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Educating young people who are blind or vision impaired

“If you work hard, you will get something big out of it!”

Year 13 student Jack joined NCW in September 2014, and has been on a real journey in his time at college – growing in such confidence and independence.

Back in 2010, Jack suffered from a brain tumour which was removed surgically. Soon after the operation, Jack sadly developed meningitis and wasn’t given much hope for the future from his consultants in terms of being able to stand and walk again. The after effects of the surgery has had an impact on Jack’s sight as well as his balance and strength, and he therefore uses a wheelchair to be able to get around. However, this has certainly not stopped him or his determination!

Since being at NCW, Jack meets regularly with on-site Sports Therapist, Pete. He has two one-hour sessions per week, in which Pete works meticulously with Jack on various exercises to strengthen muscle groups and improve his balance. Their work is very much based around different challenges which Jack loves to work towards and achieve.
A short-term goal that Pete set at the very beginning of their Physiotherapy work was for Jack to be able to stand unaided for 10 seconds on the beach with his thumbs up. Jack managed to complete this goal in just one year!

Sports Therapist Pete does a brilliant job in making sessions with Jack fun, challenging and engaging. One game in particular really helps him to focus on balance by working on a neurological level. The ‘Boxing Game’ means that Jack will stand independently and punch boxing pads held out in front of him by Pete. This not only helps with balance, but it also targets Jack’s core strength which is really important in helping him to move around without assistance.

Jack currently holds the NCW record for the ‘knee raise’ exercise – or most recently known as the JB Exercise! He is able to complete 200 knee raises using the knee raise machine, which no other student or staff member has been able to get near to date!
Jack is so proud of holding this title. He said: “It’s something I never though I’d be able to achieve.”

He is also a master at the plank exercise, being known to hold it for 3 minutes. This particular exercise is great for strengthening Jack’s core, which is continuing to help him build on his independent walking.

After leaving NCW, he is hoping to go into further education to study Business and Management as he has a passion for fundraising and loves to help people.
“NCW has given me a new life. I’m able to walk around the residential houses, at home and overall be more independent with things such as personal care.”

Pete said: “Jack is such a mature young man, he has grown into a lovely person and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him. I wish him all the best for the future.” 

It is not just Pete who has noticed how much Jack has changed and grown from Year 7 – many staff and students are commenting on his progress, something which makes Jack feel even prouder of his achievements!

Jack is not quite sure where his journey will end; but after seeing progress after progress he hopes to be able to at least maintain where he is now, if not improve even more in the future. His advice to anyone in a similar situation is, “If you work hard, you will get something big out of it.”

Jack sat next to Pete in the Fit4Purpose gym, both smiling at the camera
Jack is doing his knees up exercise on the knee up machine!
Jack with Pete in the Fit4Purpose gym, both with their thumbs up to the camera!
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