University of South Wales Roleplay

Last week, our volunteers/TRAC members, Ffion Poole, Gethin Chamberlain, and Natalie King, worked at the University of South Wales. They role-played patients who had been admitted to the hospital with various health conditions in order to help the third-year student nurses with their training. Well done to all the students; you will all make fantastic nurses. It was great to see the knowledge you have about learning disabilities and the adjustments that need to be made when someone is admitted to hospital.

Relationship Course in Aberystwyth

Last week Ffion, supported by Christy, travelled to Aberystwyth to deliver her relationship course to Mencap Ceredigion and Our Voice Our Choice. We kicked off by playing the Skittles game, which we use to get to know each other and make everyone feel comfortable. During the course, which Ffion provided for the two groups over two days, she covered friendships, how to make friends, how to deal with arguments, what makes a good boyfriend and girlfriend, online safety, then finished off with a game of relationship Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Thank you to Anita and Carl for the lovely flowers and thank you card, and also for making friendship bracelets for the group.

The Our Voice Our Choice group said this about the training:

Excellent turn out and very informative about safety online when making friends, online dating, what is a good friend, what is a bad friend, how to make friends and so much more. A massive thank you to Ffion and Christy.

Relationship Course

Ffion was back delivering her relationship courses at Oxford house yesterday, and it was great to see everyone again after our Easter break. We spoke about the word ‘no’, and the different ways you can say no to someone. We also spoke about personal space. The next session will be on Monday 14th April from 10am-11am, when we will be talking about sex education, safe sex, and pornography. If anyone would like to join the session, or if you would like more information, please contact Ffion on 07488 350518.

Autism Reality Experience

Christy and Stuart recently took part in the Autism Reality Experience, a hands-on training experience that allows people to walk in the shoes of autistic people and understand the challenges that they face. The aim is to encourage greater empathy and understanding for what it might be like for autistic people.

During the experience, we were asked to put on glasses with blurry lenses, gloves, and headphones. Loud noises were played in the headphones, and bright lights were flashed in our eyes. While this was happening we were given instructions on tasks we needed to complete. We were given 60 seconds to count money, separate green tiddlywinks from the other colours, and find the 5 of Spades playing card. We failed at all of these tasks, which showed us how difficult simple tasks can be for autistic people.

The experience was designed by autistic people who agreed that it was as close as physically possible to what they themselves experience, and it was definitely an eye-opening experience for us, which definitely gave us a greater understanding of the experiences of autistic people.

University of South Wales Training Exercise

Last week our volunteers Natalie King and Amy Jones took part in a simulation exercise at the University of South Wales, the aim of which was to train midwifery students and learning disability student nurses.

Nat played the role of a pregnant female, who is visited in her flat by a midwife, and Amy played the role of a female who giving birth on a labour ward. Nat also played the role of a mother who has given birth to her child, is caring for her along with her partner Darren, and is visited by a midwife and a learning disability nurse

People with learning disabilities are increasingly likely to become parents, and are entitled to have access to the right support to do this. The students did an amazing job, and we hope that the knowledge they gained during the training exercise will improve the care and treatment people with learning disabilities receive in the future.

Counting Your Way to Health

Yesterday we started the ‘Counting Your Way to Good Health’ programme with the Skills for Life Multiply project. We talked about health, what might affect your health, and how to improve your health. The top three answers the group gave to the last question were diet, exercise, and environment. The group then took part in an icebreaker exercise where they went through the alphabet and listed something to do with health and wellbeing for every letter.

The group were given a fitness tracker each, which they will use to track how many steps they take, with the aim being to reach 10,000 steps per day.

The World Health Organisation says that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and the enjoyment of the highest standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.

Cookery Halloween Party

On Friday 27th October we held our Reconnect Through Cookery Halloween Party. It was great to see so many people dressed up – everyone looked scary and fantastic. We played a game of spooky bingo and then handed out certificates for Best Carved Pumpkin, awarded to Sian, Best Spooky Dancer, which went to Briani, and Best Costume, awarded to Gethin. This was followed by some lovely buffet food. Thank you to everyone who volunteered – we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to Jamie Pritchard, Deputy Leader for Caerphilly County Borough Council, and Councillor Carol Andrews for paying us a visit and judging our competitions.

Hate Crime Training

Thank you to Noah from Victim Support for delivering Hate Crime Training to our members yesterday. They found the training easy to understand and really enjoyed taking part in the session.

Hate crimes are crimes targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or transgender identity.

You can report a Hate Crime to the police or contact Victim Support for help and advice.