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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...
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...
An Ode to SoLO staff (the unsung heroes!)

An Ode to SoLO staff (the unsung heroes!)

T’was the month before Christmas and all through the base There was frenzied activity – SoLO staff on the case!   A request was received from the shops at Chelmsley A request to run Santa’s Grotto? How hard can that be?   So we asked ourselves, And tossed a dice…. …. Who should run this task Who’s been naughty or nice?   Paula and Katie were on Santa’s list So they took to the task – Not a child would be missed!   600 books were wrapped, dressed up as elves Santas signed up, We’re so pleased with ourselves!   But if that wasn’t enough, still in Christmas mode We have run countless parties, and have all shared the load   Damian and Lesley have earned their cooking ‘pips’ And are now holding the record for the longest cooked chips!   The adult team, not to be outdone Have acquired matching jumpers – even Paula has one!   The children’s team are partied out and Deb has cracked the whip By juggling supported living whilst running a tight ship   The marketing team have excelled themselves Recruiting santas, bag packers and a whole pile of elves.   Admin are marvellous – they will always do more When their energy drops – there is always Teri’s drawer!   Rob and Adam in the garden – their skills are just sublime. We can certainly see a future career on Gardening Question Time.   We are grateful to finance – Lesley, Sue and Claire But when it comes to payday, disturb them if you dare!   Anna’s busy cleaning, she keeps the ‘boss...

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