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‘Looks Aren’t Everything!’


On Thursday 14th November 2013, the FCRT hosted a ‘Looks Aren’t Everything!’ event to raise awareness of the difficulty of having a Learning Disability…when others cannot tell that a disability maybe causing problems with communication…The issue of ‘invisible’ disabilities.

Appreciation to Community First New Forest, who provided a grant to enable this event to take place, providing a learning opportunity for those with and without specific disabilities; we shared the need to think about how many friends each of us had with or without a Learning Difficulty.

During Jennifer Dixon-Clegg’s introduction, a current 3rd Year FETH Course student, gave an insightful revelation of her personal experience, having a physically disabled sibling and the issues that arise for her when others assume it is only he that needs support, when she needs help! Sarah’s aim is to get pictures on restaurant menus to make ordering possible for non readers… Sarah spoke of being ‘side lined’ when out with her brother, as people do not take the same time with her, as they automatically assume she has no disability…Sarah’s disability is ‘invisible’ to them…

The audience was informed and encouraged by practical, relevant and visual presentations by Sergeant Louise Hubble, local Hampshire Constabulary Country Watch Officer and Pauline McWilliams, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Hampshire. Louise demonstrated that looks are sometimes everything and Pauline shared information about the invaluable Hampshire ‘Making Money Matter’ booklet and DVD. 

After a short break, Blue Apple Theatre (www.blueappletheatre.hampshire.org.uk) performed ‘Living Without Fear’; it was a  truly thought provoking performance, which highlighted so many topical issues, in a way that gave us all a clear sense of the feelings and needs of so many. A big thank you to the cast of Blue Apple Theatre and to the audience, so obviously committed to a greater understanding of ‘invisible’ disability and to spreading the knowledge. In the summing up, it was agreed that looks don’t necessarily give us a true picture and that it is sometimes what is not said that does not tell us the whole story!






The FCRT is not about giving people the opportunity to look after and ride horses in itself... it is no ordinary riding school! The activities involved with caring for and riding horses form the basis of successful teaching and learning for young people who have not made progress in traditional education. Tasks and attitudes learnt through horses are then transferred to greater understanding of literacy, numeracy, communication, money management, independent travel and other key life skills.

If you haven’t already been to visit the FCRT to see the work in action please arrange to come and see us when you can; you are most welcome. Everyone involved in the FCRT very much appreciates the invaluable support of our local community.



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