Pelicans of the month:
Charlotte and Natasha

The best part of The Pelican Project is seeing the young adults I work with involved in things they wouldn’t normally do or be included in.

My Name is Charlotte, I am an enabler for some of the young adults who are involved in The Pelican Project. I’m also keen to get more involved in some of the upcoming plans. The Pelican Project helps me to keep the people I work with included in activities and social events. The people I work with and members of my family benefit from the opportunities to be more involved in the community.

The people behind The Pelican Project are passionate and have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and work well to achieve it. There are no other groups that have the things on offer that The Pelican Project do. The best part of The Pelican Project is seeing the young adults I work with involved in things they wouldn’t normally do or be included in. And for me professionally, it gives me the opportunity to keep the people I work with included in community activities. I know I can go to The Pelican Project to maintain this in my work.

My favourite memory with The Pelican Project was an evening at the museum. We spent the evening meeting lots of people, listening to music and dancing. It was really nice to be so included in something we wouldn’t normally think the people we work with could be involved in and we had lots of fun. There aren’t any other groups like The Pelican Project and it provides a unique service to many people across Exeter. Their vision is important to the progression of inclusion.

Charlotte Hitchman-Reid

Enabler of Young Adults with Additional Needs

There is nothing else like the Pelican Project in Exeter – we need a Pelican Project in every city!

I am Natasha, I work with young adults with cerebral palsy. I work with two clients who are part of the Pelican Project. One is a young adult female and one happens to be my brother, Christopher.

The Pelican Project has opened doors for my client and brother’s creativity to flow and I have seen the projects they have completed grow their confidence in their art and music and allow them to be in spaces that have not traditionally felt to be “theirs”.

The Pelican Project is unique because the classes and workshops offered are not one size fits all – Kath and Charlie tailor experiences within the workshops and offer creative freedom to the Pelicans. For example I have attended lots of art and music classes with Christopher and my female client that feel very much like a primary school classroom – everybody is being told what to do and activities are usually drawing or sticking down bits of paper only, whereas the Pelican Project has offered my clients a very wide degree of different workshops and experiences and no instruction on how their work should be but lots of support and help if needed.

The best part of The Pelican Project is seeing my clients develop their confidence and watching them nurture and create new skills. Their finished work is always amazing and personal to them. I feel like part of a team and respected, I also feel like my clients are being treated with respect and as individuals also. I have done things that I wouldn’t have thought I would have an opportunity to support my clients to do – like t-shirt printing or recording music, which are not usually things that are offered, in my experience, to people who have disabilities. Also reaching out within my own personal network aside from my clients, Kath and Charlie have introduced me to others which has expanded my professional network and allowed me opportunities. There is nothing else like the Pelican Project in Exeter – we need a Pelican Project in every city!

My best memory of working with my female client was supporting her to speak on a panel with other women involved in disabled activism. The opportunity was given through the Pelican Project and my client was incredibly confident and did amazingly. She has a lot of experience and things to say about having a disability and the challenges she faces, and having a space for her to be able to talk about it for me was a great day and I loved helping her at the panel. With my brother Chris – we were invited by Kath and Charlie to a drumming workshop at the RAMM and Chris had only ever tried drumming once or twice and never in a space alongside adults who do not have a disability. Something that my Mum and I were not aware of is that Chris can actually hold a rhythm when he’s drumming along although he needs extra support (in the form of a drumstick). He was drumming along with the others following the workshop leader and he now owns his own bongos at home and practices every day. He wouldn’t have known about this without the Pelican Project.

Natasha Fiddes

Professional carer and family member

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