5 Ways Stagecoach Performing Arts School Has Helped Me In Everyday Life

I started going to Stagecoach Performing Arts School about 3 years ago. I remember going to just watch some lessons they did with my mum before I had my taster days to see if I liked the environment I also got to meet the teachers. I went to see their Christmas Production so I could see the types of things I would do for a show. This really helped me to lower my anxiety; I would highly recommend doing this if you have anxiety. I enjoyed my taster days so much everyone was so friendly and kind.

Looking back on my journey with being a Stagecoach student I thought I would share with you some ways Stagecoach has helped me on a daily basis.

1. Stagecoach has helped me to not to be as scared about trying something new when you don’t know anyone there. When I joined Stagecoach I didn’t know anyone else but by doing something where I didn’t know others it helped me to be more confident about trying new things.

2. Stagecoach has helped me to socialise with people of all ages as well as helping me to talk to new people. When I first started going to Stagecoach I was very shy but now I have lots of friends and I am now more confident when talking to others.

3. By doing productions in front of quite a big audience I have built up my confidence when talking in front of my class when I had to do a presentation for my course work. At Stagecoach we work on projection and speaking clearly so people can hear us better this has also helped me when doing presentations in front of an audience.

4. By joining Stagecoach I have built up on my team working skills as we do a lot of group work. We are given a task to do then in groups we come up with ideas and who’s playing which roles etc.

5. When we are rehearsing for a production we are doing; we may need to do research for the show. For example I may do some research on the character I am playing or I may research about the time the production is set for example the production maybe set in Victorian London. By doing this I have found it easier to read around a topic I maybe doing for some college coursework .

My Experience Volunteering In A Charity Shop

I’ve been volunteering at a charity shop for a while now and I thought I would share with you my experience. I first started to volunteer at the charity shop as I wanted to find a work experience placement with college. I wanted to learn new skills and gain more experience in the working environment. I am known as a Retail Volunteer as I volunteer in one of the charities shops.

I volunteer at the shop once a week for a couple of hours. At the shop I do lots of different tasks both with customers and in the stock room. To begin with I might help sort through lots of the donations we have been given; I go through each bag making sure we only price items which are in good condition. The donations we get range from clothes to books, accessories and lots more.

I will then go through all of the clothing items we can sell and put each one on a clothing hanger and put the correct sizing cube on each hanger too. I make sure that each item is priced before putting each item out on the shop floor.

Another job I do is stock rotation this is were we bring stock from the shop floor back into the stock room to create more space for more recent items to be put out.

I sometimes may research the donations the shop gets so that we can tell customers more about the product for example old books or cameras.

To begin with I helped to make the shops window displays. I now create some of the window displays by myself . We base each window display design on a theme for example orange and gold or we might do a window display based around a current event like the World Cup or a season like the Christmas season.

When making the window displays I first try and find a main item or piece of clothing that stands out to me I then work with other items to create the feel and look I want the display to have .

Here I am finding clothes for my window display design I am also dressing the mannequin in the clothing I have chosen.

One of the very first window displays I created was based on the colours orange, cream and gold. This was because I had found a lovely orange dress I wanted to put into the window I then found cream and gold items that worked really well with the orange.

When creating window displays I not only have to find clothing for the mannequins but also accessories to go with the items of clothing. For example jewellery, shoes and belts.

I also make bric a brac window displays. This could be making a window display for a up coming sport event like Wimbledon. To create a window display based on this theme I may use tennis balls and tennis rackets with tennis shoes. I may also add some books about the sport into the display.

Here is a window display design I am starting to make based around Wimbledon 2018.

I made a window display based around The World Cup 2018.

Here are some photos of my window display based around The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I steamed a wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses as well as finding bric a brac items for the display too.

Lastly I have just recently started serving customers at the till independently!

I would definitely recommend volunteering at a charity shop if you are interested in working in retail or you want to work in the fashion industry . I also think you would enjoy volunteering in a charity shop enjoy if you like being creative and love fashion.

Riding For The Disabled Association: Helping To Train Billy

Billy is a young pony that loves to look around and be the first one to know what’s going on. He is a very sweet curious boy. I love riding him ; I fell in love with riding him the first ever lesson we had together. There’s nothing quite like the bond between a pony and its rider.

Recently I was riding Billy in one of my lessons when we went out on a hack in the woods . Riding him now made me think about how far he has come from being the new little boy at the stables. I remember when I first started to ride him last year helping with his training. I helped him learn the ropes of working as an RDA pony.

In the beginning I worked with Billy a lot to try and improve his focus so that he didn’t look out of the riding school as much. He is now so much better but he wouldn’t be him if he wasn’t just a little bit nosey. Billy and I have done lots of work together practicing 10 metre circles, doing loops and going in and out of cones. I then started to put halts in to make sure he was listening to me but also to keep him interested and engaged in lessons.

