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Oliver's story

Empowered Empowered

Meet Oliver...

Commitment and enthusiasm… that’s what 12 year-old Oliver brought to every session he attended during his time with our health team.

Initially starting on our Live It programme, Oliver was able to gain key skills that improved his fitness and lifestyle. LiveIT aims to do that for all children and families involved. Activities range from trampolining to smoothie making, gym sessions to BoxFit, providing education around fitness and nutrition in a fun and caring environment. The project improves confidence, self-esteem and makes sure everyone’s enjoying themselves along the way. 

Oliver was also an active participant on our Empower programme, which supports young people aged 11-12 to manage their psychological wellbeing and physical health.

With a wide range of activities across both programmes, Oliver was pleased he was able to do so much in the 12 months he’s spent with us so far. Oliver said ‘’ I have learnt how to stay healthy and took on food-related activities. We grew sunflowers, went laser quest and trampolining. I even got to hold the real-World Cup.’’

Oliver went on to say ‘’I was happy with everything that I have done here. The sunflower got big, and I even gave it a name… Wolfy. I got a prize for having the best sunflower. I have enjoyed it all. Dodgeball is another favourite because I can dodge and I’m good at throwing.’’

His autism has sometimes made it more challenging for him in social situations. Despite this, his mum has seen him come out of his shell with us, in ways that haven't been witnessed before. Oliver’s mum said ‘’They have taken Oliver as Oliver. If you ask him a direct question, he sometimes struggles to vocalise his answers. They took the time to get to know him and embrace him for who he is. That’s the driving force behind why he keeps coming back. He’s built friendships that is unheard of anywhere else. We hear a lot about Chelsea and Morgan (who run the sessions) at home, he loves talking about them and what they did on the day.’’

He was even able to express that he’s seen this change in himself too, saying ‘’I am more confident with people and more social… maybe more fit and healthier too.’’

Oliver’s confidence gained from Empower is growing by the week, which is something his family are pleased to see; ‘’ We are so proud of how far he’s come. Usually, we take him to groups, and he becomes unsure. But every week he comes here, he makes friends with the leaders and children, and he goes off and does things he doesn’t do anywhere else.

From learning how to brush their teeth properly, to working their magic in local allotments... participants like Oliver get stuck in on our LiveIt programme. His positive attitude is inspirational for others, which is why Oliver was given a special role at the allotment. His mum said ‘’ He was made allotment ambassador by the staff, which just gave him a sense of purpose and responsibility. He’s in charge of drawing up plans for a sensory garden in the allotment.’’

Oliver would recommend both programmes to anyone in Derby also looking to build personal skills, aiming to live healthier and happier lifestyle; ‘’I am glad I joined. I think anyone like me should join them too. If they struggle to make friends, they can help you here’’.

See more:
Live It



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