“To me, completing a Community Report wasn’t just about telling other people what the kids were like and what they go through, but for myself too, and I found putting their stories together extremely moving. I had never really thought about the scale of things – at work, I helped individual children achieve their goals and overcome their struggles, but it wasn’t until stepping back and looking at the big picture that the wider issues relating to and all around disability hit me hard.
“Working to help provide day-to-day residential and medical care for people living with disabilities is an intense occupation in itself. What causes the isolation and marginalisation of disabled children is such a huge issue on top of that I think sometimes my mind just sort of skipped over it. The really hard-hitting quotes in my Community Report are all true stories I either heard first-hand or from someone else who experienced it. There are so many holes in society that contribute to the children at Helen Bishop Home being in the situation which they are; prejudice, poverty, healthcare, education, race, economic disparity… as our wonderful host and incredible friend Naomi says of the home and what it does: “We’re just a sticking plaster.”
“When I was writing my Community Report moments from my year seemed to just fly onto the paper. Later I had the idea of writing another story about a child from a very different background to a child at Helen Bishop Home, and I think that part really does bring home exactly what Project Trust taught me: everyone has problems, everyone is human, everyone needs certain things, everyone is the same the world over. But what most often separates us is opportunity.
“I will always be proud of my year, and always grateful for having the opportunity to work with the children at Helen Bishop Home, who are just beyond words. I’ve never missed something so much as their faces in the morning, or freshly bathed and sleepy in their cots, wolfing down lunch, laughing at us, themselves, smiling at the world. They are all kinds of wonderful and they don’t even know it.
“To the kids at Helen Bishop Home – I love you to the moon and back, and I hope I helped make your voices heard, even just a little bit. It was worth it even if only one person now understands just a little bit better.”