The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Pupils discuss importance of centre on their own wellbeing
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.