• Weekly update – Tapiwa Moyo on Meaningful Activities

    Tapiwa Moyo Autism at Kingwood Regional Director

     

    As we optimistically await further relaxation of the Government’s Covid 19 restrictions, we are preparing for a more active year ahead. In order to get the ball rolling we surveyed the opinions of the people we support, their families and our staff. Whilst responses were limited, we felt encouraged by the ones we did receive.

    The survey showed that there is an even spread of interest in indoor activities, outdoor activities and culture and sporting activities. Also that people we support could be better supported to participate by staff knowing what to do when the person they were supporting was struggling with an activity.

    Whilst we can’t all be football players or singers, it does not and should not stop us from enjoying football or music if we choose to. Just because we can’t climb Mount Everest does not mean we can’t have an interest in mountain climbing. All achievement, even that of performing a daily task that was previously out of reach, deserves celebration and pride.

    Starting from July 2021 we are going to work extra hard to make participation in activities a focus of what we do. We are going to collect and publish both quantitative and qualitative information on the activities that the people we support are participating in and celebrate all of them.

    The survey revealed the following areas of interest:

    Nature – e.g. bird watching, plants, butterflies, landscapes etc. 3
    Outdoors – e.g. gardening, rambling, train/plane spotting, metal detection, photography etc. 21
    Indoors – e.g. board games, quiz games, crafts, cooking, art etc. 21
    Health and fitness – e.g. gym, swimming, cycling, yoga, trampolining, Zumba etc. 18
    Culture and entertainment– e.g. Music, Art, Sports, socialising, dance etc. 19
    Other 7

     

    We also learnt that the following support would enhance participation in meaningful activities;

    More support time 8
    More support staff 7
    Staff who know what to do when I have difficulties with an activity 18
    Money – e.g. entrance, membership fees 12
    Equipment – e.g. camera, binoculars, computer, tablet 8

     

    A sample of memorable meaningful activities;

    • I was supporting Harry late November time and asked if he had a Christmas Tree in his flat that he wanted to put up. Harry brought out the tree, decorations and lights and I helped him to display them on the tree and we sang a few Christmas songs and talked about Christmas. I asked Harry if I could take a picture of his tree all decorated, he said ‘hang on a minute’ he then went and put on a Christmas jumper. He had a huge smile on his face and went and stood by the Christmas tree ready for me to take a picture. It was such a wonderful moment and the happiest I had seen him for a long while.
    • Going to Oxrad with mummy and daddy
    • Trampolining at Thomley Hall
    • Gary seems to enjoy his walks and being out in the garden around sticks and plants.
    • Sam likes to go for runs and attend the gyms, he also completes puzzles that are about 100 pieces and will then complete another one straight after.

     

    Some money will be made available for the purchase of equipment, thanks to the fundraising efforts of our staff and those who donated to the recent Everest Basecamp virtual challenge.

    We look forward to your support this summer and beyond and celebrating all achievements according to individual ability.

    Abi Cowley

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