Over the last few months our daily lives and our interaction with relatives and friends has changed dramatically. Some for the better but also some that have caused a great deal of mental anguish. We embrace the need for social distancing and many of the other changes that have been imposed on us and our and family and friends to protect their health and welfare.
But just for a little while can we stop and think of those among us who have endured a lifetime of social distancing. The child in school who never seems to reach the acceptable milestones and is excluded from joining in the fun. This maybe due to ill health, autism, learning disability or just a poor start in family life.
Once they leave school what then? Not for them the competitive race to find a job, to join in sports and activities that young people enjoy. Their destination, if they are lucky, is to gain a place at an adult learning centre, however these places are few and far between due to the cuts in local government budgets. So, it’s the private sector and charities that once again have to come to the rescue. Many of these adults still live at home or in assisted living settings, many have aged parents caring for them. Look at your son or daughter and imagine caring for them until the day you die because your child has never matured intellectually from a child. Not for them marriage or their own children, all they have are you and their friendships.
Now to the point. I volunteer at an amazing adult learning centre which since March has been closed, as have all the school’s I hear you say. But this situation can be explained to children and they might not like it but they will understand. Not for our adults, all they understand is that their daily visit to their Centre to see their friends, to draw, play sport and games and their social outings with their friends has been stopped. Have they been bad, have they been naughty and are they being punished?
Throughout the lockdown their leaders at the centre have delivered, socially distanced, weekly packs of activities for them to enjoy. There have been lockdown challenges to try, jigsaw competitions and the home baking they have produced has been wonderful. Their only outlet a socially distanced walk or a spell in the garden, if they have one.
Our Centre has only small rooms and we have over 80 adults attend in any week and so we have not been able to return. We have a football team that is allied to Rawmarsh St Josephs and for the last three weeks they have kindly allowed us to use their football field at the KCM Arena at Stubbin in Rawmarsh, which allows us to chat to one another from the safety of our chairs, as social distancing is still in force within our group, as many have additional health conditions.Unfortunately, the weather has not played ball with us in that we have been rained off on a few days but we have braved the rain on other days. Imagine you wait all week to see your friends and the visit is rained off.
We are looking for a large safe building we can use on wet days until we are able to return to the safety of our Centre. We sing, we dance, we colour, but most of all we chat to one another from the safety of our chairs, as social distancing is still in force within our group, as many have additional health conditions.
Are you the owner/caretaker of a large open space building/unit that we can loan? It will be returned to you exactly as we found it after we go back to our Centre. Bearing in mind that the rent and other payments are still being made on our Centre, favourable terms would be required.
The Green army, led by the Green team. 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