When I go horse riding I do have a lead helper however sometimes I do go off the lead rope. Billy and I have done a couple of loops of the riding school off the lead rope together. I have worked with Billy to make sure he stays on the track and goes into the corners. As well as being able to change of rein in the school with other horses and ponies in the school too without him getting distracted or confused or putting his ears back to to the other ponies and horses.

I’m so proud of Billy and how far he has come. He is now able to be ridden by lots more people. He still sometimes forgets to lift up his feet. I love seeing him learn new things. I love that more people get to ride him now; this fills me with joy knowing that others will love and enjoy riding him too. He is definitely a brilliant and sweet addition to the RDA family!

I can’t wait to ride him again soon and too see what he achieves in years to come !

YOOCAN : A Supportive Online Community For The Disabled

I remember when I first found out about this online community through Instagram. On Instagram they share stories of many different disabled people from around the world. When I looked at the website a big smile grew across my face. This was because I found a place where disability was embraced and not laughed at.

YOOCAN is an online community where people with disabilities from all over the world can share empowering stories about living life with a disability. Here people write about many topics for example they might do a product recommendation . Or write about what it is like to travel with a disability. Another topic I love to read from is all about other people’s hobbies.

I can’t say how many stories I have read about covering so many different topics . When reading others stories and experiences I feel that I am not alone. I also feel that others get it and understand. It’s a great way to get tips and tricks on things I may find hard to do such as cooking. I have got some good fashion styling tips as well. For example when I wore a splint at school I was bullied for this and wearing one made me feel very self conscious. I didn’t like showing it so wore trousers quite a lot even in summer.Kids bullied me because I couldn’t wear girls and women’s shoes I had to wear boys shoes as my splint made my shoe size bigger etc . By reading other people’s stories I realised that I wasn’t alone in feeling self conscious and being bullied for wearing a splint. Reading others experiences made me feel that I was not a freak. I felt like a freak a lot of the time at school as that was one of things other kids called me.

One of the big reasons I love YOOCAN is how people write about their stories and their experiences they have had in a positive way but also keeping it real.

Being part of this community definitely helps me with my confidence and self esteem as I can also write about my experiences, I find I can really relate to others with thoughts about being a disabled young adult on topics such as having to need more support than others my age. Or when my friends wear high heels but I have to wear flats. Just the simple small day to day things that you wouldn’t really think about or notice.

Lastly I think YOOCAN slogan “do anything” is so positive and sends a very powerful message to everyone. Just because someone has a disability that doesn’t mean they don’t have ambitions and dreams. It doesn’t matter who you are your dreams can come true !

Website: https://yoocanfind.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoocandoanything/?hl=en

My 19 Goals for 2019

 

Happy New Year to you all , I can’t believe it’s 2019 already!

As it is the beginning of the year I thought I would share with you 19 goals I have for 2019. Here they are :

1. Surround myself more with the people who make me feel more positive and happy.

( Photo Source: Pinterest)

 

 

2. Know that it is ok to say no

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( Photo Source: Pinterest)

 

3. Try new recipes

(Photo Source: Free Canva Photos)

 

4. Get better at budgeting

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5. Read or listen to more books, magazines, radio programs and podcasts

( Photo Source Free Canva Photo )

 

6. Post regularly on my defeatingdisability Twitter Page

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7. Join a gym and go swimming more

( Photo Source: Pinterest)

 

8. Do my own photography projects

 

9. Experiment and try out new makeup looks

 

10. Create myself a blogging schedule so that I am more organised and can upload more content for you all to read.

( Photo Source: Free Canva Photo)

 

11. Get back into doing different types of journaling for example art journaling

 

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( Photo Source: Free Canva Photo)

12. Do more volunteering

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13. Create myself little reminders of things I could do for my own self love and self care.

( Photo Source: Instagram- @blessingmanifesting , go check out her page to find other self care ideas. )

 

14. Don’t be afraid to try new things and give things a go.

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15.Build up my body confidence

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16. Embrace my curly hair more

 

17. Learn more about how to care for a range of different animals

 

18. Try not to focus on the past but look towards the future more

( Photo Source : Pinterest )

 

19. Write down my achievements however big or small, so I can look at them when I feel down .

( Photo Source : Pinterest)

I would love to know what your 2019 goals are, you can comment below . Or send me a message on any other defeatingdisability social media pages .

I wish you all a very happy new year full of love, happiness, laughter and adventure!

My 2018 Achievements

What a year it has been full of it’s ups and downs, highs and lows and everything in between. To celebrate the year I have had, I thought I would share with you some of my most happiest and proudest achievements of 2018. These achievements have made me have one of the biggest smiles on my face and they have helped me to get through those not so good days.

