Working as part of the team at a special school and a fundraiser I have seen a variety of different experiences of the pandemic.

Many young people and their families and carers are extremely vulnerable. The support which surrounds these families in more normal times helps try to keep everyone safe and well looked after. From speech and language therapy to wheelchair services, respite care and days out to after school clubs and physiotherapy, careers guidance to volunteering in the community, the pandemic has had a knock on effect.

The opportunities have hugely diminished for the young people, with many families struggling financially and emotionally, young people scared and parents terrified that their child may get ill. When you have a child who has been in and out of hospital their whole life, who is supported by medication or through a whole team helping manage behaviour and mental wellbeing, to have that taken away has a massive impact on everyone’s wellbeing.

Three Ways staff have worked tirelessly to create a safe and secure learning environment, constantly adapting to the new requirements and investing in protective equipment. Working to include those at home shielding or isolating and producing even the Christmas Panto and shows via video links. Equipment, food and messages have been sent home and visits from giant parrots, Micky and Minnie have lifted spirits. It has not been easy juggling staggered start and finish times, staff absence and keeping to small bubbles to protect everyone but the enthusiasm and care for the young people is evident and we will continue to offer the best possible education and support to all the students.

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