Latest Disability Awareness Tour June 2017

The group of seven staff  (2 Physios, 2 Teachers, 2 Caregivers and 1 boss of administration) came from Bann feung fah for one week of visits. They were all rather apprehensive on arrival, but said that once they met the hosts and saw their homes for the week they were more excited than nervous. Every morning when they met up and every meal they laughed and joked. On visits to the schools, hospice and college they made many notes, took photos and clarified many details of the workings of the venues. The Brian House Hospice tour host messaged me afterwards saying….

‘ I really hope it’s given some insight into hospice care here in the UK and also the care that we give at all the stages at end of life. I was so surprised at the in depth questions and so pleased as it meant that there seemed to be a real understanding of the issues and problems we all face.’ She went on to add that we were welcome again to bring others in the future.

We are blessed to have such interesting and high quality services in the Lancashire area where many are ranked outstanding by Ofsted year after year. We were blessed to meet with the orthopaedist and the speech therapists at the Loyne School. Both left a massive impact and have been talked about since. We have linked via Facebook with one and hope to with the other.

On many of the visits I was given email addresses from members of staff saying they would like to visit our work out in Thailand. This has offered up a possible future idea which as yet needs to be discussed by committee and Trustees.

Wednesday we had the joy of being met at the doors of two very different ventures and given tours by two young men who care passionately and talked eloquently about disability rights. Torrisholme School’s inclusive attitude opened their eyes to how children with disabilities can succeed with just a little extra help. Beaumont College’s students blessed with discussion time where our Thai visitors were able to both ask and answer questions. They loved how the students were so respectful of each other and that our tour guide had even worked all year to learn Thai.

We enjoyed the atmosphere in the multi sensory rooms of the Space Centre. As soon as we walked in the first room, three of them went to listen from in the ball pool. Experiences included vibration of bubble tubes, massage from chairs and swatting bugs on the interactive floor.

The afternoon in Bleasdale House School then helped to understand the need for hoists and how learning is adapted to suit each child or young person. I think that this is where the concept of ‘Objects of reference’ hit home. We had seen it at many other places. I was personally pleased to see how the overlap from each school helped push home the idea of how much communication matters.

Friday we travelled a bit further with a chance to see Seashells Trust’s Manchester Royal Blind School. I actually found out a few days before that one of the former volunteers from another charity works here. We were shown round and saw how the small classes work for students with individual aims and needs.

We were able to go to Warrington Disability Partnership and try out different types of equipment and consider the difficulties people might face. We were able to thank them also for the equipment they gave for the Pedro container load.

We ended up going to a few extra places in the free time such as Dewlay’s Cheese Shop who were just about to close. We also had a Wallings ice cream at Morecambe and £2 worth of fun for 8 people on the 2p slot machines. We went to many Poundlands and charity shops and our visit with the Mayor was wonderful. We received a hand written letter from him the week after which was so very lovely.

I finish this with both some quotes from the group about how they felt it went and some photos of the highlights….

”I have got a best experience for foreign country in my life , I’m happy all this trip, I impress with new friends (my host, the chauffeur volunteer and many cars which I sat). I can speak in English and I feel good, I’m more self-confidence in English. This is the first time for me and I will not forget all my life. With the study tour it can help me for the guidelines to do the communication aids for my children. ” Tink

I like everything.

For study tour, i like child care system and many equipment that adapted to help child . Children have own wheelchair from young age to beware deformity. Worker make schedule from child needs and ask the students their decision. And i like the most is they do everything for normal child and special child equally.

For host, i love sue much and much she is very lovely . I’m very glad that i meet her

For u and mom , i love too . Mom and you have beautiful heart

For food, i love it so much hehe especially strawberry and the other fruit & vegetable.”

She adds finally that ‘This trip is open my vision much. I never seen that before’. Mango.

”I liked how the children’s disabilities were managed and ideas for treatment. In England i see how to communicate with disabled children. In Thailand i have never see. Ways to beggin the communication. I like the Hydrotherapy collar because at Feung fah we use the loop at chest (swim ring) but this limited movement of activity. I never see the wheelchair of one hand use before.

The study tour give good ideas for everything. ”

Then she added ‘Kindness of everyone- host, staff, your family. ” Ruang.

When I asked one of the study group what was the thing she liked least on the tour, she answered “Ummm nothing comes to mind….. um um…. Wait I know…. the long flights there.”

Another member of staff listening said “Wow that’s impressive if she liked everything.”

Then the study group member added, “I know the worst bit: it was the jetlag and trying to work when my body wanted to sleep.”

It looks like the tour made a lasting good impression and was highly worth doing.

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