Posted on 8th November 2021 at 14:19
The Sport for Confidence team wanted to celebrate the amazing work carers do to support our participants to enable them to take part in physical activity, and their overall contribution to the Sport for Confidence community. We asked Fiona Oxley-Goody who attends our sessions at Witham Leisure Centre, with our participant Patrick, to share her feedback regarding her experience of accessing our sessions and how she thinks SFC has been beneficial for the people she supports and for her role as a carer.
Sport For Confidence: How did you first hear about Sport for Confidence?
Fiona: I heard about SFC through my current role as a PA supporting individuals with additional needs. Many of the wonderful people we support regularly access SFC sessions and have benefited greatly from doing so!
SFC: How has SFC impacted the person you care for and your day-to-day life?
Fiona: I have had the privilege of supporting one young man for over 3 years. My friend’s name is Patrick, or more affectionally known as Paddy. Paddy is an amazing young man with a fabulous smile, which literally lights up a room. However, Paddy has profound and complex needs which sadly can have a debilitating impact on his presentation and behaviour.
Paddy’s diagnosis, combined with the isolation caused by the pandemic meant his access to his chosen sessions on his return was extremely difficult and disruptive to all. However, the person-centred support offered by the SFC team, combined with their fierce determination to make every reasonable adjustment to accommodate his specific needs, has turned a difficult situation into a success to be celebrated.
Paddy can now not only participate in boccia, swimming and dance sessions, but is a valued member of the SFC community! Other participants have been supported to sign to him, so for the first time, Paddy has friends with whom he can have a conversation and the joy it gives all parties is clear to see and very emotional to watch!
SFC: Which activities do you enjoy the most?
Fiona: To be honest Paddy enjoys them all, but I personally feel he has the most opportunity to interact and engage with his friends at dance and because of this I feel dance is the session he gains the most from.
SFC: What would you say to anyone who is thinking about joining some Sport for Confidence sessions?
Fiona: SFC is the acronym for Sport For Confidence, but from my perspective it means Specialist Fantastic Care, as this is what I have seen delivered by the team at every session, regardless of the situation and level of need. SFC is not just sport, it is a community that screams EQUALITY. It is a community that builds friendships, supports with communication, and respects and treats each person as an individual.
The sessions are the highlight of my working week, as I have made friends with other PAs, and each of us supports the other.
It is a safe environment, where you know any situation will be supported and every success celebrated. SFC is literally accessible to all, and even financially as the fees are nominal. It is an amazing and uplifting experience that I highly recommend.
Tagged as: accessible sport, carers, health and wellness, occupational therapy, physical activity, sport for all
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