Outstanding Activities participants Victoria Pembroke used Ladder to the Moon’s Event Generator (a creative tool shared on her most recent Development Day) to bring the Olympics to Pinehurst Care Centre.
Victoria was met with a degree of cynicism from staff at first:
“We can't get residents synchronised swimming!”
The tool initially supports dreaming – during which anything is possible! Once staff had realized what was expected, and relaxed, the ideas started to flow. And with it, that golden positive emotion: interest! Before long, Victoria’s colleagues were thoroughly investing in the process, contributing lots of ideas, researching on their mobiles… and every single Olympics event had been listed as a possibility.
A separate meeting was held to design the events: how could Pinehurst host Olympic events that could be participated in by everyone in the community? For example, reinventing Kayaking using a bat, which was moved from side to side, with strokes counted over a 20 seconds period. Staff, having been part of the initial dreaming process, brought items to create and support Olympic events.
Pinehurst held their own Olympics Opening Ceremony. Medal tables were put up in the home’s three separate houses. Games took place every day. And the ideas kept coming. Victoria was open to all ideas: when one colleague offered to bring in bunny rabbits, this was accepted - as an Olympic event!
“We can do anything. It’s really brought the team together. It’s generated lots of curiosity… Everyone is getting quite competitive.”
Volunteers were informed and asked “is there anything we can do?” These volunteers offer time every week and usually do the same set things each week - one does hoopla without fail. In week one of Rio 2016, she ran an Olympic Hoopla, playing her role as Olympic judge very seriously. Afterwards she asked “Can I do something different next week…?” She chose to run shot put!
The Tennis Finals were a seriously focused event. Bill, who sits in his chair with his eyes closed, rocks his chair gently. He doesn’t speak. The tennis racket was offered around the room as a savoring opportunity when it was offered to Bill, he opened his eyes and looked at racket! This was in itself a significant moment, but like many an Olympic moment, the surprise and joy didn’t stop there.
Staff put a ball on the end of the racket and Bill began bouncing ball. Bill pointed to the net, which had been set up in the centre of the room. Staff brought it to him and he hit the ball over the net. A child, visiting another resident, was invited to participate. The child was also given a racket.
Bill hit the ball over the net…
the child hit the ball back…
…and Bill burst into joyful tears.
Then Bill spoke: “I remembered".