How we are doing our bit to change the world for people with disabilities?

As we continue to monitor what Government is doing with regards to supporting disabled people now and in the future, I have been liaising with Enrych clients and listening generally to some great ideas about the activities and events we could provide to help them thrive.

At a roundtable discussion on June 16th in response to the UN General Assembly, Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health, Chloe Smith, said: “The aim of the United Kingdom Government is clear: to deliver long term change through practical actions and wide ranging policies across Government, which enable disabled people to live full and independent lives.”

We are looking for ways in which we at Enrych can help to shape these discussions. Last week at our community Hub, I was thrilled to get chance to have discussions with some of our clients and service users about things they would like to be able to do in the not too distant future. We plan to change our activities and events programme in the summer as we look to reach out to more people with disabilities and broaden event attendance; lots of great ideas have come from this including cooking classes and general safety sessions that we now hope to introduce.

The idea with these events, is that this will contribute significantly to our clients increasing their confidence and skills. Cooking is a skill that I became more confident with thanks to my Enrych PA, and I now have a variety of things in my repertoire that I feel confident making during the week, including chicken with couscous and vegetables, meatballs and pasta and toad in the hole.  The thought process with cooking classes for our clients, is that by teaching them some of the basic cooking skills, our they could develop the confidence over time to cook for their families. This would be a huge step on their mission to become more confident and independent.

Developing safety skills is also critical for people, especially those with disabilities who may be more vulnerable, particularly when it comes to being online.   It’s a sad reflection of our society that there are so many people willing to take advantage of those who may be vulnerable.  With the increase in creative and dangerous scams,  it is important to me that our clients are taught about the dangers of these as well as speaking to people you don’t know online. Of course not all online connection is bad, but it is crucial that people understand boundaries and remain vigilant in their response to suspicious activity.  Knowing what to do in the case of any emergency or potential danger  is incredibly useful and building an understanding on the right way to use the emergency services is another critical component, not only in terms of independence but also in reducing pressure on these services.

The main thing we want to achieve via introducing new events and activities is increasing employability skills within our client base. Catering is a huge industry and we have a number of clients who would be delighted to be given the opportunity of a career in catering in the future. By giving them sessions to improve their skills, it gives them another practical string to their bow and the employment prospects should improve because of this. We aim to increase the number of events in relation to practical skills as these make up for a significant section of the employment market.

Something else of interest to our clients is building on their teamwork skills. One of my personal aims is to conduct more surveys over the next period of time to understand the ways in which our clients seek to achieve this. There are some great ways people can increase their ability to work as part of a team. This could be solving a puzzle, playing a type of board game, doing escape room challenges and working together to complete a quiz. Some of these things may seem small and may not seem like they relate to teamwork skills in the workplace. But you would be surprised! On one of our teambuilding days for our office staff at Enrych, one of the activities was solving a puzzle which involved pictures that had to be fitted together within a second image. I personally found this very intriguing, albeit challenging as I struggled with the concept. But there are many alternatives out there.

What we wish to achieve with the new events program we will be putting into place in the near future, is for our clients to realise their potential and their talent in a multitude of settings. If we can create possibilities for our clients which equip them with lots of transferrable skills, this would allow us to be the leader we want to be in the governments mission to make the lives of disabled people better. This is my way of providing clarification on what the practical outlook is and what our ambition is for the people that we serve. I would feel beyond delighted if our vision can provide a positive future for our clients!!

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