If you know anything about Livability, you’re probably aware that we are a disability charity that supports children, young people and adults in health and social care contexts including residential care and special education. What you might not realise is just how much importance we place on enabling those in our care to learn and develop, which improves confidence, independence and wellbeing.
As 2021 draws to a close, we wanted to look back on just some of the skills that people in the Livability community have learned and achieved, despite a challenging, pandemic-filled year.
Our special education centres, Livability Victoria School and Livability Nash FE College, have an enabling, vibrant atmosphere, where children and young people can learn and thrive. Creative arts are a particular strength at Victoria School, and this year, students took plastic pollution as the theme for their annual creative arts week. A packed week gave students the opportunity to sample beatbox, street dance, drama and create multi-media art, using a wide range of assistive technology Blog – ‘Art Attack’ And not content with that, this year the school collaborated with a local artist to create a rainbow artwork, installed over the school’s front entrance, welcoming all visitors with a reminder of how as a community, they had overcome adversity.
Nash College’s intake includes students with multiple and profound disabilities, which can include little verbal communication. Each student’s education is highly personalised, which maximises learning and development. Luke found his niche when at Nash, not through academic learning which didn’t engage him, but in learning practical skills, which he found rewarding.
Our adult care services support people with varied physical and cognitive disabilities, so learning and development looks very different from person to person. Our staff work very closely with each individual to find out what motivates them, what new things they would like to try and what goals they want to reach. When Livability took on a new service in Wrexham, supporting four women with learning disabilities, staff quickly realised the women had potential to learn skills which would increase their confidence and independence. This ranged from something simple; for resident Katie, she learned to charge her mobile phone, while Michelle wanted to sign up for adventure activities including rock-climbing.
For Matthew, who is profoundly disabled and who has had extremely serious medical challenges, moving to a Livability service enabled him to learn to relearn social skills and connect with others, recover from depression and enjoy activities like playing his Nintendo.
Rehabilitation centre Livability Icanho is the service where people with an acquired brain injury can regain skills lost through their injury. People like Tony, whose life was shattered by a stroke. He and his young family were struggling to cope. Icanho’s multi-therapy team and specialist equipment enabled Tony to regain mobility, as well as learn psychological strategies to process his experience. ‘I’m focussing on going back to work,’ he says. ‘And it’s things like being able to sort of kick a ball around with my son, rather than just sitting in the corner not able to participate at all.’ You can read more about what people gain at Icanho.
Livability services have benefited from a new approach to activities and skills this year, with Lee who is our first activities resource planner. Lee provides online activities which can be accessed by individuals and groups, often supported by staff, opening the door to exercise, games, spiritual support, cooking, and around now, seasonal Christmas fun. Says Lee: ‘We want to make sure all the people we support have access to activities that promote and improve their wellbeing.’ Read the whole story.
Donating to our Christmas appeal – Skills for Success – will mean that people we support can grow in confidence and independence and get the most out of life, through gaining valuable skills. Support our appeal.