At the heart of Midland Mencap is the desire to help people, and to really show how much our services, staff and volunteers help those in need and those who care for them, I interviewed two parents (Debbie and Saeed) whose children access the Midland Mencap Short Breaks service.
Here is what they had to say:
1. What made you choose Midland Mencap and how did you hear about it?
Saeed: Around six or seven years ago I received a leaflet through the school my son attended. It was appealing because he could get involved with new activities and meet new people.
Debbie: My children are secure with them and they are happy to be here – once they come in, they just let go of my hand and they are free. Because they are autistic they don’t like places they are not comfortable with – they will not go back to that place, but they are always looking forward to coming to Midland Mencap. Even when they are home they say ‘Mencap, Mencap’. One of my children needs to know every day what is happening – on days where he has to go to school he says ‘Mencap!’ and I have to say no, today is Tuesday it is school and Saturday is Mencap. The staff are really friendly and yes, I choose Midland Mencap for my children’s safety. I heard about Midland Mencap from social services.
2. How has it changed your child’s, and your own, life?
Saeed: Even though it’s only 5 and a half hours every few weeks, he loves coming here and he gives a different response to other groups. He associates Midland Mencap with positive things and as we are content that he is in a happy and safe environment, we are comfortable having a lazy day or shopping while he is here.
Debbie: The change it has made to my life is that it gives me a break and gives me time to spend with other family. With my children, they get to spend time with other people so it makes a big change to their life too.
3. What’s the best thing about Midland Mencap?
Saeed: The volunteers and the staff. We are always met with smiley faces and they really care about each individual. My son’s uncle came to Midland Mencap before he sadly passed away and the staff and volunteers had a memorial service for him while my son was here – they really care for each person and acknowledge them as individuals.
Debbie: When you come back to collect your children they let you know how your child’s day went, whether it’s good or bad. If there’s any concern they will call to let you know – if they eat or they don’t eat etc. The staff and volunteers are always smiling and it’s a good environment – it is clean and safe. I always look forward to bringing them. I encourage other parents to choose Midland Mencap!
The views of the parents really highlight the positive impact of Midland Mencap’s work with children and young people, and they also show why volunteering and working here is so rewarding. As a volunteer myself, I fully recommend volunteering here to others!
– Kat, Reporter Volunteer –