Quick Summary: An initiative to help volunteers and individuals with disabilities spend time with each other, to understand their hopes, values and aspirations, as well as identify their “hidden abilities”. In time, we hope to trigger a series of mini-projects that will celebrate and enrich each other’s lives.
Eureka moments can have a lasting impact on individuals. They represent moments when we are confronted with unexpected observations of a magnitude that can shock us; instances that throw our preconceived opinions into doubt and force us to think again. Some even say that Eureka moments are the vital stimuli for evolution of our human community!
Eureka moments need not just happen; we can create the space to foster them. That is exactly what MegaReach and Scope in Plymouth have dreamed up together, in the formation of an exciting project called The Eureka Concept – TEC. We intend to foster Eureka moments around the opinions on disability.
Starting from 25th October 2017, TEC will bring diverse individuals living with disability, multidisciplinary students and community volunteers together on successive Wednesday afternoons. Meeting in the user-friendly and informal environment of the Scope in Plymouth centre (at the heart of the city) the participants will spend time with each other to understand their hopes, values and aspirations, as well as identify their “hidden abilities”. We hope that, with time, such informal meetings will trigger a series of mini-projects that will celebrate and enrich each other’s lives.
As informal as it may sound, we are driven by important principles. We want TEC to create a community where:
Individuals will feel listened to and valued as individuals.
Professionals will understand that it is not necessarily someone’s impairment which determines their needs, priorities and wishes.
People living with disabilities will not be defined by their impairment.
Participants will come to recognise that there is a need for professionals to work together, placing patients at the centre of their care, in order to best understand the needs of individuals and to provide quality service and care.
The opportunity to meet real people affected by long-term conditions in a communal setting will help students appreciate that some of priorities and wishes of those living with disability may not always correspond to those defined by healthcare professionals.
Students of diverse professional disciplines will feel encouraged to share thoughts in a safe, open, honest and assessment-free environment, contributing to the building of new networks.
Students will find space to explore real concerns of persons affected by long terms conditions, and the strengths and limitations of their own professional roles in meeting such concerns.
Community volunteers will get opportunities to work with students to develop long-term sustainable collaborations for the wellbeing of individual persons, carers and families.
Individuals affected by long-term conditions, their carers and families will feel valued to work with student and community volunteers to plan and implement innovative projects for the wellbeing of all parties.
Above all, Eureka moments become the norm, not the exception, as we come to realise just how much we are all capable of celebrating life!
We are thrilled that some commercial organisations have already expressed an interest in collaborating with us. We also hope TEC in Plymouth will trigger a series of similar initiatives the world over. We would welcome advice and support from those with experience in similar initiatives and shall be happy to share our own experience as we develop them.
A message from the Leader of the TEC initiative . . .
Hi there, my name is Melissa Pirie. I joined Plymouth University in 2013 to study for a Human Biosciences degree, and loved the city so much that I decided to study medicine here on the path to becoming a neurosurgeon. I grew up in the South West, and am proud to call Plymouth my home.
After dabbling in a variety of voluntary roles at university and in the community, I met PG – the wonderful founder of MegaReach – and soon shared his vision of helping to create a more united and compassionate city. That’s why I am so excited to act as the student lead for The Eureka Concept!
MegaReach aims to break down the barriers between people on both a local scale and also across the globe, and The Eureka Concept focuses on bringing people from all backgrounds together in Plymouth. After all, what better place to start than right here, at home?'
Amy Gunther is the Team Coordinator for Scope in Plymouth . . .
I am very excited to be working in partnership with Mega Reach. Having supported disabled children and adults for the past ten years, through various care settings and through my work as a Dramatherapist, I can see how valuable the TEC project will be in helping health professionals to better understand the needs of patients; to consider the priorities they have and what is most important to them. It is also a great opportunity to highlight that there is potential for each of us to be disabled or enabled depending on the opportunities that are available to us. I am passionate about the social model of disability and contributing to the task of changing society so that disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.
I have been working with Scope for nearly 3 years now as manager of the Scope in Plymouth Day Service and am committed to Scope’s values of ‘Seeing the Person’, ‘Freedom to choose’, ‘not setting limits on potential’ and ensuring that individuals are placed at the centre of their support. I believe that there is a real need for services to work together with customers/patients, to consider their wishes more fully and to share knowledge and resources to ensure that individuals receive the best support possible. I am pleased that the TEC project is providing an opportunity for Scope customers to have their say and share with professionals the things that are important to them.