We've been running coffee mornings for our students' parents and carers since the beginning of the year. It's a really useful way for us to find out what they think we're doing well, what we could be doing better and what they want us to do in the future.
The theme that comes up every time is independence. Our parents and carers want their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to live happy and fulfilling lives. But they need to know that they'll be safe, and be able to manage day-to-day tasks, like getting to places on time, keeping clean and appropriately dressed, able to manage interactions with people outside the safety of home or Share. They also want their loved ones to experience greater levels of freedom. "She loves being in nature and travelling," said one mum. "He'd like to be playing more sport," said another. "She needs space to just be quiet, sometimes," observed a sister. "We need to know what they're learning, so that we can push them more at home," said another mum.
Our Outcome Star gives us a tool with which to help our students – with input from families – to set their goals for learning and living. This allows us to track how well they're doing and what else they need to grow. We're using iPads and technology to record what students are doing, so that they can show their families what their day's been like when they get home. Did you know your son was an expert baker? Or that when your daughter's cleaned the kitchen, you could eat off the floor? Or that your son has a talent for nurturing tender plants?
We're also looking at our classes and activities and making sure that they are meeting our students' needs. So thank you, mums and dads, brothers and sisters for your feedback.
The last session for this year will be on 15th November, 2016, from 11am to 12.30pm, with refreshments. We'll be looking at meaningful communication, and how we're using different approaches to enable our students to communicate. Please come along, have your say and help Share help your loved one.
To book your place, telephone 020 7924 2949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.