On Tuesday 7th June, Lifelong Learning at Waring Close, Leicester, took a group of people we support to Leicester’s Outdoor Pursuits Centre to have a try at wheelchair abseiling. We were greeted by our team of fully trained staff Chris, Tom and Heather.
It became quickly apparent that Katie was keen to volunteer for the first turn. Katie approached this new opportunity with a huge smile and listened to the centre staff explain what safety harness was going where etc.
As Katie was pulled up to the high platform her eyes kept darting over to me, shining with excitement. I grinned back offering her reassurance. When at the top, Katie smiled broadly to the centre staff and over to me. The interactions between the centre staff and Katie were fabulous! Not only is Katie’s smile infectious, but the staff responded to Katie’s interest in what they were doing by engaging her, maintaining eye contact and staying level with her throughout her descent and finally celebrating her success at the end.
Throughout this activity, although I was not physically next to Katie, we remained connected through our eye contact. Katie was clearly enjoying her independence in accessing this brand new activity and was confident enough to go it alone, and I had faith in Katie enough to step back and observe.
As Katie completed her descent, we all erupted into cheers. We all felt that we had taken part in something special.
Senior Support Worker