HERE at Strode Park Foundation we firmly believe that, regardless of disability, everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and live life the way they choose.
From this way of thinking came our ‘Day Opportunities’ service. This provides those from young adult age and upwards with a range of disabilities the facilities and training to partake in a variety of different activities. These include not only arts and crafts, music and cooking but also work experience and a full life skills training programme to start them on the journey to a more independent life.
We recognise that achievement is an extremely personal thing and cannot be measured by a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Everybody has their own set of skills and abilities and individual potential can vary dramatically.
The one constant in all of this though is what the individual puts into reaching their personal goals. When people give their all to achieve what they set out to do, this needs to be applauded. It doesn’t matter what their age is or if they have any physical or learning disabilities. The end result is not necessarily the most important thing here, just the way that the journey is undertaken.
Our annual Celebration events are therefore for the purpose of recognising and celebrating the achievements, large and small, of our Day Opportunities service users. At our 2018 Celebration which took place in August, everyone received a certificate (some more than one) for session participation, nationally recognised ASDAN qualifications and this year there were nine special Manager’s awards for those who achieved above and beyond our expectations, be it an educational achievement or more of a personal challenge.
The event this year was a lot of fun for all who attended. Musical entertainment was provided by Fred Clark (he’s a bit of a local celebrity and everybody loves him as he’s so interactive) and CJ (a local musician and music teacher) who ran a wonderfully fun drum workshop.
No celebration is without cake (kindly made by the wife of one of our Independence Trainers) and all the decorations were in Strode Park Foundation colours. Some of our older day clients (inherited from when we merged our day services for older users with our young adult service two years ago) took unexpected pleasure in receiving a certificate and later said that they had them proudly displayed at home.
Ray Cordell (chairman of our Council of Management) presented the certificates and Paul Montgomery (CEO) also attended and commented on the lovely feel-good atmosphere of the event. Our music session group, lead by Mark Dixon (Independence Trainer) also sang a celebration song which was learnt especially for the event.
We are all incredibly proud of our staff and service users who have achieved so much and who continue to inspire and amaze us on a daily basis.
A definite cause for celebration in our eyes.
(Written by Christina Jones, Fundraiser at Strode Park Foundation)