There are many occasions in CMG when I feel particularly proud of the work that we do and one of those occasions had to be our Supportive Therapies Day which took place last week. This is such a unique event which is superbly organised by Erren Wheatland (CMG Clinical Trainer) and Katie Reid (CMG Healthcare Facilitator) and is a day of amazing and varied, fully accessible, sensory activities designed specifically for our service user with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).
The event aims to stimulate interest, create opportunities and enhance social and emotional wellbeing and it was certainly obvious from the smiles, giggles and interaction of the people we support, that this was achieved. The activities are too many to cover in this blog but I’d like to highlight just a few.
The very messy and fun sensory art corner was excellent and included water pistol/syringe painting, bubble art, rainbow pasta and rice, cornflour mayhem and fluffy slime.
There was also a wonderful sensory story about a Bear Spirit Animal who, in Native American culture, symbolises courage, confidence and a grounding energy to those he meets. The professional re-enactment of the story included flutes, drums and dancing, which evoked imagination and was a rich sensory experience. Everyone also had the opportunity to make their own feathered headdress.
A range of African wildlife was available to handle including a pygmy hedgehog, hissing cockroach, royal python and a lizard. This session saw many people go from being reluctant to enter the room, to leaving with a real sense of accomplishment that they touched or held a reptile/ minibeast.
The hydrotherapy pool that we have at our Lilliputs site allows freedom from restrictive seating for people with little or no voluntary movement. It can relieve muscle spasms, ease pain and increase joint mobility.
The day was rounded off with a disco and the infamous and incredibly competitive ‘Pimp my Chair’ competition which gives people an opportunity to get creative, pimp up their wheelchairs and showcase their ride. The standard was extremely high but the winner this year was JS who converted his chair into a yellow vintage plane (with a rotating propella).
As well as providing an inspirational day for the people we support, what is also integral, is inspiring staff teams to enrich day-to-day activities by encomapssing sensory experiences, enhance social interaction and to ensure life experiences are accessible and inclusive.
As I said, a truly unique and exceptional day and my thanks to Erren and Katie.
Here are just a couple of lovely quotes from the day:
‘It was a brilliant day. My son really responded to the crayon art and enjoyed using the switch to operate the hairdryer to melt the wax. He loved seeing and feeling the animals and was very impressed with the disco and the pimp my chair competition. Thank you.’
Parents of person we support
‘This was my first experience at the Supportive Therapies Day, it was a wonderful experience, particularly seeing how the staff supported and interacted with people they support. It brought tears to my eyes. Just looking at the passion that they have for their work and how they got people involved. The Pimp my Ride Competition was out of this world, what a WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.
Keisha Rowe… .. Team Leader.