Last Updated: 18 October 2019
Created: 30 August 2019
I am very proud that in Swindon there are lots of organisations who share this passion and do amazing work to ensure that people with disabilities can be actively involved, developing a number of different skills. Last week I visited two such initiatives: The Salamander Project and Draycott Sports Camp.
The Salamander Project is a collaboration between the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group, which sees young people with Downs Syndrome participate in a five-day long course with local firefighters, police officers and paramedics.
The course aims to help develop confidence and self-esteem, build skills and have fun. Participants work as a team and learn firefighting skills such as abseiling, ladder climbing, search and rescue, first aid, road traffic collision rescue skills, and how to use real operational equipment.
At the end of the course there is a passing out parade and graduation for those taking part, which includes a demonstration of the skills they have learned – such as removing someone trapped in a car, as well as rescuing someone from a fire.
The course is the same as all the other similar courses run by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, teaching the same skills and putting the youngsters through exactly the same tasks.
I was delighted to see how much the youngsters from the Swindon Down’s Syndrome group enjoyed transforming into members of the emergency services, and how well they worked together.
I also visited Draycott Sports Camp – which runs over the holidays and provides a range of sporting activities for children to keep them active and entertained.
Among the children running around and enjoying themselves was Oscar, who has Down’s Syndrome, and two holes in his heart – for which he has a pacemaker in his abdomen. It was fantastic to see Oscar getting stuck in to the activities and running around with the other children.
Earlier in the summer I wrote about an inclusive football tournament I took part in hosted by Mencap. During the tournament I spoke to many young people with disabilities who wanted more opportunities to play sport in an inclusive setting alongside their disabled and non-disabled peers. It was fantastic to see this in practice at Draycott Sports Camp.
The Prime Minister announced a Queen’s Speech to be held on 14 October. For context, the current parliamentary session has lasted more than 340 days, the longest in over 350 days! This will allow us to bring forward a new bold and ambitious domestic legislative agenda – which focuses on helping the NHS, fighting crime, investing in science and cutting the cost of living.
There has been faux outrage from those seeking to thwart Brexit, as they wrongly think it limits their ability to do so. Next week they have an opportunity to bring down the Government in a No Confidence vote, then after the EU Summit on October 15th there will be an opportunity to debate and vote on any potential new Deal(s) and should that fail, they will be able to debate and vote on a No Deal before October 31st.
It is simple, we are getting on with delivering Brexit and getting on with Governing.