We at Perth Six Circle Project are delighted to announce that we have been successful in our application to the National Lottery Community Fund for £257,121. This three year funding will allow the Project to deliver a wide range of activities which will enhance skills and support community integration. The programme of activities will be developed, in line with service user interests and needs, many of which have been raised during their strategic meetings. So far suggested options have included gardening, sports, a lunch club, and a walking group.
On hearing the news, regarding National Lottery Funding, the service user group were ecstatic and are excited that the Project can now evolve to meet their developing needs. Patrick- the service user representative said the news was “Super-dooper!” Darren – a service user stated “It’s such a relief, I’d have nowhere else to go”. Other comments included “I’d be stuck in the house with nothing to do” and “Fantastic!”
The Project staff team have been planning for these changes for some time now and are excited and looking forward to embracing the changes and supporting individuals reach their potential. Denny- a staff member stated “it is great that our work is recognised and that the National Lottery believe in us and know that we are passionate about delivering services to meet the needs of our service users”.
Other funding bodies have also recognised our passion and commitment with The Robertson Trust, NHS Community Innovation Fund, Corra Foundation and Perth & Kinross –Choose Life to name a few have expressed this through awarding grants. Project Manager Marlow Clark acknowledged the wide range of grants as a recognition of the value that the Project adds to the local community. “I am delighted and privileged to be part of an organisation who are dedicated, who put the needs of others at the fore and who embrace service user involvement, allowing them to drive the direction of Project services”.
2019 is a year of celebration as Six Circle was founded 50 years ago by the late Charles Hills. This funding will help us continue the good work he started and deliver services to meet the needs of some of the most challenged individuals within our community. Our aim is to support them to feel less lonely and isolated and gain a sense of belonging.
The groups headed to Deep Sea World to develop their communication and confidence in social environments.
During the talks and handling sessions, it was good to see that the service users were mindful about the children, letting them go first and allowing them to stand in the front row. The groups worked well together in helping each other locate the various animals in each of the tanks. The service users also showed confidence when taking part in the activities, by going to touch the starfish and asking questions about the sharks after the talk, reaching our second objective. It was especially fun to try to seek the frogs in the terrariums and to identify the different fish species together, which was very educational for the group.
After lunch, the group went back into the centre and looked around a bit more before going to see the feeding of the sharks. It was agreed that the sharks were not very hungry today, and they thought they would splash around a bit more!
The feedback during our evaluation was very positive. The service users really enjoyed the day, exchanging knowledge and reading information about different species together, successfully obtaining our objective of increasing communication and confidence in social environments.
We were flexible with our group times this week to allow service users the opportunity to attend a local community event. We started the evening off by having dinner at a local restaurant, where the service users were required to order their meal at the bar, which, was an unusual and new way for them to order their meal. Some reported anxieties with this however, after receiving support and guidance, they felt more confident to do this in their daily life.
After the meal we then visited the Norrie Millar light show which is a local event that the service users had expressed an interest in attending, with some stating they have wanted to go in the past but had no social connections to feel comfortable to attend with them.
Entering the Jurassic Park themed night was exciting and nerve-racking, we joined the other revellers and the mood became more elated. During the event, the group naturally clustered together and this help service users who were feeling slightly anxious. There were lots of visual and interactive productions to get involved with and plenty of photo opportunities.
Although little opportunity for conversation, due to the music, the group really indulged when the opportunity arose, providing questioning, banter and laughter! There was plenty of hilarity when the service users encouraged a dinosaur to chase a staff member around the park!
This environment was extremely difficult for some of our service users with reassurance and support given to those who required it. This event was both informative, interesting and engaging, which resulted in areas being viewed twice, as they were spectacular. This was a great way for our service users to connect with their local community and helped to reduce social isolation and manage anxieties in a busy environment. Although a very cold night the response was great with no rush to leave and feedback received was very positive with enthusiasm to attend similar events in the near future.
We used our local leisure centre for a morning swimming session as part of our weight management purpose for today. This activity was also to increase confidence and social interaction. Service users were eager to get along to the pool, everyone that required extra support buddied up with another service user, which showed the trust, and understanding our service users have for each other. The morning went very well with one service user showing tremendous improvement in his confidence. He has been to the pool before and been very nervous entering the pool as well as being in the water. On this visit, it was evident that he was more relaxed and trusting of those there to help him. He was happy to put his face in the water and at one point entered the water from the side of the pool rather than attempting the steps. He also walked through the waterfall area allowing the water to splash over his head and body. After our swimming session, we entered the leisure area where the group enjoyed the steam room and sauna before dressing to return to the Project. This was a very successful day and the service users expressed afterwards that they would like to participate in swimming activities on a regular basis.