This weekend our Bubbles were at the BEST most fabulous event.
Parallel Windsor, the most heartwarming, inspiring, fun, moving event. If you don’t know it - have a google and do book for next year!
It’s an event that properly celebrates inclusivity. Parallel is about removing barriers, and enabling ‘no-limits living’, a phrase and an ambition that we absolutely love.
It’s not just that it is an event about inclusivity either. More, it is a celebration of exactly that disability, the special differences that make people their unique selves.
It’s so powerful - people coming together, sharing time, acceptance, swapping stories, tips, strength. It felt that for that day there was like a superpower, a force field created by this togetherness, the shared experience which is often in day to day life can be about isolation.
At Parallel no one is alone. No melt down is a subject of stares, no difference is strange. Rather there is space for everyone, everywhere smiles and laughter, conversations about the mundane, and specific techniques, new tech, sport, cool sunglasses.
Throughout the day there were loads of challenges - 10K, 5K etc events - including an innovative ‘Super Sensory 1K’ featuring a sunflower wall AND of course our Bubbles.
Throughout the afternoon the whole field was filled with Coconut scented Bubbles - and I kept hearing comments about the scent, about how fresh the Bubbles felt when they popped - how the Bubbles were a highlight. Such a sensory experience. And I was moved.
So many times I was moved to tears. Meeting a child due for major surgery next week, a smile on her face, hiding a bravery few of us would have. The nurse, one of only three in the whole of the UK who goes to work every day using a wheelchair. The parent who has adopted a child with complex needs, having fostered several life-limited children before, all of whom have passed away showered with her love.
So so many powerful stories. It’s inspirational.
There is such strength in this togetherness, in this common understanding. Each conversation, each activity really embodies that ‘living life without limits’, that encouragement every person deserves.
As I left the field, this microcosm of acceptance, as everyone drifted away, dispersing to far corners of the UK, I reflected on the power of such events. For one day everyone belonged. Everyone was welcome. Everyone was more than able. And I left wanting more.
I am absolutely honoured that our Dr Zigs Bubbles get to play a part in such events. Thrilled that the little girl who would be operated on at Great Ormond Street would find Dr Zigs in the play room there, overjoyed to hear from carers, teachers who already use our Bubbles , and knowing that our Bubbles are already in several of the hospices up and down the country. That this ‘therapy’, sensory play part of our Bubbles is something that is enjoyed by so many.
I am incredibly grateful.
Thank you so much for having us @Parallel Windsor and especially thanks to Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, and to the inspirational Joanna Grace from the Sensory Projects. You can read more about each of them here:
ps. Creating an event that is inclusive is really sooo easy - this was just a space in a beautiful field with a bit of extra thought put into different abilities, disabilities - access for wheelchair, thoughtful sensory spaces, targeted activities. None of it is rocket science. And this event shows how easy it can be, and how a little common sense, thought and planning can make SUCH an important difference. Considering that figures suggest 1 in 5 of us has some form of disability, it really should be the norm…