Sam, Anita and Pascal love to write, whether it’s stories, lists or copying recipes. When coronavirus restrictions meant they had more time than usual on their hands, Livability staff members Paula and Georgia had a bright idea – why not use their talents to produce a local newsletter for friends and family?
The writing trio are adults with intellectual disabilities, who are supported by Livability East Anglia. Each has a passion they wanted to share with their readers: for Pascal, it’s sport; Anita has particularly enjoyed cooking during lockdown, and Sam was up for some local history research.
Pascal says: ‘I am a sporting person. I have played school team football, hockey and dodgeball. I like to write all sports history and facts.’ ‘Pascal is very, very knowledgeable about sport, he watches a lot of sport and in “normal” times, he fences and plays French bowls,’ says Georgia. ‘He decided to focus on hockey for the newsletter.’
Anita, who loves to cook, has missed attending her local slimming class, so decided to expand her range of healthy recipes. ‘Fruit and banana cake and healthy homemade quiche are my favourites, says Anita. ‘Usually I like to share my cooking with friends, but not at the moment because of Covid-19.’ She shares her special Scotch egg recipe in the newsletter.
Sam regularly visits the Livability office, which happens to be in a 16th-century manor house. So he decided to write a potted history: ‘I like Ingatestone Hall because it’s an amazing building and I like to see Paula and Georgia for a meeting.’
Working with their support staff, Sam, Anita and Pascal created the accessible newsletter, including some local updates and an invitation for more writers to contribute to the next edition. They are delighted with the result: ‘I’m so proud of the newsletter – even staff said it’s amazing,’ says Sam. He would like ‘all people to be involved’ in this inclusive project, to ‘share all our ideas’.
The newsletter was circulated online and in print, to increase its accessibility. ‘Some people we support are living at their family home during the pandemic and we thought this is a nice way to beat isolation and bring people together,’ says Georgia.
If you’re connected with Livability East Anglia and would like to know more about the newsletter, please email Georgia on firstname.lastname@example.org