Practicing what we preach
The entire reasoning behind Big Ear Radio is to encourage real social progress for our listeners living with disabilities and disadvantage. This is as much of a pleasure for us as it is for the people we support.
Just recently we have been working with Piers and his P.A. Leah, providing work experience in a Wool and Needlecraft shop. We assisted Piers to complete his college course, with essential work experience in the community, designed to improve his motor skills, social communication, patience and care within the working environment.
Piers loved the experience and was always first to offer help to customers, locate what they needed and serve them across the counter.
His Cerebral Palsy presents quite a few challenges, but by learning to be patient and to allow himself the time he needs, he has come-on leaps and bounds. Not only did he assist with the general upkeep of the shop, replenishing stock, bagging items etc, he also processed cash and credit card payments and operated the Till.
We have such a lot of fun and sometimes we laugh so much we actually forget about doing any work!
Piers loves to talk "Politics" and is no fan of Boris Johnson, so when Boris resigned as Prime Minister, he could barely contain his delight!
It has to be said that the experience has benefited everyone, Piers, the Shop Staff, Customers and me! To see his progress and delight at being able to work in the community is priceless.
Piers was especially suited to this sort of environment, a needlecraft shop, because he is also a great knitter!
One of the important spin-off benefits we witness when Piers is working in the shop, is the experience our customers also gain through encountering someone with Cerebral Palsy. They also learn patience, respect and a greater understanding of the condition. Realising that behind the physical challenges there is a whip-smart mind, ready to challenge and argue any opinion on any subject and give good advice on knitting.
Just recently, Piers wrote to the Prime Minister to tell him he should do the right thing and "stand down"... and he obviously listened!
The most important progress we have made, it seems, is that he now has the confidence to consider an opportunity to leave home and move into assisted accommodation, fulfilling his determination to achieve true independence.
I have to confess that we genuinely love Piers and are so proud of him and the progress he is making, that we get as much as he does out of the whole experience.
He's quite a star!