21
Jun 21

Connecting with a Click

Posted: 21 June 2021

Kelly Perry is the Project Leader for Click, a supportive and inclusive online community that supports adults with a learning disability and autistic people. As part of our #ThinkDigital campaign, Kelly shares with us how Click began and the benefits of connecting digitally. 

“Our mission is connecting people, we spark friendships and co-create high quality virtual sessions where everyone is seen, heard, included, and celebrated for the wonderful humans that they are.

Our journey to Click began in the first lockdown when our in-person provision, Windward Day Services, had to close. We quickly recognised a need to support people with meaningful sessions delivered virtually via Zoom.

 Covid has posed many a challenge and some difficult times for many people, but it has also presented opportunities and created a whole new way of connecting. It has forced all of us to think ‘outside the box’ at how we deliver support for people who may otherwise be unable to access traditional services and one that also compliments face to face provision.

 We offer drama classes, fitness classes, art classes and a choir. As we expanded our virtual sessions to more people, an online community gave so much more than we all could have imagined!

 A poem written by one of our members, Sebastian Foreman, beautifully puts into words why we went on a mission to ensure Click was something that needed to stay for the future!

  

Since lockdown started everyone has a lot to say,

About the pain of not being able to come and go,

But life for some was like lockdown anyway.

 

The ‘new normal’ for us was their normal every day.

They were stuck in their houses, did anyone know?

 

Since lockdown started everyone has a lot to say,

Messages about loneliness they want to convey.

The whole country is feeling depressed and low,

But life for some was like lockdown anyway.

 

All these new vows to help one another come what may,

It’s important we all make the support effort grow.

 

Since lockdown started everyone has a lot to say,

Got the time now to phone the vulnerable and check they’re ok,

We notice other’s hard lives while our own life is slow.

But life for some was like lockdown anyway.

 

Only till now there was no space for them in our day,

Perhaps these times are the happiest they’ve known.

When this is over will we all still have a lot to say,

About the people whose lives were like lockdown anyway?

 

When we all head back out to the bright light of day,

How many desperate voices will we hear pleading, “stay”?”

 

You can also hear directly from some of our members about their experiences of joining us and the sessions they love in this video.

 

The Big Click TAKEOVER

To mark Learning Disability Week this year (14-20 June) we launched the Big Click TAKEOVER! We have celebrated the ability of our community members to lead the programme, present sessions, teach and share skills, and generally impress us all.

People have taught Makaton, produced and directed drama, led quizzes and thought of some brilliant forfeits for staff! They have taught digital art, shared books, places they have travelled, attempted to break some world records and instructed others in exercise and dance… in fact every part of the programme was co-produced by our members. They stepped up to the challenge of TAKEOVER week, overcoming nerves and coping with change to prove that ‘ability’ is the part of each individual that we should all recognise and celebrate.

One of our members Amy fed back to us her experience of the week: “Amazing! It's building up my confidence and it's also giving us an opportunity that we wouldn't normally have as it is all about inclusion no matter what age background or disability. We all have talent to offer whether it’s signing, drawings or sharing stuff with others.”

Matt and his mum Julie took us “Out and About” on a visit to a local garden where Matt used to work. Julie wrote: “I would just like to say a massive thank you to Click especially for giving Matthew the opportunity to run the Out and About session at Furzey Gardens. He loved every minute of it (so did I)... you made him shine! Click has been our lifeline through lockdown, what would we have done without you! The support from all staff has been amazing even to the point of giving Matthew the confidence to go and have his covid vaccinations. We have had so much fun and I would encourage everybody to give Click a try.”

Matt says " I love doing Click, I really enjoyed doing “Out and About” and showing my friends around. My favourite sessions are “Out and About”, bingo and the quiz."

Take a look at the highlights reel from all the sessions across the week, it’s guaranteed to make you smile!

For more information on Click visit www.clicktogether.co.uk