Feb 3, 2020

Leicester Tigers support VALUES sports

RTWC group
RTWC group

Last week saw the launch of Mencap's Round the World Challenge in Leicester. VALUES were chosen to host the launch event with support from Leicester Tigers.

The Round the World Challenge is a way to get people with learning disabilities more active while reducing their isolation. Hours doing physical activity are converted to miles and people make their way around the UK, Europe and the World, depending which challenge they choose.

The launch event was attended by a large number of adults with a learning disability. Leicester Tigers coaches provided a range of activities for people to try including rugby, basketball and archery. It marks the start of a weekly multi-sports session run by VALUES, with coaching from Tigers.

Leicester Tigers Player Harry Wells came along to the launch event to show his support.

"It's great to see anyone getting involved in sport and there's a real sense of community here," he said.

Katie attended the event and was very excited to meet Harry Wells. She said "The people here welcome you with open arms and they don't judge you. I was excited about this because people have been talking about it for a while,"

Russell, who has been with VALUES over 20 years also attended. "My favourite sport is basketball - I've had lots of support here and it's a positive place for making friends." he said.

“The launch was really well attended and it’s great to see people being active, having fun and making new friends. Sports helps to tackle isolation and increase self-esteem as well as getting you fit. That’s something that should be accessible to everyone.” Mikaela, VALUES Manager.

VALUES weekly multi-sports session is on Wednesdays 2.30-4pm at Aylestone Leisure Centre. Its £5 and you can bring your own support for free. If you would like to know more about how VALUES can provide direct support or you want more information then call us on 0116 2575044.

Harry Wells shows his support
Harry Wells shows his support
Trying archery
Trying archery

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Oct 23, 2019

Sandwich Station Grand Opening

Sandwich Station
Sandwich Station

VALUES is opening a new sandwich shop in Leicester that will help people with learning disabilities to learn workplace skills and get real-life work experience.

The Sandwich Station is being officially opened by Jon Ashworth, Member of Parliament for Leicester South MP, on Friday 25 October. Jon said:

“This is a fantastic inclusive initiative by the VALUES project, and I truly hope it is a success. I encourage people to pop into VAL and support the Sandwich Station.”

The shop is run by the VALUES project, which has been helping people with learning disabilities in Leicester to have fun, learn new skills and make friends for over 20 years.

VALUES is a part of Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) and is based at VAL’s offices on Newarke Street, where a space at the front of the building has been converted into the sandwich shop.

VALUES clients will staff the shop with the supervision of their support workers, giving them the opportunity to interact with customers and learn customer service skills. Sandwiches will be made by the VALUES clients, which customers can buy as part of affordable meal deals with fruit, drinks, crisps and chocolate bars.

All proceeds from the shop will be reinvested into VAL to help them to continue changing lives for the better in local communities.

One of the project’s clients, Callum, is especially excited about working in the Sandwich Station. Callum has been going to VALUES for two years and is a regular in the singing, music and drama groups. Despite having recently been registered blind, Callum is particularly looking forward to using the shop’s touchscreen till system, which will be adapted for him to use when serving customers. Callum said:

“I’m excited to work in the shop. I want to learn to serve people and learn new skills. I’ve never had the chance to do anything like this before. It’s going to be good.”

Ben McKeown, VALUES Team Manager, said:

“The shop is going to be a new and exciting opportunity for people to learn new skills at VALUES. We really wanted to give them the chance to learn these skills while also being part of the wider community.

The training shop will be ideal for this as it will be a fully functional shop, serving the general public. With only 6% of adults with a learning disabilities in employment in England, the shop will highlight that it doesn’t matter if you have a disability you can still be a valuable part of the workforce.”

The Sandwich Station will open its doors to the general public at 12:30pm on Friday 25 October.

Jul 24, 2019

The Power of Positivity

A little positivity goes a long way
A little positivity goes a long way

As supporters of VALUES we wanted to let you know about an ongoing piece of work we have been doing that has really made a positive difference to people's lives.

Roman (not his real name) has been attending VALUES for several years. Coming to VALUES means that his family are able to work while he attends sessions such as football, pool and multi-sports, all things that he loves to do. He loves to be with people and to help staff but he also can show aggressive behaviour towards other clients. The combination of having a learning disability, hearing loss and having English as a second language meant that we were finding it very difficult to explain to Roman why he should not hit people. His aggressive behaviour was becoming more frequent and Roman was missing out on parties and trips as we had to keep him apart from certain people. This just made him just made him more upset.

We asked for a referral to the Community Nurse Team and Speech and Language Therapy and were assigned Emma and Pauline. They talked to staff and did observations of Roman's sessions.Then they came to tell us about the Positive Behaviour Strategy they had put together. They explained that the key is to make the environment as good as possible for the individual so that negative behaviours are less likely to manifest and react to warning signs that he was becoming anxious before it escalates into aggressive behaviour.

There was a range of changes we made to how we work with Roman, much of this revolved around his communication. We shifted from looking at how to react to his negative behaviour to working on how we could improve his positive communication. We created a communication book with pictoral timetable, some images about emotions, photos of him doing some of his key signs (his are slightly different from the standard ones) and a place to draw, write and stick photos of things that he could talk to staff about. This has become the most important part of the book. All staff have the same information to answer his questions and he includes photos of people and places he likes and when he is proud to have scored a goal.

Now, when we see the early signs that Roman is getting anxious we can resolve any issues using his communication book for visual reference or redirect him to something positive (now we have much to choose from!).

Mikaela, VALUES manager said:

"Roman seem so much happier now. He always has a smile and something to tell us about. He is more included in what is going on at VALUES. He can attend parties, he can sit next to people he previously couldn’t be in the same room as. I hope this doesn’t jinx things but so far he has not displayed any of the aggressive behaviour we used to find so difficult to manage. I am so please that we have been able to improve his life like this.

We are now using the Positive Behaviour Strategy as a template for how we can improve the experience of coming to VALUES for other clients and are already starting to see improvements for them too. The positive changes aren't limited to while people are at VALUES though, they spill over to their home lives too!"

Thank you for your conitued support of VALUES to enable us to change people's lives for the better.

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