Under the Garden’s Canopy

The school holidays are our busiest time at work and we’re now deep into our summer playscheme, with all three projects full of children enjoying the break from school.

At the moment my days are a mix of working directly with the kids and keeping everything ticking over in the office. This summer many more disabled children than before are visiting thanks to the Inclusion Team which Leftwing Idiot manages.

This afternoon I was playing with a six-year-old boy with autism while his worker had a break. We were in the nature garden, an amazing place with a wood, a meadow, a vegetable garden and a pond. There isn’t any purpose-built play equipment there, just lots of natural materials to make dens with, wheelbarrows to ride in, and creative activities to get involved with.

The boy I was hanging out with wanted a wheelbarrow ride. This would’ve been tricky for me so I suggested he had a ride round the garden on my wheelchair instead. A colleague of mine showed him how this would work by sitting on my lap. Following the demo he became very keen on the idea and jumped on.

After several laps of the woods, pushed by my support worker we went in search of a different activity, and he decided he wanted to relax in a swinging chair. I got a multi-coloured parachute and hung it above the chair. He really liked this and spent ages relaxing in his new rainbow tent.

In fact he liked it so much he was reluctant to leave to go to the toilet. Eventually I persuaded him to, with the offer of another ride on the chair, this time with the addition of the parachute held up over us by my colleagues.

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