Meet Morgan Lidster Morgan began his journey with the BRF when he joined at 7 years old. At the time the Inclusion sports club was ran through BANES at the Bath sports centre as a funded programme and BRF delivered the session to the participants. Through his involvement he began building a relationship with the BRF coaches (Caryl & Becks) and Herman Miller volunteers. Morgan has continued to be involved with the BRF and is now a regular member of several Hi5! Sessions. What made Morgan come onto the Foundation programme? From being part of the BRF activities it has opened the doors and offered opportunities Morgan was not aware of before. The opportunity to take part in a safe and comfortable environment where he can develop new skills both physically and socially. Morgan went to a mainstream school (St Mark’s) where he found it difficult to join in and play games with the other boys and girls. Due to his lack of confidence both socially and physically he found it difficult to join in with highly competitive classmates. As he got older others began to become less sympathetic resulting in Morgan being overlooked and feeling isolated. The inclusive nature of the BRF programme enables Morgan to feel comfortable, be accepted for who he is and not feel pressure from others. How has the Foundation programme helped Morgan? Morgan started his journey with BRF with very low confidence and extremely shy. Morgan did not enjoy team sports and mum had to stay throughout sessions. Through encouragement, success and friendship Morgan has been able to not only build his confidence but be aware he doing so. Naturally quite quiet by Morgan feeling included it has brought him out of his shell. Not going to school with any Hi5! Participants has meant Morgan has always had to make brand new friends and meet new people in unfamiliar conditions. Listening to instructions from not just parents or teachers he is comfortable with Morgan has made a big step. Learning the skill of listening to new people is really important and a massive step for young people with special needs. So this is not only a great learning success for Morgan but allows the parents to feel relief. Knowing that their child is safe and supported whilst parents can have a break. Before it was an anxious time leaving Morgan not being sure how he would settle, but now both we and Morgan know he is in good hands. What was life like for Morgan before the programme, and how is it different now? Morgan was a boy that really wanted to be involved, join in with games and give everything a go. But found it difficult to find his space both physically and socially with peers. Due to meeting other friends on the Hi5! programme and building relationships with BRF coaches in a safe and secure environment. Morgan has gone from strength to strength and is now at the point where he feels confident enough to join in with conversations, give his opinions, be silly, makes jokes and enjoy friendly competition. Another benefit from the involvement in the Hi5! programmes, is that the parents have been able to form friendship/support networks that enable the groups of parents to stay connected. We have been able to help and be helped by other parents around childcare, by making friends we can talk and share experiences about our children. As well as help each other in a more practical sense with giving lifts and drop off/pick up from sessions. BRF has made us feel supported both for Morgan as a participant and as a parent to feel comfortable leaving our children in great care knowing they happy. What challenges has Morgan faced in the past? How does he feel about them now? Morgan found it difficult to play in a team and try new sports as he felt others would exclude him. All of what the BRF does is make Morgan feel included and has changed his whole perspective on what he can do. Not a naturally competitive boy Morgan now feels that trying new sports is a good thing. And that talking to participants at Hi5!, that he now considers friends a fun thing to do. What are the key things the young person has learnt on the programme? Morgan has taken huge confidence in trying new sports and having lots of success. He has learnt that trying new sports and being involved in new experiences is a good thing! Hi5! Golf has given Morgan a taste of a sport that he never thought he would have liked but now finds himself looking forward to the next session. Hi5! Fitness was something Morgan thought would be boring but once he tried it, joining in with friends and following the BRF coaches who he really likes it has become enjoyable and is a great way to keep Morgan active. Morgan has become more socially aware and now understands events that occur outside the Hi5! bubble. By coming to Hi5! Sessions and enjoying them, he has in turn found an interest in the coach’s lives. Morgan will then watch a rugby game and follow up on conversations and then check back in which is fantastic. Morgan had to put a lot of extra effort in to overcome being the new person he felt. Not going to school with anyone it made him feel on the outside of the group but being involved in BRF Hi5! programmes it has been perfect to show Morgan how to be part of a social group, how to have fun and make friends. These are skills he has learnt from taking part in BRF sessions.