Radio Silence (Sorry!)
Firstly, may we start my apologising about the radio silence the last week. October's newsletter is 8 day's late. This is due to us waiting on some very exciting news about a possible funding grant from Wooden Spoon for the sensory pod.
Following a recomendation from a parent (thank you!) we applied for a grant of £70,000 at the start of the year from Wooden Spoon. They came back to us and said that they were not able to award us this huge sum of money and did not feel as though they could make a big enough donation where it would mean we could complete our project within one year. The urged us to come back to them if our situation was to change.
Following the £40,000 grant from the short breaks capital fund, the £2000 award from the "Being Great Fund" and the £9,000 you wonderful lot raised, we sent in another application to Wooden Spoon in September. They have visited the unit and are making very positve noises about a possible (yes possible) significant donation which would see us reach our target of £70,000!
We have been waiting on a final decision from their executives and as such we have delayed our monthly newsletter to fill you all with the joyous news. But alas, as of yet, we have not had a final answer. But I have been assured by members of the charity that they believe our bid is going to be succesful. So cross everything and wish us luck!
The Sensory pod company (www.sensorypod.co.uk) are visiting Crocus Fields on Wednesday 23rd November at 10.30am. They will be bringing their sensory van with them to show everyone the kind of thing that we are buying. If any parent, carer or friendly donator would like to join us there will be free coffee and a free simulated journey to outer space! They have already visited us once in the van and it really is quite something. It gives you a great idea of just how valuable this resource is going to be for Crocus FIelds and the local community. Thank you once again to everyone who has helped us raise this money, you have really made a massive difference to the unit.
Within the last month we have welcomed three new faces to the staff team. James and Tracey started with us lastmonth as new Night Care assistants and Tara as a new residential social care worker.
Their one page plans will be added to the website in the coming days for you to put faces to names and get to know a little bit about them.
Project with the European Union
Throughout this year Crocus Fields have been involevd in a project funded by the European Union and ran by the Ann Craft Trust. The project is looking at ways of improving conditions in residential homes accross eastern europe.
The project is looking to develop an inspection toolkit for homes in Bulgaria the Czech Repulblic and Hungary to use to monitor their own homes and improve practice (like Ofsted do here).
As part of the project a staff member from Crocus Fields attended a three day training course earlier in the year and then used the toolkit to inspect another home in Birmingham. The toolkit is then going to be tested on Crocus Fields at the end of this month. All families whose children will be at Crocus Fields during this time will be contacted to gain consent and we will share the report with families. If anyone has any quetsions regarding the project, feel free to contact Pete Corkhill and he will be able to give you more information.
Earlier in the year we included a section within our newsletter about setting up a parents group at Crocus Fields. This group will look at ways to raise money for Crocus Fields holidays and big excursions as well as supporting each other and advocating for the young people who use the service.
So far we have had two parents get in touch to say that they would be interested in getting involved in this. If anyone else would like to voluteer we urge you to get in touch with us. We would like at least five members.
Historically we had a group of parents run a charity called "Friends of Crocus Fields". This was a relaly succesful venture which raised a significant amount of money for holidays, improvements to the building and special equipment that we have been otherwise been unable to fund. They also played a big part in the development of the service, acting as advicates for other parents who needed support. We believe it would be of great use to have a similar set up again and hope to have this running by the middle of 2017.
Sex and Relationship Education
Sex and relationship eductaion is vitally important for all young people, but particularly for young people with disabilities.
Proper sex and relationship eductaion helps keep our young people safe and helps them understand what behaviour is acceptable and not acceptable. It can be a difficult topic to broach and often can make parents feel uneasy. But Oakfield school run parents courses every couple of months. These courses are completely free and run every month. The next session is on Wednesday 16th November fromm 10-11am. If you are interested in attending and would like to know more, contact Oakfield School on 0115 9153265. If you would feel more comfortable attending with your keyworker, feel fre eto get in touch to see if they are free. This may not be possible, but it is worth asking.
If anyone would like any more information about any of the above, feel free to get in touch.