Within Issue 84

“Local authorities should ensure adults with PMLD are able to take part in a wide range of meaningful activities, including employment, education and leisure activities.” 

Recommendation 25: Raising our Sights report [Mansell, 2010]

Leisure is not however something we can leave to statutory providers! Writing this editorial at a time of national turmoil and uncertainty, we are reminded again of just how important it is for all of us to find pleasure in the small things and use leisure time wisely to recharge our batteries. And that is just as important for those people with PMLD whom we love and support.

This issue provides a plethora of different approaches and ideas and we hope you enjoy reading and maybe trying out some of the ideas. Of course to be able to participate in many of the activities described in this issue, the provision of accessible Changing Places toilets is vital. In his article, Martin Jackaman invites us to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this important campaign. An outdoor theme has emerged from many of the contributions we received for this issue. Tanya Silvester shares the experience of horticulture at her school. Donna Wickens and her class take to the seas and Jo and Steve Baker describe a visit to the Calvert Trust. Flo Longhorn’s piece also takes up the seaside theme. Jill Davies and Ana Read provide us with a huge list of possible outdoor opportunities to explore.

Of course you don’t have to leave home to indulge in pleasurable leisure activities. Martin Goodwin introduces us to the addictive pleasures of Pinterest as a means of sourcing practical ideas. Sarah Hall gives us some creative tips for gaining pleasure using a product from your local supermarket.  Les Staves reminds us of the importance of starting with simple pleasures and the importance of looking for that all important smile. Bringing pleasure into people’s lives begins with knowing them really well, knowing what is important for them and managing resources. Lucy Dunstan’s report on Changing lives, Michael’s story from Martha Trust and Dreenagh Lyle’s account of managing her daughter’s individual budget will give readers food for thought.

Many of us turn to creative activities in our leisure time and so we have included some examples of where creativity brings joy into the lives of people with PMLD. The highly acclaimed Carousel project is described for us by Becky Loney. Andreia Silva and Jo Grace describe a sensory art project, Rosie Rushton takes us on a musical adventure and Jess Newcombe reminds us that many of our best leisure moments are shared with others. Joel Cahen introduces a highly innovative collaboration between sound and water. Stories are central to all of our lives. Maureen Philip brings us up to date with recent developments at PAMIS with multi-sensory story telling.  Emily Ward and her colleague tell us about their exploration of the Great North Wood and a humourous Pete Wells shares a healthy eating story which will surely bring a smile to the faces of many.

And we hope this issue will bring a smile to your face too and re-energise you to go and promote leisure and pleasure opportunities for the people with PMLD you know.