Yeah, I know. “Where have you been, Lex?” I’ve been away.
The last two weeks of The Prince’s Trust Team Programme were busy. Although I wasn’t expecting anything else, it did leave us all knackered.
But enough of the excuses. Let’s just get on with it, shall we?!
On this day, we were at a day care centre for cerebral palsy with Cerebral Palsy Midlands (CPM). You can find out more about it here on their website. They also have a Twitter page. They are definitely worth looking up especially as they are celebrating their 70th anniversary.
The manager of the care home, Sarah, asked me to write a blog post or two on our experience of the centre and to talk about the session we sat in on.
I’ll do both on this blog post.
I’ll start with the experience of helping out in the day care centre first:
The two days were an eye-opening experience. Having had no experience of meeting people with cerebral palsy, I had no idea what it would be like apart from knowing that I’d need a lot of patience. Whilst we were there, we met people who were exceptionally funny, kind and welcoming despite having CP. In fact, I can categorically say now that I forgot they had cerebral palsy for the time I was there.
Lots of patience, understanding, compassion and empathy is needed even as a visitor here as everyone has different learning speeds and different levels of understanding (this is often because of other disabilities that they may have). This was made apparent to those of us who sat in on the training sessions. Everything is tailored to the clients learning speeds rather than at a pace which would be much easier for the rest of us to keep up with.
On the Monday we spent the day in alternating groups, decorating cupcakes to help celebrate CPM’s 70th birthday, participating in art classes and sitting in on music sessions. Young people like us, get a bad rap based on ill-informed assumptions. It was great for us to show that we were in fact the complete opposite, by using teamwork to build rapport amongst us and the clients. Sarah told us that the clients at the day-care centre greatly appreciated our presence.
On Tuesday, a few of us sat in on a training course run by a company called ‘Care First’, who deliver lessons at the day-care centre much like everyone else might at school, college or university. In the meanwhile, the rest of the team painted and decorated jewellery boxes and later in the day took part in a quiz. It also happened to be the day when the day-care centre whose resources were stretched because they were short-staffed. That lunchtime Team 125 helped get the meals to the clients. Although it was only a small thing for Team 125 to do, I felt like we did something really great and it’s always nice to give something back to the community.
That’s all for now.