a weather forecast threatening downpours, the second
Stepping Out Carers’ Walk of the year at Hole Park, near
Tenterden, attracted another full-house of over 50
main lure was the woodland path which wound its way
through a carpet of blue and white, as bluebells and
wild garlic jockeyed for space beneath the trees.
a close second behind that annual attraction, was
getting together for another sociable mini-break and
introducing new friends to the gang.
and his mum, Margot, were first-timers who had
discovered the walks through the Involve Carers
Thomas, who dances with the renowned “In Step” modern
dance troupe, based at Brockhill, Hythe, enjoys his
activity a little more live wire but as Margot said:
“This was more for me. The opportunity to meet other
people somewhere lovely and relaxed.
“I think it’s great people getting
together to go for a walk, instead of sitting in front
of the TV or just doing nothing. Meeting
all those new people at once was a bit ‘WOWWW’ for
Thomas. He’s used to
going out with just me and the dog but he’ll get used to
it in time. It allowed
me the chance to take photographs – something I
love to do as a hobby.
“As with everything with my little
man, you just sow the seed and then wait for it to grow.
“I remember the first time I took
him to dancing. He hung
at the back and didn’t want to join in but now he’s the
life and soul of the dance floor. He
joined one group called “Confidance”, for people with
special needs, and was even headhunted for a mainstream
dance group because he’s so good.
I don’t know where he gets it
from. I dance like a
penguin. Sometimes he
says he doesn’t want to go to dance, but being his Mum I
tell him that you can’t let people down and once the
curtain goes up he’s there.
“He tells me: ‘When I’m dancing, I
forget all the horrible things.’ It’s a therapy. I’m so
glad we found it by accident.
other passion is football. That’s
been absolutely wonderful. I
help run it: ‘5-a-side Fun’. Sometimes
people come along to watch, point at one of the players
and say: ‘What’s wrong with him? What’s
his disability?’ I tell them, ‘They don’t have
disabilities, they’re just part of our group. It’s
more about what they have in common – playing
football – than what sets them apart. They’re
normal people with little additional things about them.
Thomas has needs – yes – to be loved, to be
nurtured, to be encouraged.
“We’ll come back on another
Stepping Out . It’s a pleasure for me. I’m a full-time
carer so when I can I like to immerse myself in a book,
or get lost in a piece of elaborate, colourful
cross-stitch or to disappear off with my camera.
I seem to have an eye that sees
totally different things to other people and those
bluebells were beautiful. That’s why I took a picture of
one on its own. Unique
in its own way. Like
The next Stepping Out Walk will be
at Goodnestone Park Gardens, Friday 25th May at 11am.
For more information/booking, contact: