The Rescue Party

Life is full of special days. Nineteen years ago today was an extremely special day. It's the day that changed our course; taking us on an unexpected journey down roads not before travelled. It's a journey that has afforded us many contrasts, but has shaped us as a family. I like where we are at right now and although our journey continues the road these days is smoother and less meandering.

 

The above was my Facebook entry on my son's 19th Birthday.  It received 47 LIKES and 27 comments. The journey that I refer to in my post really isn't nearly as detailed as it should be because it is this journey that nearly broke us as a family.

 

There were times when what we needed wasn't just a temporary fix, we needed a holistic family approach that gave us hope and guided our navigation.  We needed someone to walk alongside us to help advocate and help us to find new and meaningful contacts for Rishard. This seemed an impossible request. Were we really asking too much?  Our family was falling apart at the seams and there was no visible escape route. Little did we  know that a rescue party had been despatched and things were about to change.

 

The change came in the form of becoming involved with Grapevine, since then Rishard has flourished. He has growing friendships, a purpose in life and a greater feeling of community. All of which have quashed his previous frustrations.  He is now part of a REAL community that cares and offers him opportunities.  Through Grapevine's focussed work he has developed new connections and new avenues to pursue; his involvement with Ego Theatre Company has been monumental. Performing alongside mainstream peers, being a member of the Ego Youth Management Team and building friendships have been invaluable experiences.  Added to this being invited to house parties, having the odd beer and chatting to girls has in Rishard's words been 'exciting.'

 

These connections are a vital part of building a network of support and opportunity.  If Grapevine's work was excluded from the equation the whole process would be so much more difficult.  They are a vital link when working with other professionals ensuring that the process is effective and doesn't break down.

 

As a family we are 'better connected' and no longer feeling isolated. Life continues to be full ofspecial days.

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