Meeting of Minds

When I was working, I used to have meetings regularly but I am out of practice since retiring. I have had some Zoom/Teams meetings during the pandemic, but nothing much recently. So it is surprising to me that I have two face to face meetings about Joshua today. This morning, once I have dropped Joshua off at daycare, I am driving to a local garden centre cafe where I will be meeting a few of the ladies from RDA ( Riding for the Disabled) Back in early April, the last time Joshua rode, I made a complaint about his ride surrounding how his request to ‘Stop’ was ignored and the ongoing issue we have regarding his large splints and boots and their inability for them to be accommodated by stirrups. While we have exchanged emails regarding my complaint, this will be the first time that I have met these volunteers since that evening and we were both keen to meet and resolve matters face to face. I hope that we can reach an amicable solution that means that Joshua can ride again and that we all have confidence that his needs can be met.

In the afternoon, I am going to Joshua’s old school; somewhere that I went on a weekly basis for many years but that I have not visited since February 2020. I expect to see many changes since then in terms of procedures and even the physical reception area as building plans were afoot when we left. It will feel very strange to return to the meeting room where I hosted monthly coffee mornings for parents for many years. Today four of us mothers of ex-pupils are meeting with the Head of 6th form to discuss the possibility of a reunion event for leavers who left the school during Covid times so their departure was not celebrated in any meaningful way and certainly Joshua had no opportunity to say goodbye to staff and fellow pupils.

When Joshua should have left in July 2020, school videoed a leavers assembly for us to watch, as he was still shielding but the Head promised that, once the pandemic had settled down, that leavers would have a decent face to face celebration. I have not forgotten that promise and I chased it in February 2022 ,once Covid seemed to have settled down, to enquire about what was being organised. As a result, we are meeting today to share ideas for what shape that event could take.

Joshua has moved on from school now, he loves daycare and we have had none of the behaviour issues that he displayed in 6th form there. But I would like him , and me, to have the opportunity to say goodbye properly to both staff, ex-pupils and parents too. I will also be curious to learn how everyone survived lockdown and what his peers are doing now, hoping that everyone is now as settled as Joshua seems to be.

So I have prepared for both meetings, so we shall have to see what outcomes we can get from both face to face discussions . Both meetings are about me speaking up for Joshua , where he cannot. His voice deserves to be heard and I will do my best to represent his best interests in both discussions.

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