Trendsetters help Dayo lead the life he wants to!

Trendsetters group

The Trendsetters group of young disabled people spent the day with a team from Advocreate sharing ideas using mime, sound, speeches, poems and even a bit of rapping! They were given the task of helping a wannabe actor ‘Dayo’ overcome different obstacles on his way to an audition.

  • He has no money to buy a costume
  • He has a problem with his dad
  • He doesn’t believe he’s good enough to audition
  • He’s nervous about joining a drama class in his community
  • He gets told the drama class is full because someone is worried he’ll be better than them
  • Someone at the drama class suggests he’s ‘different’

Scope has been working with Manchester Metropolitan University to think about the kinds of things, like people and experiences, that can help you lead the life you want to lead. It’s great to be assertive, but you don’t have to always rely on just yourself. Advocreate took some of these ideas and turned the workshop into a few hours of fun ‘creative advocacy’.

So much was talked about on the day, the Trendsetters thought we could share some of the discussion in a short guide on this website. We’ll use photos to explain some of the ideas about what can help someone lead the life they want to lead and you’ll find out whether Dayo made it to the audition…

If you would like to come to next year’s workshop, you need to be a Trendsetter .Find out how to join Trendsetters here.

Roman House resident’s short film about communication

Simon Pugsley, who lives at our Roman House residential service, has been involved with creating a short film with Hampshire County Council around communication.

Hampshire County Council, in partnership with the Big Lottery-funded Learning at the Centre Project at Basingstoke Discovery Centre, has been working with people who have communication difficulties to create a training film to help staff and others to communicate more confidently with people who find speech challenging.

This small group, supported by staff from the Learning at the Centre Project, Hampshire Learning Centre and Adult Services, wrote and made a short film whose key message is to “have patience and listen”.

The producers say, “The film is sometimes challenging to watch as there are no subtitles, but people do not speak in subtitles – patience and listening carefully with respect will provide the answers. The film will be used as a training aid by Hampshire County Council, but with the agreement of the group who made the film it is freely available to all organisations and individuals, particularly those who come into everyday contact with people who sometimes struggle to be heard and get their point across. The film was supported by the Learning at the Centre Project as a development opportunity for participants.”

Watch How to talk to me on YouTube.

Our Generation – let blogging commence!

People working at laptops

A group of volunteer mentors and befrienders came together this week to learn the art of blogging so that they can contribute on a regular basis to the Our Generation blog and create their own personal blogs if they want to.

Here is a summary of the workshop from one of the participants:

“We had a wide range of skills between us – from those who are already blogging regularly but wanted more skills to those who have little or no experience of using a computer on a regular basis but it didn’t matter we all chipped in and helped each other.

“We started the morning with coffee and a chat about how we can use this blog to reach more people and share news on how we are progressing and what actually constitutes a good blog. Then we got down to the practical and very soon we were all blogging away!

“We learnt in a very hands on way with everyone having access to a computer to practice and learn the skills. Penny led the group and projected her blog onto a large screen so that we could all follow the step-by-step instructions and it also gave her a chance to show us her holiday snaps!

“After the training we were all inspired and raring to go – was it a good learning experience – watch this space!”

“We used the afternoon to look at the new befriending training module and feedback on the content – more about that next time!”

Find out more about the Our Generation project

Orchard Manor artists have UV art exhibition in Cambridge

Scope Uv artwork

Young disabled people (aged 18-26) at Orchard Manor Transition Service, in Meldreth South Cambridgeshire, are currently exhibiting their Ultra-Violet (UV) artwork through Changing Spaces in Cambridge (6-7 Sussex Street) from Monday 19 November until Monday 3 December.

Inspiring artwork

This is a first for Orchard Manor, a vision of Art Skills Tutor Vicky Fowler, and a real opportunity to let the community see some of the residents’ inspiring artwork.

Art is used at Orchard Manor as a basis for skills development, providing an excellent tool for self-expression and choice-making. The young people have been involved in a variety of projects including set design (for films created in drama sessions), planning and creating a sculpture trail and making cards and bags for fundraising.

Over the last few months the young people have been involved in UV art sessions. The studio has been fitted with Ultra-Violet lighting and work undertaken with various engaging materials, under the colour enhancing light. The UV lighting is especially beneficial for visually impaired people. One of the pieces created has been the large mural. The artists were encouraged to experiment with mark making using UV paints. This included people walking on, wheeling over, throwing objects at and pulling string along the surface of a large sheet of canvas which was placed on the floor. They also looked at using different methods to create a painting and used large chunks of ice, which they rubbed salt into and made holes in before pouring paint over and leaving out in the sun. The finished pictures are the beautiful marble-effect paintings.

