At the end of June six of us from our physics class volunteered to work with a group of residents from the Scotts Project, an organisation that aims to provide support and help for adults with learning disabilities.
We chose to do one of our favourite lessons, which involves turning water bottles into rockets (that actually fly!) At the start of the lesson, we each paired up with a resident and were designated a water bottle. I chose to work with Alex, and a helper mentioned to me that he was quite shy and would need some encouragement. I had never worked with someone that had learning disabilities before, so naturally I was a little apprehensive. However, I immediately felt comfortable and was chatting with Alex within no time.
Together we designed paper wings for the water bottle / rocket and I encouraged him to draw decorations onto it, turning it into what we decided was a shark! All the groups decorated their rockets; Lisha and Daniel, another team, were both really creative and decorated their rocket with intricate swirls and designs. When all the rockets were completed, we took them outside to test them out.
By this time, everybody had already bonded with their partner and we were enjoying ourselves more than we had in any normal physics lesson. After filling our rockets up with water, we all worked together to set them off by pumping them full of air and pulling a rope. Although mine and Alex's rocket didn't win the 'rocket that went straightest in the air' competition (that went to Tori and Alison), we were both having such a good time that we didn't care.
By the end of it, Alex and I had agreed that we made a brilliant team and decided that we were officially friends. All of us are so grateful that we took part because we got to meet people we never normally would have and make friends outside of our usual comfort zone.
Sophie Bates, year 10