Emma’s update – October 2020

Join Emma as she shares her thoughts for October…

As the nights draw in and we head closer towards the end of the year, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our teams for your continued hard work and commitment. I also want to say a huge thank you to the people we support and their families for all the support this year, I feel hugely privileged to work with so many extraordinary people.

Earlier this year we brought together a group of people we support, families and team members from operations and from our central support functions to discuss what Achieve together really stands for as an organisation – who we are, what our true purpose is and what we want to be known and recognised for.

In bringing these groups together we agreed we could explain our true purpose in one simple strapline – Ordinary lives. Extraordinary people.

What do we mean by this? Our purpose as an organisation is to enable every person we support to live as ordinary a life as they are able; providing them with all the opportunities and support they need. At the same time, we want to celebrate the extraordinary people we support, and the extraordinary people in our teams, embracing the uniqueness of each and every person…

This purpose also enabled us to define what we want to be known for – our vision for Achieve together – is to provide the best specialist support… inspiring a generation to ensure people live happy, healthy and meaningful lives.

We’ve got lots of exciting plans and activity coming up which will enable us together to shape the future of our organisation, the support we provide and, achieve our vision. I can’t wait to share more with you over the coming months and as always I welcome your comments and feedback.

Of course, whilst this work has been underway, the teams and people we support have been busy as always, with running a number of exciting projects and activities:

Congratulations to Stephen from Westminster Road, who recently walked 7km to raise money for the National Autistic Society. Stephen is a Sports Ambassador for Achieve together and a member of Campaign 4 Change – a self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities and autism. Despite Stephen’s autism and social anxiety, he has overcome many obstacles. He also runs a Walk & Talk group where people can improve their physical and mental health. Well done Stephen!

The people we support at Town Farm Workshop have been working hard to produce items to sell at their weekly “pop-up stall” in the village. Their stock included cakes, flower arrangements and soap, as well as some apples, pears and potatoes from the garden. They have been manning the stall in the village, and have made a total of £211 so far. Amazing work everyone!

To celebrate World Heart Day, Colleen and Shane from Acorn House went on a long walk to Loggerheads to keep their hearts healthy and active. As well as keeping fit, they enjoyed the beautiful scenery and nature around them.

Meesons Lodge looked after the hearts of the people we support by researching and eating foods that are good for the heart eg. berries. They exercised in the garden by playing football and enjoyed some artwork by printing hearts.

Hersham Gardens have been getting involved in their local community and getting busy with volunteering. They have been working with a local group to help clear up their local parks and look after the environment. Well done – amazing work Hersham Gardens!

October is Black History month, and Achieve together are celebrating by exploring different cultures each week:  Week 1 – African cultures, Week 2 – Caribbean cultures, Week 3 – Oceanian cultures and Week 4 – Black History in America and the UK.

Lots of ideas for activities were sent out by #AchieveatHome communications, and the team at Meesons Lodge have created this lovely video you can watch (click the image below):

I look forward to seeing all the stories about celebrations and learning from around the organisation!

The Menu Challenge Cookery show has been very successful, and everyone has been enjoying watching the weekly episodes. An #AchieveatHome recipe book will be coming out soon…

As we approach autumn and winter, I would like to remind you about winter health, when we often see an increased risk of ill-health. This year we have significant challenges with minimising the risk of seasonal flu, common cold, chest infections and COVID-19.

Please find here some key information on health promotion, prevention and planning for the months ahead – and please do remember to get a flu jab!

Thank you all again