1. This year I have started volunteering as a Retail Volunteer at a charity shop. I have made quite a few of my own window displays. I have now started to serve customers at the till by myself.

2. This year I have started to volunteer at a farm as an Animal Care Volunteer. I enjoy looking after all the animals as well as learning more about how to care for them all.

3.  This year I have  joined The Theatre Shed as a Youth Theatre Student. This year for Christmas we did a Production of The Snow Queen I played one of the three Gerda’s.

4. At the beginning of this year I did work experience at a theatre as an Evening Theatre Usher for the Stage Production of The Jungle Book.

5. This year was the year I started this blog !

6. I have just started to learn British Sign Language, I can’t wait to keep learning more next year .

7. On the 1st July 2018 I took part in the Stagecoach World Record Attempt. We did this to celebrate Stagecoach’s 30 Years Anniversary. The World Record we are attempting to break is for the largest simultaneous performance of one show. The production we did was Beauty and The Beast. We are still waiting to find out if we have set a new world record.

8. This year at the Riding for the Disabled Group I go to I helped to train a new member of the family a pony called Billy. I absolutely loved doing this because now other RDA riders can have the joy of riding him!

9. I helped my local Recovery College as a Social Media Volunteer for a few months. I found and posted inspirational quotes and some photos of students fabulous work.

10. I gave supported living the best go I could even though it did not work out.

The Joy Of Baking

From a young age I have loved baking especially with my mum. As a young child I found it magical to see how the cakes in the oven would change and get bigger and bigger. Or seeing how the biscuits got all golden ; not forgetting the wonderful smells they created coming from the oven.

My mum used to come into my primary and do cookery lessons, we learnt how to make lots of different things from cheese scones, jam tarts and marble cake to name a few.

A few years ago I went into a mental health hospital for a couple of weeks. I had 1:1 sessions with the occupational therapist (OT for short). The OT and I had quite a few sessions together baking. We would bake party food together such as cupcakes , biscuits and brownies. I would make party food because when someone was due to leave the ward we would have a little leaving party for them. I enjoyed doing baking activities whilst in hospital as it helped me with my anxiety as I started to feel more comfortable around others. I found by baking it helped me to talk to others and start conversations. People would ask me questions like ” what recipe book did you use?”Or ” how much chocolate did you use ? “. From just these few questions the conversations I was having grew and before I knew it I had made new friends. I loved seeing others enjoying my baking!

Last year at college I did baking sessions to build up my independent living skills. I would make all the recipes from scratch and my 1:1 helper would help me to make each recipe. I made things such as Victoria Sponge Cake, Black Forest Gateau Cake and Pineapple Upside Down Cake. At college before I made anything I would go on the computer and look at a supermarket website to see how much the ingredients cost and how much I would be spending to make each recipe. I would then go to that supermarket and buy the ingredients I needed.

Chocolate Fridge Cake

Baking doesn’t just make me feel happy, it helps me build up lots of different skills:

Baking helps me to improve my maths as I have to weigh each ingredient correctly to make sure the recipe turns out right . I also need to make sure the oven is on the correct heat and I have to manage my time efficiently because my baking needs to be done and cooked properly before the end of the day.

Sometimes when baking I will need to rub butter into the flour with my finger tips to make a crumble type mixture, by doing this with my hands I am building up my hand strength; I need to make sure I am building up my strength as I am weaker on one side of my body due to my disability.

I find following recipe instructions sometimes difficult to understand so by trying out new recipes I am not only building up on my reading skills but I start to understand the sequence of the instructions.

At college I enjoyed baking things for when we did cake sales . We raise money for Children in Need, Comic Relief and local charities that helped disabled people and their families.

Bryony Bakes: Tanya Burr’s Iced Spiced Scones

At Christmas time I love to bake with my mum. Filling the kitchen with all smells that scream the Christmas Season to the smells of cinnamon to dried orange.

This year I tried out a new recipe from Tanya Burr’s new book TANYA’S Christmas. I loved how these scones turned out , however  I put my own twist on the recipe so I thought I would share it with you.





