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Exciting Times!

We have a few busy weeks ahead of us and then a busy year!

The Loddon Conference

Loddon Training and ConsultancyThis week, I am running a workshop at The Loddon Training and Consultancy Annual Conference on Promoting Wellbeing. Presenting isn’t one of my favourite things to do, but how could I resist talking about the work that we are starting to do at Liaise on Mindfulness!

PROACT-SCIPr-UK(r) instructors come from across the country to  listen to renowned speakers sharing new ideas and recent research.

This is a great opportunity for our many instructors to network with other professionals within our sector, sharing the work that we are doing and getting new ideas of how to continue to provide increasingly personalised support.
Liaise 20th

Annual Awards Evening

Next week, we have our annual co-worker awards evening. This is a great time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of everyone who works are Liaise Loddon. This year, we are also celebrating the organisation’s 20th birthday! Watch out for pictures and check out our twitter feed for (hopefully) some live updates on the night.

Another visit to Zambia

IMG_0136And then, the week after that, Marion is heading back over to Zambia to continue the work sharing good practice with the teachers at UTH Special School in Lusaka.

Because of the great successes that they have had, the staff at the school are arrange a conference to share information with others and the Ministry of Education is now interested!

Watch out for an update from Marion later on in November.

New Homes!

We have our new single person service, Marika 3, being built and everything is all to plan and we are aiming for a Christmas opening.

Also, we have now made offers on some new houses. It is our aim to be able to support another 3 or 4 individuals in Basingstoke by April 2016 and then another 4 in the Romsey area a few months later. We are so excited to talk about this, but really should wait until all the legal stuff is in place.

We will be looking to recruit new co-workers in a range of roles in both Basingstoke and Romsey area. Please contact us if you want to find out more – you can register on our recruitment page to get updates on new positions as they come up.

Keep in Touch

So, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, check back on our blogs – it is going to be an really exciting time at Liaise!

Deborah Cornick, Managing Director


 

Our Work in Zambia – Supporting children with special needs

DSCN1603Zambia one of the poorest countries in the world situated north of South Africa and south of the Sahara Desert. Zambia was once a British colony but has been independent for fifty years – but struggles to provide health care and education with limited numbers of professionally trained people.

It is usual for example to have one teacher with a class of 95 junior age children. Interestingly the children learn as well as children in the UK as they are desperate to have an education.

Marion was asked to go and give some support to the school which is in the grounds of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and there are around 250 children in the school with various disabilities and especially autism, cerebral palsy and hearing impairment. The school is staffed with teachers who have some training and it is common for them to have 30 children in a class with no assistants at all. Imagine that in this country!
MC, GR, JY

Marion, Deborah, Georgina and Joanne have been there to give the teachers extra training and especially in communication,  positive behaviour support, classroom management, and PROACT-SCIPr-UK®.

Interestingly they do not need much training in physical interventions as the children are generally well behaved and compliant. However they do need lots of support in understanding autism, how to communicate using pictures and signing, and how to organise their days in school.

We have used some ideas from TEACCH to help with organising areas of the classroom to be for specific activities such as a story corner, a sensory area, water play, music activities, and an area for the class to take part in group activities.

We have spent time teaching the staff how to make equipment using boxes and packaging which are free – and it is great to see how inventive the teachers can be with lots of games and story books and bags to help equip the little library we have set up for them.

parachute 2
Two teachers are now attending university to get qualified in special education and we have been asked to work with the university on our net visit. We now have six teachers who are PROACT-SCIPr-UK® instructors.

Our fundraising both at Loddon and Liaise help with the expense of travel to Zambia and also the cost of the University courses. The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane has helped us with these fees and the repair of the school’s minibus. The teachers could not afford the training without our help as everything is very expensive and most people live on low income and many on ‘the dollar a day’.

Kidsfrom UTH-4One little boy in the school has serious difficulties with autism and for the past three years we have only seen him running around and trying to get hold of mobile phones. But on our last visit he wrote a note to us saying ‘I want the book please’ meaning the iPad.

Staff had recently observed him writing and asking for things – we never know what is going on with our children so need not be surprised if they suddenly show that they can read and write. No one had taught him and he really enjoyed working on Joanne’s iPad! He has a wide vocabulary and although not able to talk can now write down what he wants and needs.

IMG_0136Peter has cerebral palsy and cannot support his body at all –  but is very clever – but has no specialist equipment to help him! In the UK he would be in school with lots of technology aids and a teaching assistant.

We have just managed to get him a laptop and he is working on it with his brothers – so some real freedom for him. At the beginning he was just lying on the concrete class room floor facing the wall – not very stimulating!

There is much to do, but the teachers are keen and excited by all we are able to share with them. and as the  teachers learn now to give added skills to the children so the children will learn and have a better chance in life. Education is so important – without it the country will never succeed.

‘It is better to teach a man to fish than to give him fish to eat’

If you want to help talk to Marion and she will give you some ideas of way you can help the project.

Marion CornickKidsfrom UTH-2

Congratulations! Marion and Michael got married

Our founder and director, Marion Cornick, got married to Michael at the end of April – and they had a wonderful day.

Marion and Michael cut their wedding cake

Congratulations Marion and Michael!

There was dancing… there was wine… and there was lots of love and laughter.

She and Michael had everything they needed for their home, so they decided to ask anyone who wanted to give them a gift to make a donation instead.

You may not know that as well as founding the Loddon School and running Liaise Loddon, Marion also supports a school in Zambia. There are 150 children with serious special needs, most of whom have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

The school lacks even the most basic resources. Children arrive hungry, and stay hungry because there’s no food at the school. There are no art materials, no games, no music and no phone. Power is sketchy.

Marion took a team out there in 2012 and trained the teachers in special education. The team also painted classrooms, took toys and equipment and set up a library. The tiniest things, like a rug or a toothbrush, make a huge difference.

The team goes over two or three times a year to work with the children, their teachers and their parents.

To celebrate their wedding, Marion and Michael would like to raise enough money to replace the rickety old school bus. Designed to carry 15, it usually carries many more – sometimes up to 49.

If you think you can spare a few pounds, please visit Marion’s JustGiving page. Your donation will be put to very good use.

Marion and Michael would like to thank everyone who has donated – as well as the money raised on the JustGiving page, they raised a considerable amount during their wedding celebration.

We’ll update you soon about how they’re spending the money.

But in the meantime, if you could help, we – and the children in Zambia – will be very grateful. Thank you!

Supporting Disabled Children in Zambia

In association with The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane, Liaise Loddon are planning to support a school in Lusaka, Zambia. It is our aim to help the school there for disabled children – bring them something of the Liaise Loddon and Loddon School philosophy and approaches.

We recently entertained Dr Ravi Paul from Zambia as a result of our connection with Dr. David Percy who has been a school trustee. David works as an adviser to THET (Tropical Health and Education Trust) and Ravi is the only psychiatrist in Zambia where there are 13.2 million people. Ravi was very excited by the work in the school and in Liaise and wants to develop the school in Lusaka using the same positive supports individualised philosophy.

We want to do the work so it does make a difference – so Marion is currently in Zambia to see the school and the scope of the training we need to give to help them. This will be similar to the work that the Loddon School has been doing in Romania and Azerbaijan for many years.

An exciting challenge to support children who really need something better. We will send more information as we make progress and want it to be a real success story in a very poor part of the world.