Momentum Pathways Programme Takes To The Airwaves
The people who attend an Aberdeen-based brain injuries centre took to the airwaves recently to publicise the good work done by Momentum Skills in the city.
Momentum Skills’ Pathways vocational rehabilitation centre for people with an acquired brain injury, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund, was the subject of the Over the Rainbow magazine show on local community radio station Shmu FM.
Pathways is a project that supports individuals to move closer to employment, further education and other personal development opportunities.
Those attending the centre invested a lot of time in ensuring the show was a success – putting into action a lot of the skills that they are working to develop such as communication, team work, planning, organising, and, most importantly, self-confidence.
Liz Howarth, tutor with the Pathways programme, said: “For anyone it can be quite a daunting experience to take part in a radio show, but for our participants it took extra courage to go on air and talk openly about their experiences and the difficulties they have faced following their injuries.
“The hope is that their stories will be able to inspire others who may be in an earlier stage of rehabilitation following a brain injury. The aim is to let them know that they are not alone and that they can come to Momentum to get the support and help that they need when they are ready to go back to work.”
The weekly magazine radio show focuses on equality-related issues. Alan Parker, presenter, said: “This radio show provides a platform for equality matters and to demonstrate how local charity organisations and community groups make a difference to the lives of people in the Aberdeen area.
“It has been wonderful to hear some of the good news stories that are coming out of Momentum.”
One such story is that of Richard Stuart, who has been a Momentum client for ten months after being referred by his clinical neuropsychologist.
Richard had ambitions to be a barman when he first arrived at Pathways. As well as taking part in the courses delivered in the centre, Momentum arranged a placement for him at Aberdeen Arts Centre in order for him to gain experience and develop his skills and confidence. Richard is now in paid employment working behind a bar in Aberdeen casino.
Richard said: “At first I was a little bit worried about doing this radio show, but once you get in the studio, put on the headphones and get talking on the mike it is really good.
“Momentum has been a real catalyst in developing my confidence – a year ago I could never have imagined doing something like this”.
Two other people who attend Pathways, who took part in the radio show, also enjoyed the experience. Alistair McKechnie said: “I felt really good about doing this radio show. It has given us a chance tell everyone about the support we receive at Momentum and the work they are doing for us, and the more people that know about it the better.”
Mark Cannell added: “I have really enjoyed myself making this radio programme and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to promote the efforts that Momentum undertook for us all.”
Liz Howarth concluded: “Doing this show was also a real milestone in the journey to recovery. All of the people involved benefited in terms of their confidence, self-esteem and sense of achievement. This show was indicative of the energy and drive that people have in terms of their rehabilitation.”