Following a pilot and planning phase over the past few months, Share launched its Out and About project this month by taking its first trip out into the community to go to the Disability Sports Coach's 2019 Spring Club Games at Kensington Leisure Centre.
The aim of the project – officially named My Community and Me – is to support our students to learn practical independent living skills in the community.
Our students took part in netball and golf sessions run by Disability Sports Coach's trainers. And what fun we had! We discovered that Djuna is an amazing golf player, hitting the target 80 percent of the time. Bav, the Coach from the Golf Trust who facilitated the golf session, said “I was very impressed, Djuna has very good awareness of where everything is and he’s so accurate with it; he’s better than the world’s best in terms of percentage (ie, the number of times he can hit the target). I’ve never seen anything like it – at this range, the normal for most males is about 40 percent, and he was doing more than this, just for fun.”
Afterwards the group visited the area around Grenfell Tower where so many people lost their lives in the terrible fire in 2017 to see artwork displayed in the community to remember those died. Some of our students took the opportunity to play the piano placed at the site for people to show off their musical talents – we particularly enjoyed Andre and Roy’s performance pieces!
The focus of our Community and Me project is to enable our students to put into practice a lot of what they've been learning through our independent living programme. For example, they will be supported to:
- Navigate the transport network;
- Know how to stay safe in the community;
- Consider what they might need to bring with them on a trip out;
- Learn how to book a doctor's appointment;
- Access community gyms.
The project will run each week, with two groups getting out and about, and we'll be linking with other organisations across south London so our students can learn more about local services and how to access them, and also provide feedback about their accessibility.
Like much of Share's work, we want to make sure that My Community and Me is user-led, so our students will be directly involved in shaping the programme for this initiative. Over the next few weeks, we'll be holding some focus groups and working with our students to set goals for the project.
This work also involves equipping our students with the necessary tools to support each other as well as personal coping mechanisms should they feel anxious, nervous or uncertain, so we'll be holding sessions on, for example, 'getting to know me' and relaxation techniques.
To find out more about Share's My Community and Me project, contact Share's Health and Community Manager, Jenny Bourlet, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7801 9813.