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Moving Forward Workshop

In October 2013, 40 young people gathered at the Hilton Kensington hotel in London to learn more about independent living. One of them, Georgia Martin, gives us a look at what they got up to.

The HemiHelp transitions event included separate workshops on driving, employment, the Access to Work scheme and relationships. It was held at the Hilton Kensington hotel, which was a perfect location for the workshops, not to mention the delicious food which was an added bonus!

young adults

Having previously attended the HemiHelp Cookery Workshop in June 2013, during which I made some very adventurous dishes (my favourite being a giant chocolate chip cookie!), I knew that I would enjoy the day and meet some new people at the very least, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I needn’t have worried though as the day exceeded my expectations and I had a great time. There was a relaxed atmosphere, meaning that everybody soon got to know each other, and quickly made new friends. I also met up with people who had also gone to the cookery workshop, which was an unexpected extra. The calm environment also meant that we felt able to ask questions about the different topics to get more out of them.

young adults

After an introduction by HemiHelp we were all split into groups and went to our first workshop. Our parents had their own workshop too where they discussed the transition issues affecting their sons and daughters, and had the opportunity to talk to other parents. The first workshop for me was relationships. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but thankfully Gillian Leno, who was leading the workshop, was very relatable and made the room comfortable, which meant that although I found the topics covered more suitable for younger children, it was a good opportunity to get to know the people in my group within a relaxed atmosphere.

Next up for my group was Access to Work with Mariam Ghanti, who explained all about the government programme, which aims to provide support to disabled people in the workplace. I had not previously heard of the scheme so it was reassuring to know there is support available, to learn all about it and get some information which will be really helpful when I get a job.

young adults

At lunch time, as well as feeding our appetites, we had the opportunity to get to know each other more, and we traded contact details and experiences (and debated how to eat Yorkshire puddings one handed!).

After lunch I attended the driving workshop. Having always looked forward to driving, but never really knowing where to start, I found the workshop really informative, and it was great to know that driving would not be a problem with a few changes. There were examples of the different types of adaptive driving equipment that we could all look at closely and inspect, as well as leaflets on test taking and specialist driving centres.

The final workshop that I attended was about employment, with Matt Stafford, which I enjoyed the most out of all of the workshops. We talked about qualities that employers look for and important traits to add onto our CVs, but most memorable was the ‘shipwrecked’ game. The discussion involved working in teams and deciding out of a given group of people, including a doctor, a teenager and a teacher, who should be selected for a life boat and who should be left behind. The fun discussion was an ideal way to end the day. Thanks HemiHelp for such an informative and enjoyable day!

>> To find more information about HemiHelp's independent living workshops click here

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