Conor & Vanessa

“During lockdown the team at Sam’s Place have called every week and have offered support to parents as well as providing online activities for the young people. Lockdown has been tough but I have felt cared for, supported and not alone.

The online activities for the young people have been varied, fun and most importantly have allowed the group to see and talk to each other. In our house the craft activities have been the most popular, especially the decoupage elephant and hug cards for those we have been missing during lockdown. The games and puzzles sessions have been great and we’ve learnt a lot about each other as well as different bugs and sea creatures during alternative bingo. The sessions and telephone support have definitely meant we have coped with lockdown better than we thought. Can’t wait to get to meet up and have face to face sessions again! RISE at Sam’s Place has helped my son to build his confidence by working with others as part of a team to make items to sell during the holidays. He has loved meeting new people and learning new skills. The products are challenging but fun and rewarding to make. His favourites have been the gin glitter glasses and light up bottles. He has sold the items in local workplaces and has enjoyed talking to different people about what he has made and has turned into quite a salesperson! We have struggled in the past to find activities that are age appropriate and are suitable for a young adult who has complex needs. Sam’s Place has not only filled these needs but exceeded them. Weekly sessions give my son the opportunity to meet up with new people, make friends and try new things in a safe environment. For me I have also made friends with other parents and carers over a brew with the opportunity to share knowledge and experience as well as provide mutual support for the challenges we face. Sam’s Place gives both of us the opportunity to socialise in a supportive environment where no one is judgemental and we do not have to explain anything about ourselves. My son looks forward to attending the sessions and it is the highlight of the week for both of us.”

Quote from Conor

“I love RISE. I’ve made good friends and have lots of fun. I like making things to sell and talking to people about what I have made.

When we meet up, I love cooking for my friends and playing bingo. My friends are like family and I really care about them. I have really enjoyed the sessions over lockdown. I really missed meeting up with my friends but with RISE I have seen them online and have chatted with them. I love playing bingo and have liked trying new versions like the world insects bingo that was funny. I have found some of the quizzes difficult but they have been fun. My favourite things have been the craft activities. I have tried new things and I’ve been shown how to do these step by step online. The weekly craft activity packs have included everything I need and I like making things. My favourite has been painting bird feeders for the garden and a Mothers Day plaque for my grandma.”

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