Makes 12 Small Scones/ 8 Big Scones

if you would like quite big scones you will need 5cm round pastry cutter

Cooking Time 15 Minutes

Ingredients

250g self-raising flour ,plus extra for dusting

1tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

lemon zest or orange zest

40g unsalted butter softened

30g golden caster sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

125ml milk, plus extra for brushing

For the glaze:

3-4 tbsp lemon juice

150g icing sugar , sifted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C / 400 F / Gas Mark 6. Then line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder,spices and lemon or orange zest in a bowl. Add the butter, using your fingertips work the butter into the flour until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Then stir in  the sugar.
  3. Add the lightly beaten egg into the flour mixture then add the milk; little by little not all at once. You might not need to add all the milk. You just need  enough for your dough to be soft and sticky.
  4. Dust your work surface with a little bit of flour. Put the dough out onto the floured surface. Using your hands pat it into a nice flat disc shape. Roll it gentle a few times to flattered  it to a thickness of 2-3 cm.
  5. Using your pastry cutter; cut out your circles and place them on the baking tray. Repeat this making sure when you need to bring the dough back together you knead it lightly, before patting it into a disc to cut out more circles.
  6. Brush the tops of each scone with milk and pop into the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the scones are golden.
  7.  Whilst the scones bake, prepare the glaze by stirring the lemon juice into the icing sugar a little at a time until you have a smooth runny mixture. You could add lemon or orange zest into the glaze.
  8. Remove the scones from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely . Pour the smooth runny glaze over the tops and allow them to set. You could just enjoy them whilst the glaze just put on them.
  9. Enjoy !

Bryony Bakes: Christmas Spiced Brownie Cake Recipe

Ingredients

150g Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped.

150g Unsalted Butter.

3 Large Eggs.

125g Caster Sugar.

1tsp Vanilla Extract.

Zest of 1 Clementine.

1 tbsp Orange Juice.

3 tbsp Red Wine.

1/4 tsp Ground Mixed Spices.

100g Plain Flour.

1/4 tsp Baking Powder.

For The Decoration.

A Couple Of Rows Of White Chocolate From The Chocolate Bar.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180*C, Fan160*C, Gas 4 and line the base of a round 24cm-diameter springform tin.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of gentle simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. You could gently melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave at a low setting; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl whisk the eggs , caster sugar and vanilla extract. Then add in the clementine zest , orange juice , red wine and ground mixed spice whisk till just combined. In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs and mix until combined and smooth. Then fold in the flour mixture until combined making sure no flour is visible.

4. Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until set on top but still a little bit gooey inside. Leave to cool in the tin.

5. Whilst the cake is cooling, melt the white chocolate on a low heat in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Once melted stir the chocolate to help get rid of any lumps. Once the cake is completely cooled, take the cake out of the tin and drizzled the white chocolate all over the top of the cake.

6. Enjoy !

Creativity And Mental Health

I have always loved being creative, I have found that doing creative activities helps me to express, understand and process my thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Creativity plays a big part of my mental health recovery journey in lots of different ways. Here are just a few ways creative activities help me with my mental health.

I used to go to a Mental Health Recovery College. Here I did group workshops on creative activities such as glass painting, pottery and scrapbooking. I enjoyed doing these as I was able to express myself. I felt safe as I knew others would understand if my day wasn’t going so well. By doing creative activities I was able to let go of my worries for a bit. I could just have some fun and feel like my life wasn’t just about going to doctors appointments all the time.

One of the things I love about doing something creativity is their is no right or wrong. It helps me to try and relax , sometimes it relaxes me so much I feel I can start to tell people how I actually feel I have found it has also helped me to develop my trust in others.

To begin with I found pottery very difficult but as time went on I found I started to like it more and more. It helped me to ground myself as I was really having to work with the clay in my hands. I found doing the pottery very tactical this helped me to stay in the here and now.

I enjoyed using different tools such as a garlic press to add texture to my work. I now find that having different textures in the pottery is useful when having to really focus on the here and now. As I touch different textures on the pottery such as smooth and rough indents in the pottery.

I love doing scrapbooking I did do a little bit as a child. I enjoy having a book that I have made using lots of different photos and pictures I like. I enjoy building up on the pages by adding things like ribbon, stickers and wrapping paper to name a few. When I am sad I find looking at my scrapbook a good resource to use as it helps me get a smile on my face. It’s really lovely to have photos in my scrapbook too as this reminds me of many happy memories.

Printing is another thing I like to do sometimes I might use a print I have done as a background and build on top of it. Sometimes I may layer prints on top of other work. I may use paint, ink, stamps, feathers and bubble wrap to make different patterns and marks.

I have done some decopatching on glass. Here I have used an old glass and covered it in a light pink and orange glass paint. I have a few layers of paint dapped on using a sponge to build up the colour. I have then stuck lace to the glass and covered the lace in paint. I have then added beads and hessian material to the glass rim.

On this glass I have put strips of pink, red and orange tissue paper all over the glass. I have then added pink powder around the rim of the glass I put pink ribbon on the glass too. I find these make lovely presents to give to someone. You could put a little fake tea light or fairy lights in the glass too and see the glass all lit up !

I would love to know what creative things you like doing. You could leave a comment or send me a message on Instagram .