Halas Homes Supported Employment project has been successful in helping people with a learning disability to gain employment and volunteering opportunities. We have helped support one young man to successfully gain full time employment. We have a volunteer working in Coffee Cups who will be starting an apprenticeship very soon. Sophie, our job coach, has been busy helping people learn how to travel independently as well as supporting many other clients who wish to seek employment possibilities.
Recently one of Halas Supported Employment jobseekers had the opportunity to interview Local MP James Morris about a marathon that he recently ran in London to raise money for Halas Homes. Sean prepared his questions and interviewed James Morris at his surgery in Halesowen. Sean did a great job and there is a link here followed by the interview which Sean devised himself: https://youtu.be/_XLnqPLasp8
Interview Questions James Morris. 20th July 2018
- What training did you have to do for the London marathon?
My average run was around 10k, so doing the London marathon was a challenge. I started training a little bit at a time and building myself up. I did a half marathon in March. This was 13.1 miles and took me 2 hours 12 minutes. When I started increasing the miles I got up to 18 miles, I started to struggle with tendonitis and was told to rest so this set me back a little. I was determined to do the race and complete it.
- How many hours a week did you train?
I would train up to 6 hours a week, with about 3 half hours on running. I like to go to the gym as well.
- Are you happy with the time that you completed the marathon in?
No not really. I completed it in 6 hours my aim was 5 ½. The day was very hot but the organisers were prepared and there was lots of water available and showers along the route. I feel I started off too quick and burnt myself out. At one point I was over taken by a rhino….haha.
- Are you keeping up your training?
Yes. I enjoy playing cricket, so I am keeping up my fitness through the running. I am a batsman so have to run between the wickets fast. I have recently done the Black Country Road race which was 10k and took me 55 minutes.
- Have you got any other events planned?
Yes. I have signed up for the Birmingham ½ marathon in November this year and next year I am going to do the London marathon.
- How did you hear about Halas Homes?
I have been the MP for Halesowen for the last 9 years but have known Alison the CEO of Halas Homes for around 10 years. From around 2008 I have visited Halas Homes when they have had open days, which has been a pleasure.
- Why did you choose to do a marathon to raise money for Halas Homes?
I wanted to do something different and support my local community. I wanted to challenge myself. I knew Halas Homes and the work that they do so decided to raise money for them. I did some publicity work with Halas homes which included having their name on my running shirt. I raised just over £3200 which I am pleased about.
If you would like any information regarding this project, please contact:
Community Engagement Officer, Halas Supported Employment
Tel: 0121 550 8778/07376 497324
We would like to take the opportunity to thank Seth Somers and DPD for their generous donations which has enabled the refurbishment of Coffee Cups. which is a Social Enterprise Community Coffee Shop that provides work opportunities in collaboration with our Employment Project. Thank you also to staff from the Natwest Bank who gave up a couple of hours of their time to help promote the re-opening and delivered leaflets to the local community. We hope you will visit.
Our newly refurbed coffee shop
Early in 2017 we were told about an amazing opportunity which was a brand new large-scale production featuring over 100 participants from the local community. This production was going to be staged at the Birmingham Rep.
After attending an audition at the Birmingham Hippodrome we were excited to be told we had been successful and were given a schedule of rehearsals over several months. So, by being a part of this people with leaning disabilities showed how talented they are and were a part of a richly diverse cast. Everyone in the cast w rote their thought down about being a part of this wonderful event.
The show was a great success …………………………………
After many months of rehearsals, the day arrived and Woyzeck was a reality.
We had some wonderful feedback ………
“From the moment they step on stage the community cast is ALIVE and their enthusiasm is infectious”
#BrumHour saw Woyzeck at @BirminghamRep part of @BhamDanceFest until Sat 23rd June. Read more here:…
#Birmingham https://t.co/AgHwXwsEkS brumhour.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/woyzeck-at-birmingham-rep/ … #Birmingham
One of the members of Dance Unity has written about her experience of being involved with Woyzeck
“On Sunday 6th May Dance Unity met at Halas. We were going to The Birmingham Rep. We were really scared and excited.
When we got there, we met Nicole. She told us about the play. We were performing a show called Woyzeck. Then we met all the other cast.
We went to the Rep every Sunday and some extra practises.
When we did the show we were really scared. The other people put us at ease. They were really kind.
We loved performing with new people.”
As part of Dudley Disability Service, Dance Unity were asked to perform at Dudley College. As usual their interpretation of dance and Makaton sign language had the audience in tears.
“A very clever mix of signing and dance by Dance unity from @HalasHomes to launch Dudley Disability Service”
“The fabulous Dance Unity from @HalasHomes bringing the event to an end, showing how by bringing services together and putting people in the centre of their own lives can only empower them. It’s all about what you CAN do.”
“@HalasHomes every time the tears come, such powerful interpretations using dance and sign.”
On Wednesday 11th July Dance Unity went to perform at Dudley College and a member of Dance Unity who performed wrote about her experience.
“Along with Hayley and her girls we performed in 4 dances.
We enjoyed meeting all the people there and made lots of new friends.
I love my dancing – it’s my life!”
Since the Autumn of 2017 we have again been working with local school children from St Margaret’s of Hasbury primary in preparation of the judging days in July and August for Halesowen in Bloom. We are hoping the town gets another gold this year. Members of the Meeting Place made a button covered mushroom which light up in the dark #bloomin’ marvellous.
We have a very innovative arts project on the go at the moment call “Do you see what I see”. We are so pleased to have some great professional artists working with us. So far we have produced art work from paints and we have just started working with clay. We are linking with Halesowen College and will be spending time developing the project with students from the college. There will be a performance element with this project.
Members of the art project held a session to discuss and design a logo design which you can see on the left.
This project will be ongoing and there will be a curated tour which will be on tour to allow people in the community to consider “Do you see what I see”. If anyone has somewhere they would like this exhibition to be placed please contact Libby at Halas Homes who will communicate with the project co-ordinator.
These are some of our art work from a session Animals at the Zoo.
Halas Homes Sing & Sign have been performing all over the place of late. Dance Unity joined them at the Birmingham Symphony Hall for Celebrating Family Carers. Community Spirit is again a family inclusive project and Sing and Sign performed to a full house at Birmingham Symphony Hall. Learning Disability week provided yet another opportunity, Sign and Sign performed at Birmingham University and also on stage at Black Country Day in Dudley Town Centre (we were also on the BBC Midlands News on the same day).
We like to think that at Halas Homes we offer a wide range of opportunities for people with a learning disability to lead an active life and this newsletter provides a flavour of some of the things that have taken place recently.
Peter Taylor, from Inclusive Films and Nick Fogg, from Piece of String Films have produced a film called Ageing Well with Learning Disabilities. This is a fabulous demonstration of how to live life to the full.
But as always it has to be said that without the support of all staff the opportunity for service users to have positive outcomes are only possible with a committed and caring team of staff.