Anoop's Story: how his life improved with Community Connecting
Once, Anoop, a man in his thirties with high support needs, went to college and stayed at home.
He had no life outside the family circle. Darren, a community connector, observed Anoop’s gifts – being kind-hearted, talkative and having an appetite for life – and worked with him to use these gifts to enjoy fresh opportunities.
He appreciates good coffee and together they sampled all types of coffee from macchiato to lattes in cafes from small and independent to busy chains in bookstores, all over Coventry and Birmingham. Darren discovered that Anoop was an eager sports fan but did not go to any games or take part. To gauge his interests Anoop experienced different sports from football to ice hockey.
He started to attend Coventry & North Warwickshire Hockey Club where at first he watched practice sessions and spoke to players. Darren got to know the club’s organiser, Simon, and spent time with him. Simon both understood what Darren was trying to achieve and could see a mutually beneficial role for Anoop to play in the club.
Two years on Anoop is the photographer for the club’s website and organiser of the zone (wheelchair) hockey section. He is a popular regular at the clubhouse.
Anoop is building on this experience by taking up a new and important role recruiting other keen hockey players to form a zone hockey league. Zone hockey has been developed as a way for wheelchair users to enjoy the game. Anoop organised and hosted a recruitment event with financial support from Coventry’s Sikh Union.