Welcome to The Parchment Trust Blog, where we share news and stories from across the organisation. Read on to see what we have been up to in the past few months.
Freddie - Making Strides
Freddie has made fantastic progress in the past few months, as he continues to rely on his chair less and less. The first major milestone came back in October, when Freddie managed a café visit without using his chair at all. This was a significant step for Freddie, and has led on to a leap in his level of independence and confidence.
Freddie's new independence has allowed him to try new activities, visit new places and have lunch out in new locations. He has tried ice skating for the first time, and is making use of his new mobility in existing activities such as bowling and trampolining. It’s no co-incidence that we have noticed a positive change in Freddy’s demeanour and communication, as he becomes more chatty and greets his support workers with a smile in the morning.
Onwards and Upwards - Jack Wyatt
In December Jack graduated from Friary Gardeners, achieving full independence in a new paid job.
Jack worked a six-week trial helping to set up a summer house 'coffee shop' in Elizabeth Court Care Home. Jack studied and completed his food hygiene certificate, and learnt on-the-job skills alongside a job coach.
The manager was delighted with what Jack had achieved, after the trial period was keen for him to continue as a fully paid member of staff. Jack then started 18 hours a week, and has since been recognised again for his good work, increasing his hours even further! He is now working 5 days a week.
While out and about, a group from the Co-op came across some astronomers, kitted out with special glasses and telescopes pointed up at the sun. We were intrigued, and as we caught their attention they encouraged us to come and see what we were doing. It turns out there was something pretty unusual happening in the sky that day.......
We had no idea at the time, but, we were actually in the middle of a live solar eclipse! The astronomers explained that what was happening was known as a a partial eclipse, where the moon blocks out part of the sun's light - but not all. These happen once every few years and are very easy to miss. Once viewed through the telescope it all became clear - take a look at the video below for proof.
This quickly turned into a memorable encounter for those lucky enough to attend. Looking back, the odds to randomly be in the right place at the right time were very slim!
For anyone interested, the next partial eclipse is in 2 years time on the 25th March 2025! The next full eclipse however is in 2090 - that's 67 years away!
Helen and David - M&S Work Placement
In more supported employment news, Helen and David have successfully completed an eight month work placement at M&S.
Helen's role in the clothing department involved putting clothes out on hangars and ‘sizing’ them on the shelves.
David worked in the food department, restocking the shelves and ‘facing up’, which involves keeping shelves tidy and ordered, and rotating stock.
As support from our job coaches was gradually reduced, M&S assigned ‘buddies’ to both Helen and David who continued to help support them in their roles.
Thank you to M&S for providing this opportunity. David and Helen have gained a lot from their experience and are now looking forward at their next step. I spoke to David about his experience;
“I restock the shelves, and I moved the food at the back forward to the front so people can grab it. I checked the expiry dates and I throw the old ones away. New ones go to the back of the shelf. When people ask me, I tell them where to go to find food.
In the future, I would like to get a paid job. I would like to work at a café in Battle or at Summerfields. I will look around first to see what I like.“ - David
We have quite a few football fans here at Parchment, and there is often a lively debate on which clubs or players are the best. In December however, fans from all factions came together to support England at the World Cup.
Whilst England didn’t manage to ‘bring it home’ this year, we did enjoy watching some of the games together at Parchment on our big screens.
But all football fans need something to argue about. That's why we held a competition to see who could successfully predict the most correct results from the group stages.
Three points were given for a correct score, and one for a correct result. As an example of how this works, this means that one guesser who predicted a score of 13-12 in the England v Wales game did manage to come away with a point for predicting an England win, despite being a little too optimistic on the scoreline.
Service users and staff from Co-op, Friary and DBS all had a go, submitting their predictions. With an impressive 35 points, congratulations to Harry, as well as to Keegan and Alex from Friary Gardeners for placing 2nd and 3rd.
That's all for this edition. We hope you enjoyed hearing our stories and will join us again next time!