Our services in the Midlands have been celebrating the Rio Olympics by hosting a Danshell Midlands Regional Olympics. The event was held on the same day as the Olympics Opening ceremony, perfect for getting everyone excited about the games to come.
The four Midlands services worked together to produce an all-inclusive day, where both service users and staff took part in events, promoting fitness and teamwork for everyone involved.
Events consisted of long jump, shotput (with bean bags), egg & spoon race (with tennis racquets and balls), a water running obstacle race and a penalty shoot-out. Matthew, a service user at Willow House, was the goalie and did a brilliant job!
Everyone enjoyed a round-the-world buffet, made by the catering teams from each of the Midlands services, and decorated with flags made by service users. After recharging their batteries with some excellent food, service users and staff were ready for their last race – a 4x100m relay.
The day was finished off with a presentation ceremony for the certificates. The staff organising the event arranged for an ice cream van to arrive, which was welcomed by service users and staff alike, and everyone received ice creams for their efforts.
Parents of one of the service users attending expressed how much they enjoyed the day, saying, “You are to be congratulated – a wonderful idea well executed. We both feel similar events incorporating other service users would be beneficial. The ice-creams afterwards were an inspirational touch indeed.”
We also received some kind words from Andrew Smalley, Danshell Advocate from VoiceAbility, who attended the event:
"I felt moved to make special mention today; Chelsi (the new Midlands advocate) and I attended the Midlands Regional Olympics Event today, and it was truly fabulous. The level of engagement from a very wide range of service users, some with significant support needs, was a joy to see – the event was a real exemplar of inclusivity.
"Not only is this just really good fun and obviously immediately beneficial to all involved, but thinking in terms of the transforming care agenda, this sort of activity in the community at an unfamiliar and interesting location is just the sort of thing that will encourage and build people’s independence and vision of what they feel is possible.
"Along with this, the accompanying boost to self-esteem will, I feel, be quite powerful - everyone was able to achieve something and be a real part of it. A large number of our advocacy partners expressed to us how much they were enjoying themselves and what a good day it had been, and this was completely self-evident. A huge well done from us to Cate (Manager at Toller Road Residential Service with Nursing) and all involved in the organisation of it."