Orpheus centre with Richard Stilgoe. I have vague memories of Richard Stilgoe on TV. Circle of children around and to the side of him. Guitar maybe, piano or organ. I can't recall any of his music but imagine he was once quite famous.
Today, he runs the Orpheus centre providing an education for a few 18-21 year old disabled students. They skills they teach are about self sufficiency, the things I would take for granted like paying the gas bill his school will teach. They also use music and drama as a tool to build self confidence and we were treated to a performance by 4 students. It really was a treat. Richard would accompany them on his keyboard but they would sing and play instruments adapted to meet their needs. At the end, they had the whole theatre singing along to an upbeat song they'd written, they had us doing the actions too.
Orpheus is a school to be proud of, making a real and visible difference to the lives of people in our community, teaching skills we don't (can't?) measure with any standard of GCSE or A level grading system.
This entry is part of a series about my visit to the Rotary District Conference. It might not make much sense on it's own, why not start at the first post and read all the way through.
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