Meet The Families

by Elin Styrbjorn, Activities Co-ordinator

The sun has finally decided to shine over Aberdeen today for more than 10 minutes in between showers and I am celebrating my eight-week anniversary at Charlie House. The position as the Activities Co-ordinator at Charlie House is my first ever “grown up” job and I would lie if I said that I’m not both excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because, well, it’s great – and nervous because it’s important.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

When I first started this job, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew the basics about the charity and what was expected of me as the Activities Co-ordinator, but that was about it. For instance, I had no idea how difficult it is to find a facility that has easy access and is hassle free when you cater for children with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions. I would never have imagined the nightmare it is to try to find a facility that has toilets with proper changing tables and hoists (in addition to the grab rails that are found at most of the disabled toilets around the country). Before I got this job I had no idea that a toilet, something that I take for granted every day, might prevent one of our families from being able to go to the park on a sunny afternoon or having a cuppa at their favourite café. And that makes me very sad.

So when it comes to planning fun and exciting events for our families to enjoy, it isn’t so much the activity itself that is the problem but rather the facility where the activity is supposed to be held – because the North East of Scotland lacks facilities with proper disability access. And because of this, once we’ve found a facility that works well for our families’ specific needs we tend to use it quite often. Aberdeen Sports Village is not only one of those places, but also the very place where I had the chance to meet some of our families for the first time.

I won’t say I wasn’t a little bit nervous before meeting them at June’s Saturday Club trampolining session, but I will say that my nervousness was totally uncalled for. Because these families are some of the friendliest people I’ve met and I was blown away by their joy and sincerity. It was so lovely to get to spend two hours of my day with nothing but smiling faces, getting to know the families and seeing how excited the children got when they were allowed up on the massive trampolines. So sitting here today I wish that I had the chance to meet them more often, because once a month during our Saturday Club is just not enough. Lucky for me, our next Saturday Club is less than two weeks away and I can finally meet the families once again.