Why you should be at the next GFNnotts hack

Written by Jill - co Founder of Pulp Friction

I was talking to a man at a party late on Saturday night, telling him how much I am looking forward to the upcoming Good For Nothing Hack on 27 September. This man knows quite a bit about PulpFriction, but at the end of our conversation he said

“well I didn’t know you did that”

.....and that got me thinking. If someone who knows us doesn’t know what we do, how will people who have never heard of us get to find out? And that is why the Good for Nothing, Nottingham hack is so important to us. We need your help to get our story out to people.

The story of Pulp Friction is also the story of all of the people who have engaged with us over the years. It’s the story of their friends, families and of their communities. We strongly believe that the people we work with have a contribution tomake to their local neighbourhoods, we have things to learn from you and you havethings to learn from us.

Let me tell you about one of our Project Members, let’s call her A.

In 2010 A saw Pulp Friction at her local youth club and asked if she could join. *A *came along to an event with her dad,who told us that she wanted to improve her self-confidence and get out more. At that time *A *didn’t go anywhere without her dad - he took and supported her everywhere, she didn’t feel confident crossing the road on her own, going shopping or talking to people.

For the next 3 months A and her dad came along to our events - she worked on the smoothie bikes and he stayed close by. Eventually A’s dad trusted us enough to let A come along to our events without him - so they both gained a little bit of valuable independence.

As we got to know eachother more, A’s dad, who was a very keen gardener, told me that, since the death of his wife, he had taken over as full-time support for A, didn’t get out much on his own and felt quite isolated. A day after this conversation Pulp Friction was approached by a local community allotment group - we could have a large plot to grow soft fruit for our smoothies; as long as we could transform the wilderness ourselves. I spoke to A’s *dad and as it was near to where they lived, he offered to take the project on with *A and her brother. They created a beautiful space for us to grow fruit, joined the allotment steering group and became a vital part of the allotment community. The whole family got involved in all aspects of the allotment life and A was taught by another volunteer to make pancakes - which are now her speciality on allotment open days.

A’s dad died quite suddenly 3 years ago, but the friendships she had developed down on the allotment meant that *A *wanted to continue to volunteer on the site. We arranged for members of the group to meet *A *and walk with her to the allotment site, each time encouraging her to walk a little further on her own. Fast tracking the story of *A *and the allotment, she makes her own way there, attends all the workshops,training and open days, she has got herself trained to do face painting and runs this activity on community days. She is a valued member of the team, attends committee meetings and represents thegroup at public events.

*A *is a member of the Pulp Friction inclusive choir - she has sung solo with us and has gained enough confidence in her own abilities to join a “mainstream” choir in her own neighbourhood. Turns out *A *is a talented artist - she now sells her work to raise funds for our choir, she has been commissioned to do artwork for her local town council, designed our 2013 Christmas card,displays and sells her work in Rumbletums Cafe, Kimberley and at The Tea Trolley in Nottingham. She loves crafting, learned to crochet this year and was part of a yarn-bombing group in Sherwood, she has learned to cook with the Pulp Friction Travelling Kitchen, has cooked alongside the “Cotswold Chef” representing Pulp Friction in London, she volunteers with Notts Clubs for Young People, she is good at IT and manages the facebook page of our choir, she has a wide network of friends, travels independently and is a completely different person to the timid 24 year old we met in 2010.

There is so much moreto A’s story and Pulp Friction has many more stories to tell.

We believe that giving the right support, and by raising the profile of people with learning disabilities within their own communities so much more can be achieved. *A *had all this latent potential inside her, what we at Pulp Friction do is create the right environment, programme and relationships for people to flourish and we want to grow so that we can do it for more people.......

Please join us at the GFN Hack on 27 September there are so many A. Mazing people whose lives you can enhance (and you’ll also get to pedal your own smoothie)!

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