At long last we have moved our funds from North Bristol to Above & Beyond. Above & Beyond raises funds to make a real difference to patients and their families associated with the Central Bristol Hospitals. As the children's departments are all now situated in The Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, it seemed right to move with them.
Above & Beyond says "As the local hospitals’ charity supporting patients at Bristol’s city centre hospitals, our mission is to make a real difference to patients, their families and the staff who treat them. We fund state of the art equipment, innovative research, staff training and the creation of a welcoming positive environment for everyone from Bristol and the South West treated in our hospitals. Each year we invest in projects that go above and beyond what the NHS can provide. We aim make a difference to every patient and every condition. "
Bristol Training Day is back
Do you remember the very popular Frenchay Training Days run by the education staff on the Barbara Russell unit?
They helped a large number of families and schools to get alongside young people with ABI between 2003 and 2010.
They were aimed at the whole range of school-associated professionals, including teachers, head-teachers, SENCOs, TAs therapists and school nurses, as well as educational psychologists and others from local authorities involved in supporting those with SEN.
All of those who attended the Bristol training days were very positive, and pleased that they became an annual event so that colleagues would be able to receive the same input. We are, therefore, very pleased to announce that the next Bristol Training Day is to be held on Thursday 2nd July 2015 in The Vassall Centre, Fishponds Bristol.
Speakers are yet to be confirmed, and will be announced on the website as soon as we are able. As before, talks will cover the medical and psychological implications of ABI, teaching and learning issues and meeting classroom challenges.
We are aiming to raise £10000 during the year again to support the work we are able to do with young people their families and schools. The Merchant Venturers came come to our aid this summer with a grant for £2500 thanks to the suggestion of Chris Curling, a Merchant Venturer and Chairman of Governors for Merchants’ Primary Academy in Bristol.
Last year we monitored our fundraising on Just Giving and donors were able to boost their gifts with Gift Aid quickly and easily. Through Above & Beyond we are able to claim back Gift Aid, if you tell us that is what you want to do when you make your donation. However we will still keep open our Just Giving page at
SHIPS is very grateful to Helen Bales and Deborah and John-Paul Crossan for forgoing presents on their notable birthdays in favour of The SHIPS Project. Between them they raised £1800. Thank you very much.
July 2014 saw us setting up stalls on the playing fields at The Old Reds in Brislington. Jayne Watts and her family, who organized the whole thing, had planned well, raised funds to cover the essential outgoings and networked across facebook to advertise the Funday as widely as possible. Jackie Pomery coordinated an excellent cake and refreshment stall. The weather was not brilliant, but we set up the SHIPS stall with games, paintings to sell and the very popular yellow punch balloons. Hundreds of people turned up to enjoy the Funday and spend their money. A grand total of over £2000 pounds was raised and shared between OUCH UK and The SHIPS Project.
Our website has taken on a new look thanks to Mike Last and the folk at Mediatopia. We hope you like it. We need to say an even bigger 'Thank you' as they offered to do the work for nothing when they heard of the work we do and the lack of statutory funding.
We are grateful to Withy King for their sponsorship of the website again this year.
Learning Focus - The Challenge of Homework
Good homework starts by writing down enough information to know what to do. All our secondary schools provide diaries or planners but young people, especially those with ABI, have to be reminded to use them. Children do what you inspect not what you expect. With the agreement of your child you could start a routine of discussing homework when they arrive home and then helping them to plan their tasks. As pupils get older it is not considered cool to use a planner, some young people with ABI prefer to use a smart phone or tablet. In case the planner is not enough it is helpful to have the phone numbers of others in the same class so that they can ring and find out what to do. However, if the pupils are in sets, they may not be in the same groupings for every subject.
Helping with skills
It is sometimes difficult for parents to help with homework if they have not covered the same material in school. But you can ask the pupil to tell you what they remember, however small. Encourage them to remember where they were sitting, who was next to them, what was on the board, anything. This triggers memories and you can help them build up the picture. Failing that you may try looking back at previous examples, or notes they may have copied from the board, but you need to be aware that they may not understand what they have copied. The key is to get them to tell you in their own words what they understand and then build on that. Sometimes young people with ABI freeze in their thinking. Encourage your child to ask if they are stuck, rather than try to work it out for themselves. They will need help to keeping thinking with an open mind. Phrase your questions in a collaborative way e.g. ‘Now let’s see…… I wonder if…. What do we know about………What do you think…?’ Try to model how you would solve such a problem through speaking aloud your thought processes much more slowly than they are actually happening.
Projects and larger pieces of work
The key to all larger pieces of work is planning and monitoring. Parents can help:
- Talk with the young person about the topic in general, explore what resources you may have as a discussion.
- Encourage planning using mindmaps, frameworks, jotting ideas onto the computer to be extended later, or onto post it notes which are then screwed up and thrown out when that bit of the plan has been tackled.
- Help them to look for important points in what they are reading and retell what they know/what they have read in their own words. Allowing them to copy out chunks is not at all helpful.
- Help with monitoring if what they have written makes sense, is on topic and completes the task
For some after ABI, thinking about homework convinces them that they have done it. If this is true for your child, they cannot help it. If they agree, they could show you the work and you initial their planner. Giving it in can also be problematic. You may have to get a message to the teacher to ask for it, even if you know it is in your child’s bag.
It is also common only to complete half the task after ABI, even in exams. I have found that it helps if the pupil touches all parts of the task at the start, to see that they are there, and then at the end to make sure they are all done. The physical act of touching seems to help.
Be an advocate for your child
Teachers do not know your child as well as you do. If the child has found a task impossible, or it has taken a lot longer than expected, tell the teacher. Be specific about what was difficult, this will help the teacher plan the next steps. The teacher may also be able to dip into their store of experience and help you to help your child.