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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...
Standing firm

Standing firm

Some weeks can seem very hard.  Minor setbacks, when they come together, can start to build the mountain that feels impossible to climb.  This week has been one of those weeks.  Applications for funding, which were sent and evidenced, have gone into the email ether and have had to be challenged.  Local Government funding cuts are starting to hit us hard and the competition for funding bids is becoming more competitive requiring more and more time invested. This is the point where it is important to remember why we do what we do and to continue doing ‘the right thing’.  It would be very easy, at the point of discouragement, to ‘work to rule’, to play games, to feel justified in becoming political (with a small ‘p’), and feel like giving up. I am pleased, however, to report that we are bigger than that!  The high quality services that SoLO staff and volunteers provide are worth fighting for and protecting. Perhaps now is a good time to remember what our purposes are and why we do what we do: Our purpose (in a nutshell) is:  “to give our members the chance to experience all that life has to offer, have fun and be happy.” This is such a powerful motivator and we have to hold firm to this ensuring that, regardless of financial setbacks, discouraging attitudes and the odd ‘blip’ along the way, that we focus on what we see happening every day in the SoLO services. I, personally, believe that our approach to put the person at the centre of the provision, which I see evidenced day in day out on SoLO projects, whilst not...

bag packers – we need you :)

It’s official – the Sainsbury Dorridge bag packs have been announced and we are looking for lovely volunteers to join us. I know there are those of you out there who really love to do this so please get in touch if you would like to be involved. Dates for your diary:  Saturday 3rd and Saturday 17th December Timings:  10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. If you can spare an hour or two, please let Maria know on m.brown@solihullsolo.org or ring her on 0121 779 3865...

SoLO staff and volunteers please take note

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/wheelchair-bound-blind-teen-dies-11885379 I was so sad to hear about the young man who died recently following an accident in his wheelchair and my heart goes out to the family, friends and teachers at this terrible time. It has really brought home to me how vulnerable our members are and how we all must take heed of this terrible situation and always be super vigilant to protect and safeguard them from harm.  Just 30 seconds can change someone’s life and we don’t want to be in the position of looking back and saying ‘If only…’ I am not making any judgement on the situation or what happened and neither should I without the full facts.  However, it has really driven home to me the constant need for risks to be assessed and all staff and volunteers to be constantly aware of what is happening around them.  Accidents do happen, and we should not wrap our members in cotton wool and not allow them to experience and enjoy life to its full.  However,  let this be a reminder for all of us who are caring for vulnerable people, of the level of responsibility we shoulder and the need to keep our eye on the ball at all times.  A hard task, but...
Success at Parallel!

Success at Parallel!

Exactly four years on from the 2012 Paralympics, Parallel London invited everybody to come together at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in a national celebration of inclusion and diversity.  Local Charity, SoLO, never one to miss an opportunity for its learning disabled members to shine picked up the mantel and booked 6 running bonds. In partnership with Schaeffler (UK) Ltd, a global technology company with a regional office in the West Midlands, SoLO athletes started on a training programme to get them ready for the challenge. On Sunday 4th September, 2 buses full of runners, buddies and supporters went to London to take part. Martin Ryan, Industrial Distribution Director from Schaeffler commented: “The event with SoLO was truly inspirational.  For our Schaeffler team of 3 running buddies and 4 supporters, it was a chance to see how a group of people with various challenges and varying abilities came together to achieve a goal as one.  I was a running buddy and the small part I played was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done personally.  We all look forward to being able to support SoLO at the 2017 Parallel event.”. Participants took part in five very different fun push/run challenges.   All ages. All abilities. No cut-off times. No excuses!   People ran, walked, wheeled, pushed and everything in between. But that was not all.  The most was made of the spectacular venue with a huge free family festival.  There was showcased the very best accessible attractions and entertainment across technology, art and culture, food and drink, health and fitness and much more. The SoLO team...

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