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Lapwing Radio Show Number Four: Easter edition by Lapwing Student Dan. Features interview with Sophy Jones (Lapwing Director), Footy Chat and What’s On.


Jed’s Story

Jed was referred to Lapwing in Autumn 2010. This was an unsettled time in Jed’s life as he was moving to a different residential home so that he would be closer to his parents. Lapwing staff began to work with Jed and the staff from his new residential home in March 2012.

In the words of Jed’s Lapwing learning mentor, “when I first started to work with Jed he was a very confused and scared young man who had little understanding of what were appropriate behaviours and ways to communicate his needs.” This confusion frequently resulted in Jed displaying anti-social, challenging behaviour such as hair pulling, kicking, spitting.  He often would not allow people to be in the same room as him without displaying challenging behaviours.   Jed was unable to access any community facilities because his high levels of anxiety in these situations resulted in challenging behaviour which was difficult to manage in the community. Jed was therefore very isolated.


Jed’s Lapwing Education Programme

Jed has no verbal communication. Lapwing identified the personnel and resources to introduce to Jed a meaningful communication system which involved photographs and symbols. This was introduced slowly with the support of staff who Jed trusted and with whom he felt comfortable.

Jed is an inquisitive young man who enjoys particular activities. Lapwing identified facilities and appropriate venues where Jed could develop skills in areas which interested him. These activities were cooking, gardening, and music. Throughout all these activities Jed was encouraged to use the photographic and symbol communication system to communicate choices. We prepared photographic and symbol schedules of the daily activities so that Jed could understand what he was going to do in advance.

Lapwing student Jed

Jed’s Lapwing Education Progress

The Lapwing Learning Mentor who has worked with Jed throughout his Lapwing programme says, “Jed is using his communication system to make choices for himself, giving him a feeling of control over his life and giving him a voice. This has allowed Jed to grow in confidence and display less challenging behaviours, allowing him to participate in activities and enjoy the company of others. He now enjoys working as part of a group.”

Jed has achieved AQA Unit Award accreditation for his achievements in cooking, gardening, communication and life skills. In the words of his keyworker from his residential home “Jed’s life skills have improved dramatically through the work he has done with Lapwing.” Jed is now able to access a variety of community resources such as swimming, bowling and the supermarket for a few selected items.

Lapwing student Jed

Jed is now able to use an iPad as a means of communication. He also uses an iPad as a means of entertainment which can reduce his anxiety in potentially stressful situations.

Jed Today and his Future Plans

Using his communication system Jed has told Lapwing staff he wants to start horseriding. This is being arranged and Jed will soon begin lessons. He will be doing an activity of his choosing, feeling confident because he is able to communicate more effectively and he knows people are listening to him. Jed recently went on his first holiday with his residential home, a highly successful trip that wouldn’t have been possibly before Jed gave to Lapwing due to the anxiety which led to his challenging behaviour.

Jed will continue to go shopping for items he needs.

Jed will continue to develop his cooking, horticulture and music skills within group situations.

Jed will develop a wider range of friends and social contacts and develop even more confidence.

Jed will become a content young man who is able to take his place within society with confidence and a true sense of belonging.

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In March 2013 Jed added 5 AQA Unit Awards to his portfolio!  Keep up the good work Jed.


Paige Clifford’s Inspirational Progress with Lapwing

Paige was first referred to Lapwing in March 2010, it was a month prior to her 17th birthday. Paige had been diagnosed with M.E. during 2008, she had tried to complete her GCSE courses but had found this very difficult because her unpredictable health. She had also suffered a close family bereavement, Paige was in a very low mood finding it hard to concentrate and motivate herself, although prior to her diagnosis with M.E. she had been predicted As and A*s in her GCSEs. When we were planning her Lapwing Programme  Paige said “I just want to be in control again, so I can have a stable routine and I hope a tutor will help me with this.”

Lapwing Student Paige's stunning cards on sale

The Lapwing Programme
Paige’s initial programme was designed to offer her 2 hours tuition per day to include GCSE Maths, History, AS English, Functional Skills ICT and Textiles. We quickly realised that this programme would be too demanding for Paige because of her high levels of fatigue. Paige really wanted to develop her textile skills. She decided she did not want to continue with GCSE subjects because she had previously prepared for them on two occasions and then not been well enough to sit the exam, which was stressful and disappointing. Paige was back in control of her education programme as was her wish. Lapwing arranged for a 1-1 textile tutor to work with Paige at home for short sessions twice a week. Textiles and crafts has become the core focus of Paige’s education programme during 2011 and 2012.

Lapwing student Paige experimenting with new techniques

Paige’s Progress
Throughout her Lapwing programme, Paige has been able to set her own pace. This has proved crucial to her recovery and development, enabling her to grow in confidence. She has made amazing progress with textiles and crafts and developed other related skills towards starting her own online business including: ICT, communication skills and presentation skills. When Paige started work with Lapwing in October 2011 she was able to work for 2 x 20 minute sessions per week. Each session had to have a 10 minute rest period as part of the session. In June 2012 she was consistently working with her textile tutor for 2 x 2 hour sessions per week and is now accessing 3 x 3 hour sessions a week.

Celebration Event 2012

Paige has decided she wants to pursue a career in textiles and fashion. She has designed and created a concept and brand, including logo design, slogans and products. She has expanded the brand to a further project aimed at raising money for a charity that she researched and chose. She has developed her own blog, and after designing a shop window display of her work and having a successful stand at the 2012 Lapwing Celebration event, has a range of craft items for sale in a high-end gift shop in Ipswich. She is now able to go out more often and is going to her first network meeting with Women in Rural Enterprise (WIRE) in December 2012, with a view to working with new contacts to gain business skills for working from home. Her aim is to have an exhibition of her work and to have her online business up and running by the time she leaves Lapwing in July 2013.

Paige LoveOne

The achievements of former Lapwing student Curtis Hearn in changing his life through learning were recognised with a Highly Commended certificate at the 2009 Big Skills Awards.

“Curtis’ learning story is an inspiration – he has learnt skills in horticulture and IT and has proved that given choices and opportunities, a person can develop beyond expectation.” Graeme Mac, BBC Radio Suffolk Presentor at the Awards

Curtis suffered brain damage in a road accident as a child resulting in severe learning disabilities and behavioural problems. During his three years with Lapwing, Curtis has made immense progress. He has learned to manage his behaviour, gained the confidence to take up swimming and snooker, and made friends through his regular horticultural work placement.

“On Mondays I do gardening. I grow beans and tomatoes. I water garden and get rid of weeds. I help on the apple trees and clear the leaves. It is great fun and you can eat what you grow!” Curtis, from his student diary, July 2009.

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