At Cerebral Palsy Midlands (now celebrating our 70th year of care) we primarily provide a day care service for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, however this is not the only service we provide. Whilst at the centre, our clients are taught vital life skills to stay healthy and safe. These include things like cooking, personal hygiene, reading and writing skills, music, arts and crafts and much more. For some of these skills we have groups that meet between two and three times a week. These are:
•CPM connection – This group is an alternative music collaboration, playing a range of different music, using a variety of different instruments. The group was started because of the dream of one person; their dream to play a musical instrument.
•Access for all – This service aims is to support all our clients to get out into the community. We work with our clients so they can access leisure activities, such as the cinema, bowling, shopping, going for meals, also accessing G.Ps and other medical professionals. We also organise small breaks to places like Blackpool, where our clients and other members of the community stay for about five days, with qualified care staff. Similarly, we offer day trips to such places. All of these trips are designed to encourage social interaction, whilst in effect combating issues of isolation.
•Pathfinders – This is our monthly social club, another way for our clients and wider community to interact. Anyone is welcome to attend; in fact, this is encouraged to promote inclusion. One of our main events of the year is the Weoley big night out, which is a fantastic opportunity for our clients, their family, friends and our wider community to socialise together. We also organise a number of other events for our service users throughout the year.
•URconnectAble – This is our advocacy and advise service. We provide help and support to people with disabilities, their families and also their carers, supporting on matters such as benefits, housing, finance, welfare and also providing emotional support.
•Being Heard – This group allows clients to access vocal tuition sessions, as well as learning about music composition and practices. A choir has been developed through this group. Everyone has a voice and this group’s aim is to empower people to believe in that.
•VeraNic art – The aim of this particular group is to encourage our clients, artists in their own right, to develop their artistic skills through whichever means they want, ranging from paintings to 3D sculptures. This group is led by a freelance artist.
All these workshops are run and supported by our dedicated tutors and staff who work countless hours for our clients. For our service to run we rely very heavily on donations from charitable trusts, organisations, donars and through fundraising events and efforts. As a day care service, we do charge a daily rate for clients to use our centre, however this only covers our running costs, such as staffing, electricity, gas and so forth. The activities we run are only allowed to continue because of our very generous funders, such as Mondelez International, who provide us with the means to continue our service. We know we are a small local charity, but any money that is donated to us really does go a long way. We ask for donations of any amount, so we can continue this great service to our community.
Our service makes a huge difference to the local community and to everyone that attends our centre. With the third sector facing immenent cuts, the thought of our centre ever having to close is upsetting to ourselves and the community we serve. Without funding, some of our clients would not even leave their home most days, be isolated, which could be potentially devastating to their physical and mental wellbeing. With reduced funding, we would not be able to offer some of the services we provide, which could potentially be detrimental to our clients. Please watch the video below from our clients and what they think of CPM.