Thursday, 12 July 2012

Olympic Day for the Differently Able.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away when I attended a fantastic event at the Columbus School and College in Chelmsford. They have 240 pupils and students with severe learning difficulties (SLD), and profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), and a high ratio of pupils and students with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). They are all aged between 3 - 19 years and are spread over two campuses in Chelmsford - an Academies Enterprise Trust School. The Head Teacher is Malcolm Reeve. The school motto is; 'Take responsibility, show respect, consider others and believe in yourself. The pupils and learners were awarded certificates based on Olympic and Paralympic values, respect, courage, determination, friendship, inspiration, excellence and equality.The whole campus had a beautiful feel about it, not just the modern building and excellent facilities, but it was the whole ethos and culture that made me feel as if I was part of a big family. I thought about my visit to the  Haiti Hospital Appeal and spending the day with the children at Maison de Benediction.

As a woman who is differently able, I have come to realise that disability does not come with a manual - but life goes on and people with additional needs have different abilities. We should never judge people from their outward appearance, we need to interact with them to see how amazing and talented they are.

We spent the morning at the Columbus School and walked the Olympic Torch to the Columbus College. The day was a real inspiration to me and I came to realise that we all had one thing in common - to make our best better!!!

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At 14 July 2012 at 12:02 , Anonymous Malcolm Reeve said...

Hi Anne,
It was a great day and thank you for taking the time to write this blog. You were an inspiration for us and it was an absolute pleasure to meet you. I took some photos of the 'thank yous' which the children had made for you by the next day and am sending these to you directly by email. I look forward to seeing you this Thursday for the Haiti Hospital Appeal event in London and I hope this is the beginning of a strong friendship and partnership between us and you. Once again - thank you so much for coming, being our special guest and inspiring us. Malcolm

At 16 July 2012 at 11:19 , Anonymous Orla Thornton said...

I work on the college campus but unfortunately I didn't get to see you as I had to leave work early. I'm sure all the students enjoyed themselves and it hopefully inspired them to 'believe in themselves'. Orla Thornton

At 16 July 2012 at 14:38 , Anonymous Kelly stewart said...

I work on the school campus of Columbus, and am so pleased to say that all the children really enjoyed themselves. The presentation at the end was very emotional for both staff and parents, and most of all important for the children to have their achievements praised and acknowledge.

At 17 July 2012 at 16:33 , Blogger Caroline Russell said...

Hi Anne,
It was great to meet you and show you some of our wonderful facilities. I'm glad you enjoyed the day as much as we enjoyed having you at Columbus.


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