At Foundation we are looking hard into the ways that we communicate with one another, within our teams and with our customers. In this fast paced age, we have developed expectations of communication, yet it’s not very often that we stop to take a closer look and pick apart the significant role it can play in building relationships and forging change.

Two of our teams, Durham and Poplar Villa, have been looking closely at communication. In the Durham Team, marking World Braille Day, customers experienced communication outside of their comfort zone when they were asked to prioritise senses other than their sight. They also practiced a listening and interpretation exercise. At Poplar Villa, the young people we work with have very often experienced instructions and authority handed down upon them. In a cooking class, customers took the lead and became the teachers – taking on roles of informed responsibility. Though subtle, it is these examples of walking in another person’s shoes that can shift thinking and raise aspirations.

Support workers from the teams report:

Durham Team – Lucyna

On Tuesday 10th January, customers attended a session dedicated to World Braille Day which was on the 4th of January. It had been created by Frenchman Louis Braille who suffered a facial incident resulting in an eye infection and subsequently loss of vision. Braille is used by people who are partially or completely blind. Its characteristics are the use of specifically designed symbols such as ‘dots’ which can be felt and read by touching with fingers.

During the session, our group had a task related to blindness impairment- making a paper outline of their foot and attempting to lace up their shoe, while blindfolded. It took a bit longer than if they could see but they managed to feed a lace through the holes and even made a nice bow! Well done to them!

After the break, a nice cup of tea and biscuit, they had a fun game based on guessing and drawing. One person was describing the object they had drawn on paper and the other person had to draw it. It was interesting to see the results! They learned how important communication is particularly when explaining things that someone is not able to see. The participants really liked this game and asked to do it again at a future session.

The final activity was to make a poster showing what they had learned, here is a picture of the finished poster!


Poplar Villa – Kira

Yesterday Poplar Villa customers, Ethan and Brent, taught me how to make Caramel. Brent has completed a level 1 & 2 in food preparation.

We had a lovely time and I enjoyed listening and following instructions from both lads. Makes a nice change!

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