On Thursday July 25th, our member Jonathan had his birthday party. It was extra special for him because we had a guest singer to join us, Cathy Morris. We had met Cathy in 2018, when she sang at a community sing along event at Baddesley Ensor. The money raised was donated to Uniquely Me & U. Having enjoyed that event and listening to Cathy sing. I thought of the idea of inviting her to sing at Jonathan’s party. He got on so well with her, it would give him the opportunity to sing along with Cathy, which would make him very happy.
The weather on the day of the party was very hot, but everyone enjoyed themselves. On the videos, you can see the very colourful display board. Jonathan had drawn all the pictures himself at our art group that he wanted to show Cathy and the other people. This idea of connecting art with their songs has proven to be very successful, and is helping with their self expression.
On the video of Jonathan and Cathy singing, you can see how happy he is. Another member also chose to sing with Cathy. Although the time Cathy had with the group was short, due to another booking. She wanted to make Jonathan’s birthday special, having got on so well with him in 2018. Cathy very kindly made time to come to his party and meet our group members and friends, which was very much appreciated.
On the video of Jonathan blowing out his candles on the cake, and the group singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. He was so pleased with his cake. He had decided weeks before what design he wanted, and drew and coloured it at our art group. After finishing it and showing it to the other members. He wanted to take it to our local cake shop and order it for his birthday party. When we took it to the shop, he was so confident showing the assistant and to let them keep the picture to copy the design of a star and the colours he chose. The assistant was very helpful and interested in Jonathan talking about his party.
In the video above, Jonathan is playing Happy Birthday while the group sing it for him. He was so pleased to show everyone that he could play it. He had been practising it in our music group. See how confident he is, and enjoying his achievement of being able to play. This is showing the positive outcome that Uniquely Me & U is having, by giving them the opportunity to bring out their potential.
His social and confidence skills have improved so much since being part of Uniquely Me & U, which is wonderful to see. Again, using pictures to help express themselves, when verbal communication is difficult, is giving them the opportunity to show other people what they want and mean. Ordering his cake was a sense of achievement for him. Then to go and collect the cake and picture, was showing the positive outcomes the groups are having on their mental wellbeing.
At the party we had our art group members, who don’t usually meet on a Thursday, and I was aware they may not cope with the ‘different’ day and not doing their usual activity. However, I am very pleased to say, they all enjoyed the music, dancing and singing. Our art member who likes drawing and painting animals, brought her art folder to the party and was quite happy to show others her pictures. Members from our music group who don’t come to the art group, were enjoying looking at the pictures. With our member saying what animals they were and where they come from.
I was so pleased to see the progress they were all making in their social and communication skills. A party or gathering like this would have seemed impossible in the past, due to the different sensory and learning disabilities. Being part of Uniquely Me & U is giving them the opportunity to build friendships in a small, safe environment, and develop at their own pace. It is holding events/parties/shows, that bring out the progress being made, and how Uniquely Me & U keeps moving forward with our members.
Cathy Morris our guest singer is coming back again to join us at our Christmas Party in December, and everyone is looking forward to it.