Success for a Groundbreaking Skills Programme for Adults with Profound Learning and Physical Difficulties

11th December

Burwash and Dallington based care homes, Oakdown House and Carricks Brook have successfully introduced a ground-breaking initiative for adults with profound learning and physical disabilities.

Residents work individually or together supporting each other on DIY projects like this one to build a bird table. John Brooksbank, from The Great Out-tours, the man behind this project is a specialist in running inclusion projects at his Woodside Environmental Education Centre in Horam, but this is the first time he has taken the project in house to care homes and to this level.

“We support adults to learn how to use tools and equipment, they enjoy the experience and the challenges and the results speak for themselves. I hope they will now enjoy feeding and watching the birds use the table that they have built”. John Brooksbank, The Great Out-tours

Mike Derrick, who runs the homes said: “We have been working in partnership with John and The Great Out-tours team for five years at their Woodside Environmental Education Centre, in Horam. Our resident groups have been travelling there and participating in their diverse Four Seasons Activity Programme. This year is the first time we have brought the  ‘Four Seasons Activity Programme’ including live animals from John’s farm and outdoor crafts to the care home. For many of our residents this is the first time they have been close to animals such as goats, lambs, chickens and rabbits. Seeing the pleasure on peoples’ faces and feeling the enthusiasm is very, very special.”

“Since my husband joined The Great Out-tours his life is much more enjoyable. Under the kind and patient supervision of John, he is now able to do many of the DIY things the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease had stopped him doing on his own.  He loves being outdoors doing the variety of things the seasons bring along. He really enjoys looking after the animals, especially the young when they arrive.  Monday and Friday mornings are now something to look forward to instead of just “another day”.  We are so pleased we were put in touch with them. Thank you so much.“ Barbara