I spend the evening tired and then wake up, I'm not sure my sleep pattern will ever be very sane after 5 children and times when Shallal nearly closed! through lack of funds etc.
However tonight is particularly social! most of my co-workers and some artists are happily up and communicating, which feels quite cheery! One problem on the way to being solved, another just sprung up and ....
Background care and concern for those we love and have worked with for years comes into the pattern of our Shallal life and never rests. Freedom and Choice and support and care are sometimes comfortable and sometimes uncomfortable companions. My experience teaches me that for some people expression through the arts isn't an option but necessary for overall health. My experience also proves over and over again how much we all have to give and share.
2 of my friends with support needs in Shallal have difficulties accessing their full creative outlets at present and are battling with very different issues. So much has improved but we can never rest as often the quality of your life is as good as your support systems: those who care, love and understand you and societies ability to offer surrounding care and support. So we go on!
Visibility is one of the key components, people are no longer hidden, sharing is so important..
Mental health which is often so invisible and can be so disabling and chronic health conditions, loneliness and many other elements of our humanity all need support and care and the carers need care!
One of the reasons we are inclusive is just, it was always like it! and i don't believe you should offer something to one group and not make it as available as possible to the whole to the community..
we are not perfect we could do more, be more inclusive and we challenge ourselves...
Parents who bring their children often then join in and some end up valuing it as part of their routine as much as their children do, some support workers look forward to it as much as those they support to be there.
This ramble started with looking at work patterns, society is changing, how do we move forward in health and healing, service, celebration and care.
I hope if you come to the events on Friday and Saturday you will experience a celebration, sharing and something of the power of art in all our lives, and feel reenergised to create and maintain a caring society and community for all our futures.