Jess and Abe
Wave Club member Jess loves writing poetry but it is only recently, through Wave, that she has started to perform it. The poems give real insight into how she sees the world around her and her performances are enriched as she also signs them in Makaton.
Jess was thrilled at the opportunity to work with local poet Abe Gibson and says, “Performing with Abe gives me confidence. Sometimes I get a bit nervous but when I have Abe beside me, I know everything’s going to be OK”.
Abe says he’s learnt so much from the experience of working with Jess. “Meeting Jess totally inspired me to write the poem ‘We are seasons’. Jess has sensitivity and joy in her writing and performance. When I perform with Jess my mind focuses and my heart dances! Jess is also a very good and firm teacher – teaching me how to Makaton sign the poem ‘We are seasons’.
Jess and Abe have given several very well received performances together. You can watch one of them here.
Ophir is a member of Wave Club and says, "Being in Wave Club makes me feel connected to different people. I feel free to speak up and express my disability. I find it hard to make friends sometimes, I don't know what to talk about. Wave Club helps me to learn new skills."
Here is a poem Ophir has written about Wave Club.
Living the moment
Not being alone
We welcome different people
They become friends
We always have a laughter
At the end
We bake, we cook
We help each other out
We use different skills
And that's what we are about
We go to different trips we
Do self defence we ask
People to come and join
To improve our sense
We are not that quiet
We do chat a lot and
Feeling happy to be
Being in wave club
Is good for us it
Build us a lot of
Mathilde and Toby
Mathilde worked with us to help start Wave Café. As part of her role she co-ordinated a mixed ability team to run pop-up events. She says, “It’s a fantastic experience to work with people from all backgrounds, bringing them together around a common project and delivering brilliant events where everybody has a great time – either as a guest or a volunteer.”
Toby is a part-time co-ordinator for Wave, a long-standing member of Wave Club and a member of the Wave Café pop-up team. He really enjoys the sense of achievement when an event goes well and says, “It is wonderful to see the event come together, watching everyone having a great time, and hearing from them what they loved about it."
Krystyna and Hannah
Krystyna and Hannah first met at Wave Club, they both go to Wave Church and they make a great team working together at the Wave Café pop-ups. They now also meet up at other times. Krystyna has visited Hannah at her work and sometimes they meet up and go out to eat together.
Krystyna likes getting involved with all the Wave activities, especially serving food, and says she loves that everyone is always very friendly. You only have to look at Krystyna and Hannah working together at the Wave Café pop-ups to realise the special bond that has grown between them.
Hannah says, “Wave is an incredible opportunity for people with and without learning disabilities to mix. It is amazing to learn from each other and to encourage one another. Going for lunch or dinner with Krystyna and other Wave Club members is a great experience. We have the best time together.”
Liz and Caroline
Having a baby or young child with additional needs can be a challenge for parents in many different ways – strong emotions coupled often with exhaustion and a sense of isolation. The Challenge Group was set up to offer a calm space where they can meet other parents with similar challenges; have a friendly face to talk to; relax, maybe with a massage; and where their children can play and be entertained.
Liz has been coming to the Challenge Group for a number of years since her daughter Jess was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. She says, “Challenge has become an absolute lifeline to me; I genuinely don't know how I would cope without it".
We’ve also seen an impact on those who come along to help at the Challenge Group. People like Caroline who says it's one of the highlights of her week. “This is the place where I experience a sense of the unconditional love of God; where parents, carers, children and helpers laugh, play and cry together without shame or stigma - it's a beautiful place to be. It's what Celtic Christianity refers to as a "thin place" - a place where heaven and earth are very close, where there is a particularly palpable sense of the presence of God”.
Ben and Michael
Ben and Michael go to Wave Cafe together every Thursday evening for the inclusive arts workshops - Ben organises the sessions and Michael has had a season ticket for all three terms so far!
Ben says, “I'm really grateful to have met Michael through Wave Cafe. His infectious smile and enthusiasm really rubs off on everyone at Wave and always helps put us all in a good mood. He has the best sense of humour and never misses a chance for a joke. New guests to our events are also always treated to a huge welcome hug from Michael - his speciality!"
Michael says, “Ben helps me to make plans. He is great fun, makes jokes and is very kind to me”. Michael also really enjoys making his closing thank you speech at the end of every Thursday evening!
Darrell has been a part of Wave for a number of years and is a wonderful role model. He’s always keen to get involved, whether that’s serving at a Wave Cafe pop-up or taking a role in the drama at Wave Church.
Through us Darrell got work experience at a local restaurant. He is now employed at a local pub/restaurant where he says he’s enjoying getting more experience prepping and cooking the food.
Darrell is very sociable and great at making friends. When someone he met through Wave was looking for a job he recommended her to his employer and arranged an interview. They now work together and, as Darrell says, “we work as a team which is the best way to do it”.