Last time round I alluded to a divided society. Where in our community are we supposed to put our faith? At Pelican, that’s an easy one. Our core members and their families are always there, fighting the good fight. That sounds a bit gushy. But the people I refer to are pure grit. Our project started with the support of two families. I’ve seen a room humbled to silence listening to the matriarchs of these families, Kat and Denise. It is so matter of fact when they talk about their lives. They talk about organ failure, hospital visits, oxygen tanks and funding packages like we talk about popping to the shops. These are strong women. I’ve also heard Denise talk about turning a machine off, to end a life, with the brevity and pain that you would expect from any parent who faces the reality of losing their child every single day. This isn’t a sob story asking for pity. This is a real world fact asking for respect.
This month is the turn of Denise and Liam to share a bit about their engagement with the project. These guys are legends so listen up…
1. Who are you and what do you do with The Pelican Project?
We are Mum, carers and Liam. With Pelican project Liam does Art, Music, Farm Skills, Drama and work at RAMM.
2. How does The Pelican Project impact your life/the life of the person you work with/the life of your family member?
Liam is able to socialise with other people. He is able to integrate with others and be part of a community project. It is also good for mum to network with others and share experiences.
3. What makes The Pelican Project unique?
The people who run it and the people involved with the project . They understand disabilities and the struggles individuals have. It gives everyone who attends the opportunity to contribute no matter what disability they have.
4. What is the best part of The Pelican Project?
It is very welcoming and friendly. It gives everyone an opportunity to get involved in community activities. For a support worker the best part is seeing Liam’s face when he is joining in and being part of a project like this.
5. How does working with The Pelican Project make you feel?
Proud and honoured to accompany Liam to such an inclusive and understanding project.
6. What does The Pelican Project help you to do that you couldn’t do before?
It helps Liam get in to the community, join group activities and be part of a project.
7. What skills have you/the person you work with/your family member developed through working with The Pelican Project?
It has shown Liam and support workers that there are no limits to what wheelchair users can do- everything can be adapted.
8. Why is The Pelican Project important to people in Exeter?
It ensures individuals are able to meet, socialise, share experiences and engage in activities as a group. It tackles isolation!
9. Can you tell us about your best memory of working with The Pelican Project? What were you doing and what made is memorable?
Any music activity! Liam loves the lights and music.
10. If you were telling a friend about The Pelican Project what would you say?
It is fun, welcoming, friendly group bringing individuals from all different walks of life together as a group, enjoying and engaging in various activities.