The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Pupils dis­cuss im­por­tance of cen­tre on their own well­be­ing

- BY LAURA PATER­SON Cumbernauld · Bonnybridge

One of the pupils at the Craighal­bert Cen­tre is Oliver Cun­ning­ham, eight, who has the rare ge­netic con­di­tion 3-q28 du­pli­ca­tion syn­drome and is non-ver­bal, is learn­ing to walk with sup­port and has only re­cently started eat­ing.

He is shield­ing and has re­turned to the cen­tre this month from his home in Bon­ny­bridge for three days in­stead of his nor­mal four and a half, but his mother Michelle said she has seen a dif­fer­ence.

Part of his ses­sion in­cludes be­ing sup­ported by staff to use the out­door phys­io­ther­apy equip­ment, while an­other pupil does the same at a two-me­tre dis­tance.

“He did strug­gle a wee bit with his phys­i­cal devel­op­ment. I do think it’s help­ing him out,” the 40-year-old said.

Speak­ing be­fore the shield­ing changes came into force, she said: “At the mo­ment, he’s at home and he’s here. He’s not go­ing to visit his grand­par­ents, he’s not go­ing to the shop, he’s not see­ing any­body else.

“I do think it’s good for his men­tal health and good for his well­be­ing to be here.”

Gre­gor Mar­shall, 15, from Cum­ber­nauld, who has hered­i­tary spas­tic para­pare­sis and is cur­rently un­able to stand, is also at­tend­ing the cen­tre.

Us­ing a wheel­chair swing for the first time, he said he had been un­able to ac­cess this type of equip­ment else­where dur­ing lock­down and said it is “bet­ter than be­ing on a nor­mal swing”.

“It’s 100% bet­ter since I’ve been com­ing here,” he said.

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