Welcome to the Parchment Trust Blog. This blog aims to share news and stories from across the organisation, giving people a glimpse into life at Parchment Trust while also celebrating some of the successes that we are privileged to witness each day.
We strive to put service users at the centre of everything, providing opportunities to talk and write about their achievements as well as taking on new responsibilities and trying new experiences. We hope that this will in turn further increase motivation and foster a culture of achievement and celebration.
The blog will be released every 3 months via the website. Scroll on to see what's been going on recently....
Aspirations - Supported Employment at Parchment Trust
Thank you to East Sussex County Council for producing this video with us, talking about the work that Parchment Trust is doing to raise aspirations for people with learning disabilities.
One example of this in practice is Andie. This summer we celebrated Andie’s transition out of the organisation as she continues her journey of independence.
Andie became part of our Friary Gardeners cohort just over four years ago, forging strong relationships with fellow trainees and staff. Initially very shy, Andie was determined to pursue paid employment. With support from Job Coach Heather, Andie courageously accepted a work placement at the Goat Ledge Café. Overcoming anxiety and acute shyness, this opportunity led to paid employment.
When the pandemic hit, Andie found herself out of work. Undeterred, Andie sought other employment. Her grit and determination led her to a job at Combe Haven Caravan Park.
Using her skills and experience, Andie has flourished in her new role. We joined Andie to celebrate her success as she transitioned out of Friary Gardeners.
We commend Andie for her bravery and wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.
Pier to Pier Fundraising Challenge
A group of service users and staff completed a major fundraising walk from Eastbourne pier to Hastings Pier in September. I caught up with the group to find out about their experience....
"We walked from Eastbourne to Hastings pier to raise money for Parchment.
"We all got up early that day. We met up around 8am in Eastbourne, we each had our own numbers. The weather was sunny and hot, with a bit of wind. "
"As we were walking a few people asked about what we were doing. When we told them, some said they would sponsor us online. We talked about what we would use the money for, and had a good laugh and a chat along the way."
"Every few miles we met up with Richard in the car where we could get drinks. Wendy gave us the option to go in the support car if we were tired – but not one person would do it!"
"Everyone was in it from start to finish. Nobody moaned or whinged, and a few people even wanted to keep going! It was a major achievement for all of us, and a fantastic success all round."
So far we have raised around £1000, which was decided would be used to replace our old pool table.
Well done to everyone who took part. Thank you to Wendy and Richard for organising the event, all the staff who volunteered their weekends. Thanks to everyone who came out on the day to support us.
Winter is Coming....
"Game of thrones is one of my Favourite shows.
My favourite character is Jon Snow. I wanted to make a Game of Thrones chair, so I found one I liked on google.
I learned how to measure up the wood and how to put it together using an impact driver. I did the painting myself. In total it took me around 7 months to complete. The chair has famous swords from the show. The names of the houses are burned on the arms.
It’s really good and I’m very happy with it. People come comment and tell me it’s really good. I want to leave it at Friary Gardeners for people to see and use."
Regan takes to the waves
Regan has always loved the water. Swimming is an activity that is both enjoyable and an important part of her life. However, when Regan discovered Sailability, an organisation that makes sailing accessible to people with a variety of abilities, she couldn't have imagined the impact that it could have on her life.
"When she went in that boat – there was nothing to say that she needed a wheelchair. It was the happiest we’ve ever seen her. We all had tears in our eyes!” - Tracy and Claire
For many it may seem that sailing isn't one of the easiest activities to get to grips with, let alone for people who have extra needs. However, the experienced volunteers, together with the special equipment at Sailability, mean that sailing is an activity that is accessible to anyone.
Regan is treated like every other member of the sailing club. The staff are keen to involve her in all of the instruction and Regan has responded, growing in confidence as she learns new skills.
Regan has worked with three different sailors and has given each one a thumbs up and high five of approval. She now enjoys the freedom of sailing independently from her staff who tag along behind her in another boat.
A special thanks to the team from Sailability - you can find out more about them here -> https://sailinginsussex.org/watersports/sailability/
Other Success Stories
"I enjoy working at Kerry's cafe in Bexhill, I had some work experience for six weeks, after this they were happy with me, and I was offered paid work. I work on a Friday for four hours. I love working here because it makes me happy, and I am proud of myself for achieving this and look forward in going every week to work with the lovely staff and customers."
Hannah and Georgia -
Hannah and Georgia took part in a fashion show for M&Co in Bexhill. Both had four outfits to model. Hannah and Georgia had a great time and enjoyed the evening and were very confident striking some great posses. Thank you to M&Co for the opportunity. £400 was raised on the evening to support Ukraine.
Edward is scared of dogs but is learning to overcome this. He took a big step recently - stroking a dog for the first time. Edwards mum would like to get a dog one day if Edward can fully overcome his fear.
Joe managed to get himself and a small group from Theaklen Drive to his job at Goat Ledge along the seafront. He worked out what bus was needed and flagged it down. He used his bus pass and found himself a seat. Joe was able to work out he was headed in the right direction and which stop to get off at. On the way back Joe was able to repeat the process taking us back to Asda. Joe's skills may soon enable him to travel independently to his job.
Charlotte completed her Food Hygiene training and now has a 'Level Two' food hygiene qualification. Charlotte had been learning about food hygiene for several months and worked hard to achieve this. Charlotte was so pleased and couldn't believe she had passed first time.
Charlotte has since completed work experience at the Strive Café in Bexhill (thank you to Heather and Nat for their support), where she learnt new skills including how to make coffee and complete 'shut down' jobs. She is now starting a new role at Elizabeth Court Care Home, where she will be working with two other Service Users, helping to run a small coffee shop in the summer house for the residents to visit.
In October we ran a photography contest - Service Users were invited to take and submit their best photos of 'Paths and Roads.'
The submissions have now been voted on by a panel of other service users, and the winner decided. Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo and helped to judge their favourite.
Congratulations to Terry who submitted the following photo:
This photo taken at Rye Harbour captures a familiar and well used path that many people from Parchment will have visited at one time or another. As well as the path stretching off to the horizon, the glasswork of the building provides an interesting reflection of the sky and surroundings, making it very pleasing to look at!
That's all for this first edition of the blog. If you have any suggestions or stories, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be back in January for Edition #2
See you then!