Person A and that her disability was not a barrier. From this visit, the Inclusion Worker engaged with NCS Team and planned a bespoke NCS programme to fit around Person A. This included Person A travelling daily to the residential centre with the support of her parents, and a friend. It was agreed her parents would then leave for the day and A would join her team and fully participate in the activities. The Inclusion Worker liaised closely with the residential centre to plan the activities in order for all bespoke equipment to be in place beforehand, and Person A took part in a variety of activities including rope course, cross canal challenge, canoeing and caving. Person A progressed to completing the whole programme in which she took part in budgeting, cooking for her group, enterprise, first aid and planning and delivering a social action project, all of which was as a result of attending the Inclusion offer at the Club and being supported by the staff. Person A graduated from NCS and received a certificate signed by David Cameron, but more importantly Person A made friends, increased in confidence and became more active. Person A felt equal to her peers and more independent from her Mum and Dad and she has now made it her mission to achieve anything and that nothing will stop her.