Come to our open afternoon

We are holding an open afternoon on Thursday 22 November from 2 – 4 pm and invite family and friends to join us in viewing the inspiring works of art. Parking is close by at the Park Street Arcade car parks. Sussex Street is located just a few minutes walk from the city centre market which runs all week long. Combined with some Christmas shopping this is an ideal opportunity you won’t want to miss. We hope to see you there.

Where is the Paralympics effect?

As visitors to the Scope website offer their thoughts in a new survey on attitudes to disabled people, one particular question is picking up momentum in the media. Have the Paralympics changed anything for disabled people?

Back in September the consensus was that “we would never look at disability in the same way again”.

For some, that feels like a long time ago.Last month disabled people took to the streets to protest against cuts. Report after report underlines the impact of spiralling living costs, stagnant incomes and the loss of national and local support on the lives of disabled people and their families.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson speaks out

It was Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who finally said what many people were thinking. In a comment piece last week she described a sports dinner.

“I had to use the back entrance, nothing much unusual or offensive in that. However, I could have got in the front (there was a ramp there albeit tucked away) but the organisers just had not thought about it. When I wanted to use the bathroom it took several minutes to find a ramp. I was also asked if I really needed to “go”. While I was in the bathroom the ramp was taken away, so I could not get back down the steps.”

Tanni asks where the evidence is of a change in attitudes.

A couple of days later she posed an even more challenging question, this time in the Times. Have the Paralympics made it easier for the Government to strip disabled people of vital support by presenting an unrealistic image of what disabled can achieve?

“Don’t be fooled by what Paralympians can do. They are not typical of disabled people. They are remarkably good at the sport they do, but it is not a realistic view of disabled life, no more than Olympians represent anyone else.”

So is it time to write off the Paralympics effect?

Attitudes to disabled people

Disabled people tell Scope that greater visibility and public discussion of their lives makes a difference.

During the Games Ellie Simmonds, David Weir and Jonnie Peacock become national heroes. With Channel 4 leading the way, Disability was consistently, openly and widely talked about like never before. Three different polls taken straight after the games pointed to a change in public attitudes.

But it takes longer than a fortnight to change attitudes.

Times are undoubtedly tough for disabled people. But maybe rather than write the Paralympics effect off, we should be asking what we can do to build on it and keep it going.

What we can do increase disabled people’s visibility in the media, in politics, in the arts and above all in everyday life? (It’s certainly good news that Channel 4’s Last Leg is returning.)

How can use the Paralympics to make the point to the Government that the starting point for welfare should be what do disabled people need to live their lives – not what can we take away to save money?

As Tanni says we need to keep the fight going.

Take part in our attitudes survey

Scope wants to hear your views: take part in our new survey on attitudes to disabled people.

A double celebration for Cornwall Face 2 Face

Our Face 2 Face parent befriending service in Threemileston, Cornwall has celebrated a decade of working with disabled families by holding a party on Monday 29 October.

It was a double celebration as the service has just landed more than £40,000 from money raised by HealthPerfect, through The Health Lottery, to increase the number of disabled families it reaches in Cornwall.

The Cornwall service is one of 10 Face 2 Face groups that will share a pot of £500,000 from money raised through the Health Lottery.

Our Face 2 Face services give parents the opportunity to speak openly on a one-to-one basis to a volunteer who has also experienced the joys and challenges of bringing up a disabled child.

Find your local Face 2 Face service.

Orchard Manor transformed into Hogwarts!

Hogwarts week at Orchard Manor

This year for Halloween we decided to try something a little bit different by turning Orchard Manor into Hogwarts for the week! The week-long events proved a huge success for both residents and staff.

Monday began with an official sorting ceremony. The new Hogwarts ‘students’ were sorted into their houses for the week. These were randomly assigned groups, which offered a great chance to socialise with people from different groups and flats.

Young people could earn ‘house points’ by working hard and winning games and competitions between the houses. The house teams became very competitive as the week went on! Fancy dress was encouraged and everybody made their own Hogwarts cloaks and ties, decorated in their house colours, which they wore for the whole week.

Monday afternoon included a visit from Shepreth Wildlife with a very special guest – Alba the Owl! Abla’s carer talked a little about how they care for her and what she can do, before demonstrating her flying – right past our faces! We would like to say a big thank you to Shepreth Wildlife Park for giving up their time to bring Alba here and an equally big thank you to everyone who brought in donations for the park. This visit was the highlight of the week for many! But the excitement continued throughout the week as the young people participated in Hogwarts-themed sessions on Tuesday with Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Transfiguration and Quiddich!

On Wednesday the groups arrived to find a taped outline of a body and police tape – Dumbledore had been killed! The skills sessions turned to CSI-type investigations mixed with Cluedo, leading to accusations on Thursday morning and our Physiotherapist being led away for this crime!

This week was fantastic fun and a resounding success for both staff and residents who have thrown themselves enthusiastically into the magical world of Harry Potter.