As 2017 comes to a close Christmas is a good time as any to remember how far things have come, reflect on the many achievements in the year and give thanks for all the people and organisations that have made these things possible.
The last few years at halow have seen much change, expansion in our services and staff team and premises. The work we do to support young people with a learning disability through our various services; Social Activities; Building Futures; A Reason To Get Up; our Buddy Service and Supported Living; provides a comprehensive, joined up pathway towards independence for young people, with opportunities for thousands of achievements for our young people whether it be overcoming their anxiety, performing simple tasks independently or jumping out of their comfort zone completely and forging new paths in the world of work.
Highlights of this year for me have been seeing a group of Building Futures young people design and build and row their own raft in the annual Guildford Raft Race; our young people from Cook and Grow winning a Gold Guildford in Bloom Award for their Community Kitchen Garden; our Year C team presenting at the national Learning Disability Today Conference on what we do at Building Futures and some amazing personal bests at the gym and through sport in our Sports for Life programme. This year our Disability Works programme also grew to provide new work placements with two new corporate partners creating more opportunities for employers to benefit from having our young people in their work force.
This work can not be done without the trust, courage and determination of our young people themselves and without the passionate, commited and professional staff team we have at halow. Working with these people inspires me everyday to give the best I can for a terrific team and all the hundreds of young people we serve.
Backed by amazing volunteers and corporate and community partners and friends, halow truly reflects our community and our community-based approach to independence for young people with a learning disability.
Before we go into the Christmas period, when we give a thought for the various services that are working over Christmas to protect and serve the community let's make sure we spare a thought also for the many support workers out there supporting people with disabilities and vulnerable groups to enjoy their own Christmas as independently as they can. Thank you to all you support workers and carers for the work you do.
Finally, thank you to everyone involved in the halow journey this year. Each and everyone of us plays a part in making it happen, working alongside young people and their families to nurture and enable independence in a highly person centred way.
I wish you all the best for this holiday season and look forward to many more exciting developments and achievements in 2018!