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SoLO DVD about to be launched!

SoLO DVD about to be launched!

There has been lots of excitement at SoLO this last few weeks as we have had a film company in who are producing us a lovely new DVD to promote our work. We are currently testing it out with some independent people to ensure that it is getting our message out and will launch it soon……. so watch this space. We always love to talk about SoLO and what is...
Change

Change

If there is one thing that we can be certain of is that nothing is never certain! Yesterday, we heard that the country will be going to the polls yet again, soon we will have a new Mayor of the West Midlands, the national minimum wage went up on 1st April, and new drivers will be tested on how well they use a SATNAV! One of the main reasons that SoLO is still in existence is that we have been prepared to change and adapt to the environment that we live in.  Only today, I was reviewing the annual reports that we have on file since 2004 and was amazed by the evidence of how different some aspects of our organisation is and the developments that have occurred within a short space of time (13 years)  There is, however, some interesting similarities. So what has changed since then? In 2004, we were called Solihull Leisure Opportunities – we are now SoLO Life Opportunities. In 2004, we worked with 78 children over the summer – this year we worked with over 450. We also worked with 230 adults during 2004- this year we worked with over 550. In 2004, we delivered 2948 leisure experiences to our members, over the past year we will have exceeded 24,000 leisure experiences. In 2004, we received a grant from the local authority for adults services – from June 2017 we will no longer receive any money from the local authority to support adults. In 2004, our chair person was a parent of a young person with a learning disability.  In 2017 this is still...
Evolve Love

Evolve Love

Our Evolve members have written a song and I just had to share it! “let us tell you about the Evolve Love” Started Evolve and we love it, making lots of friends Playing the guitar, happy as we are   “And I love my Evolve Friends And I love my Evolve Friends”                   Painting and making things to keep, Cooking meals, biscuits and cookies We sing and we dance, laugh and play Learning lots of things along the way   “And I love my Evolve Friends And I love my Evolve Friends”                     Going shopping, exploring on the bus, Planning our days and what to do Researching on the computer too   “And I love my Evolve Friends And I love my Evolve Friends”   (written by the Tuesday Evolve Group – Sophie, Connor, Dennis, Anthony, Mace and Marcus) TAKE A BOW...
Buildings or People?

Buildings or People?

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Lets start with the bad news: despite valiant attempts, we have not been able (as yet!) to recover the £70,000 lost funding for adult social care which currently funds our various evening social programmes for adults with a learning disability. That sounds pretty bad (but we are working up a plan!), so what is the good news I ask you say? we have received enough capital funding to extend our base at Walnut Close to enable us to accommodate more people on our funded Evolve Programme which enables people with a profound and multiple learning disability to have a great day time programme of activities. Here begins the dilemma.  With a background of possibly (and I stress possibly) closing or reducing our evening social care programmes, what will folk think about us appearing to plough money into a building? It is a hard one, but really it is a no-brainer.  Let me explain: The funding we have received for the extension at Walnut Close is being given by people who will only fund building works.  Even if we made representation to them about the areas that we need funding to continue valuable programmes, they would not be allowed to change the purpose for which we will get the money. Having the extension at Walnut Close will, in the longer term (over about 5 years) reduce out costs in renting suitable property elsewhere to run Evolve and, potentially, will save us up to £200,000 in revenue – this we can put to other use. So we are, effectively, investing other...
The nicest job in Britain

The nicest job in Britain

This is not a plug for a new recruiting website, but this is actually the title of a new one which I receive regular updates from.  It is where many charities and similar organisations post their vacancies to and it started me thinking about what makes a position the nicest job? Well, firstly, it has to be something you want to get up in the morning to do.  I hear many of our staff tell me how much they love their job and how much they get out of working with the members, so hopefully this is the case for most. Secondly, it is important to like and care about the people you work with.  This isn’t always easy as we are all such different characters, but there is always something positive about the person you are working alongside to focus on and there is the well rehearsed adage ‘treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself’. Thirdly, it is important to feel appreciated.  We try to do this within SoLO nurturing a culture of care and concern for each other.  We have introduced schemes such as ‘hero of the month’ to recognise achievement and contribution and there is evidence of appreciation shown by small gifts, cards and words of  praise. And finally, and possibly this is the most important, we all need to know that we are making a difference.  This is possibly where SoLO scores highest on the ‘nicest job in Britain’ scale.  Every day, we see the difference that we make to the lives of children and adults with a learning disability. Want the...

A Positive Start to the New Year with SoLO

I have been hearing recently, lots of talk about how to maintain a healthy life and increase your well-being – this is particularly pertinent at the beginning of the New Year as we reflect on the past and plan for the future.  Here are some thoughts on the theme: Put a positive slant on every situation – we all know the term glass half full, glass half empty.  Being with our SoLO members helps to get a glass half full perspective on lives. All of our members have more to contend with than most of us will experience, but they are generally the most joyful people to be around.  If I feel a bit negative, I only have to visit a project and spend a bit of time with our guys and I feel so much better.  So, if you want some positivity – we can always use your presence! Take time to think, reflect and be quiet.  This is a tough one in the busyness and the pace that we generally work at within SoLO. However, I do strive to find time to do this as it does gear me up for the day ahead.  Today, as I drove to work, my normal quickest route was shut.  Normally, that would illicit frustration and I would drive, white knuckled, on a different route.  Today, I took a lovely longer drive, through some very lovely Warwickshire hamlets in the sun and was able to reflect on the lovely creation around me – so much nicer! Try to spend, at least, 20 minutes to have some ‘me’ time even if it...

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