Online lockdown activities are a hit for charity which supports young people with learning disabilities

A charity which supports young adults with learning disabilities across West Sussex has embraced the challenges of the lockdown to provide online activities.

Friday, 12th June 2020, 3:25 pm
Updated Friday, 12th June 2020, 3:33 pm

Think18 teamed up with Stagecoach Godalming to run a series of free dance and drama sessions on Zoom, which have provided a vital opportunity for young people with disabilities to express themselves, see their friends and build their self-confidence, which ultimately improves their general wellbeing.

Think18 founder Tessa Denison, who lives in Chiddingfold, said: “It is vital to have continuous contact with young adults and their parents/carers during these difficult times and I am delighted to see the enthusiasm building amongst our community.

“Lockdown has the potential to be a lonely and challenging time for our vulnerable adults so we wanted to ensure we could still be there for them virtually and bring to life our strapline – ‘make friends, have fun’.

One of the Think18 drama sessions via Zoom

“We are thrilled for Think18 to partner the passionate teachers at Stagecoach Godalming, and by forging strong partnerships we are giving our students the best possible opportunities.”

Think18 works closely with Fordwater School in Chichester and two members of its parents’ committee, Hilary Freeborough and Louise Collins, also work at the school for children with severe and complex learning difficulties.

Tessa said: “By having them onboard it allows us to include a wider range of students and offer extra insight on how to make the online activities fully inclusive.”

Holly King, principal of Stagecoach Godalming, said: “I am so excited that we have teamed up with Think18. Myself and my team of teachers have such a huge passion for the performing arts and to share this with everyone at Think18 is quite magical.

Rosie Denison-Foster with her painted moneybox from an art session

“Our sessions are a fantastic way to let your hair down and be creative in a supportive and nurturing environment.

“We follow a structure in each of the lessons that covers an introduction, warm up, drama/dance activities and then a cool down.

“What is wonderful is seeing the great big smile of these young peoples faces which just lights up my computer screen and makes me smile from ear to ear.”

Think18 is also sending out activity packs in the post and a number of other free virtual workshops are also planned, including ones based around gardening, nature and exercise, as well as further opportunities for adults to socialise.

A screenshot from one of the Think18 dance sessions via Zoom

For more information visit www.think18.org.uk or find the charity on Facebook and Instagram.

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Holly King, principal of Stagecoach Godalming

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Think18 dance teacher Lizzie and drama teacher Caitlin