The Research Support Funding scheme supported 13 short (six-month) projects that complemented and extended the Centre’s research themes: Transforming Institutions, Transforming Engagement, Transforming Health across the life course and Transforming Relations.
A young girl with disabilities recently narrated the story of some of her life experiences as a ‘living book’ at Exeter Central Library. Having left full-time education she (and her carers) were entering a new landscape, where many of the opportunities found in specialist schools need to be “re-found” in the community. This young girl and her father had just discovered the library’s FabLab. It had been a revelation to both of them, offering them both social and creative opportunities they were keen to embrace.
Young people with disabilities can often face a ‘drop off’ in support (including health, social and educational) when they leave formal education. The impact of this can be far-reaching, particularly in terms of a vulnerability to social isolation (as much for their families and carers as the individual themselves). This project was a collaboration between the library, the Pelican Project (a community organisation supporting such young people) and an engaged researcher, who came together to facilitate ways for other young people and their carers to tell stories about their lives as they are and the ways they would like to use and shape spaces such as the FabLab to improve their wellbeing.