L.A.R.C Rise in Nettleham was set up by teaching assistants Lisa Welch and Kim Barwell with support from Lisa’s mum, Sandra Welch. Having worked at Queens Park School in Lincoln and with their experiences as foster carers they recognised that there was very litlle for young adults with severe learning difficulties to do once they had left school.
“Between us we have a combined experience of over 30 years working with special needs, however the idea of L.A.R.C Rise was born out of concern for the future of our sons and their friends who all have varying degrees of physical and severe learning disabilities,” said Lisa Welch.
Kim and Lisa decided to use their skills and experiences to provide a whole range of community based activities for people with severe learning difficulties. As a small service provider they are able to adapt and change their activities frequently according to the wants and needs of people attending.
“We wanted a safe place for their skills to be supported, encouraged and built on. We wanted somewhere that would personalize activities to suit their needs. We wanted somewhere that would always be there for them and for everyone needing this kind of service for many years to come. We wanted somewhere they would find enjoyable and that they could feel proud of being a part of. We wanted a place where they could achieve and keep believing that ‘they can’.” said co-founder Kim Barwell.
After considering a range of options Lisa, Kim and Sandra decided to set up their activities centre as a cooperative, where members are the people they support, and their relatives and unpaid carers. In this way they can ensure that the support they are providing to people is what they want. Members of the cooperative have voting rights and clear opportunities to influence and have a say in the way things are run.
“We offer a variety of different activities focusing on key areas such as life skills, social skills and recreational activities. Adults attending L.A.R.C Rise help with the shopping, the cooking, cleaning and menu planning as well as enjoying trips out, for example, we go bowling and eat out at cafes and restaurants.” Sandra Welch added.
People attending the centre can use personal budgets, direct payments or they can fund activities themselves. There are a whole range of activities on offer such as cooking, a pool table, crafts, computer activities, sensory roomand the centre provides a great place to meet other people in a social environment. In the future L.A.R.C Rise would like to have a hydrotherapy hot tub for people to come in and use.
You can find out more information about L.A.R.C Rise by contacting email@example.com