Carlos’s mum first came across Breaking the Barrier in the spring of 2017. We had moved to the area the year before. As soon as I saw surfing I thought yes, this is definitely something I want Carlos to do.
Over the past few years Breaking the Barrier has been one of the things that has formed a bedrock of our activities, the sporty, physical side of Carlos’ life.
It is the atmosphere that is created at the events that is so special. You don’t have to worry about the behaviour of your child because everything is OK, whatever happens. Carlos does not have significant behavioural challenges but he can make quite loud noises that can be unexpected if you don’t know him. What is so amazing at the Lifeworks events is that this is all just normal life, it is just totally accepted and handled really well. Not just by the Lifeworks team but also by the volunteers. There is something clearly very special about the way the Community Projects team works with its volunteers. This is not easy to do and they manage it amazingly.
We are often late for surfing at Bigbury – because it always takes longer to get there than we expect! And it is such a relief when you get there, that it is ok. For lots of families it can be a real achievement to just get someone on time but everything is ok, it is made to work. You feel like you can relax as someone else is taking the strain for a little while, that’s very meaningful and significant. You also know that your child is safe and accepted and valued, that’s really special.
Another great thing about the events is that you meet other parents, it’s like a club really. I see certain people at the events that I don’t at other times. There is a feeling of a shared experience. For me personally I have got more involved with Lifeworks which has been fantastic and beneficial. Led by my daughter, the whole family has also done some fundraising and the donations collected at my father’s funeral all came to Lifeworks. Being involved in these ways is very important to me.
We see how much Carlos is enjoying it. He really enjoys being part of a group and with peers who recognise him and accept him. You just see it – you can just see that he is having a good time. We can’t wait to get back to the Velopark.
Our kids can do so much. We can forget that sometimes. With the right support, in the right environment so much can happen.
By Kevin Burchell
Breaking the Barrier is on hold due to Covid19. For anyone wishing to get active and take on a personal Breaking the Barrier Challenge we are inviting you to participate in the the Stamina Challenge. Please visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/BtB2020 or email [email protected] for more info.