CEO Update 14th August 2020
Many of us may never again complain about those cold winter days as we cope this week in tropical temperatures! It has been a real challenge for some of the people we support and their support staff to keep cool, keep to routines and keep calm as the heat (and subsequent impact on sleep) has been affecting mood and anxiety levels.
Although many indoor sports activities are re-opening there is still some nervousness of sharing space with others and so most people we support have been getting active outside walking in parks and around their neighbourhoods. We are encouraging people to take shorter walks, longer breaks, apply plenty of sunscreen and to carry additional water.
Unfortunately whilst storms and rain are bringing some respite from the heat, they are not welcomed by a number of people we support who find storms and the accompanying sounds and effects distressing, potentially leading to sensory overload. Where this is the case we may use social stories to provide consistent reassurance, recommend ear defenders, adopt positive distraction techniques and activities during the worst noises and most of all remain calm ourselves. Some people who struggle the most have either purpose built or makeshift dens to provide a safe space to retreat to.
Despite the heat many people are coping well with wearing facemasks in supermarkets and shops. For those who do struggle, we carry letters of explanation as a ‘just in case measure’, and we also encourage (and provide for people we support) sunflower lanyards as they are becoming increasingly well known as identifying a hidden disability.
Finally as the week closes, we are fortunate again to not have any new cases amongst people we support and our staff. I thank everyone for their ongoing vigilance.
Kate Allen, CEO