“ I am 43 years old and suffer from a neuromuscular condition known as SMA type 3. I am a full-time wheelchair user and my education suffered as I have had a lot of knock backs. My experience with NMC started in 2011 as I was finding it difficult to find a course that delivered graphic design. I didn’t complete the course (at NMC) at the time because I had a lot going on. I was advised I was always welcome to come back at any time.
In 2021, I reapplied to NMC to do graphics design level 1. I was very anxious as I've always found studying a little difficult with my experiences. A year on with the help of my tutor I am starting to get a better understanding of graphic design. I have learnt the basics of Photoshop and all the tools. I feel that with my tutor on board (she has been very patient and accommodates my needs), I have started to enjoy the course and I feel more confident with using the Software. If I don’t understand a task or assignment, asking my tutor for support has been a great help, we meet on Zoom every other week. This course has empowered me to continue to move forward and progress further and have the opportunity to get a career.”
“Approximately three years ago, I commenced a graphic design course at the NeuroMuscular Centre with Kay Briggs. I generally attend a session once a week.
I find the subject matter detailed and interesting. I work to a brief which gives me a directive and some parameters to cover. Having said that, the brief is not restrictive in that it allows me to use my creativity and let my imagination run wild! A big factor for me is that there is no pressure of time; I can work at my own pace to achieve a finished piece of work that I am happy with, as opposed to a course where time constraints limit my ability to create a fully finished piece.
There is always help when I am stuck but at the same time, I am not ‘spoon fed’. I am persuaded to work things out on my own albeit with guidance. This helps me to learn the process for myself. The NMC is a great place to meet people through graphic design. I enjoy attending. It is a very enjoyable experience, and my tutor is really helpful.”
3D Printing Club
“I’m really enjoying our 3D printing sessions on Tuesdays & the ideas our team are coming up with. It's a nice, relaxed atmosphere where we discuss ideas, sometimes they’re a bit crazy, but the scope & potential 3D prints can provide in everyday tasks is amazing. We also print a lot of small office supplies & hobbies. I really like to be part of the group as we can all join in & discuss different techniques or technical aspects on setup for items we print. There’s a wealth of knowledge to learn from & explore.”
"Having been in the NMC 3D printing club from the beginning, my knowledge and skills have improved to the extent that other people are now asking ME for help! However, there is always something else to learn and I love the research and trial and error learning process"
"Coming to the NMC has been a real transformative experience for me in terms of my confidence and sense of a possible future as my condition progresses. It’s a real safe and creative space and the openness of everyone in the organisation to new ideas that they generously support is very inspiring. I feel lucky to live near a caring organisation like this and only wish everyone who lives with neuromuscular conditions could experience that. I have loved my time here with the 3D print club especially and hope the community continues to flourish. The 3D print club were able to meet virtually all over lockdown, the club has stayed together and everyone has remained committed to it.
NMC have generously supported the 3D print workshop and club which was part of my PhD research and very recently Design + Print have offered me some work to help develop new laser cutting facilities. As a group the 3D print club have benefited from the encouragement of using the retreat as a permanent workshop over the summer and the success of that group could be extended. I’m really excited for the future of the group and especially for developing the NMC Design + Print laser cutting lab.
There is a general atmosphere of empathy and support that means you have confidence you could bring up emotional issues with people even if I don’t very often. There are chances to learn with others through all the creative communities in the NMC. Above all its a sense of solidarity and support in a safe haven with people with similar or quite different needs. An inspirational place!"
“The mindfulness sessions were very good and well thought out and the delivery well executed. I found the time used was a good way to take some time out to relax and the themes were good, for example the chocolate session. Kay has a lovely soothing voice and each session I found really beneficial in helping me cope with both my muscular dystrophy and cancer symptoms. Kay very kindly sent me some CDs which I put onto my iPod device so I can listen to them while in bed. I particularly liked the Sleep meditation which I use most nights to aid sleeping. I look forward to further sessions that may help relieve my pain that may be used in conjunction with my prescription drugs.”
"The Mindfulness sessions were really helpful in controlling some of my anxiety, especially during lockdown when I was at home alone. It gave me a focus where I could take the time once a week to relax and also try to practice new techniques. My sleep improved greatly, and I felt that I could control my eating habits too. It was also a really nice space to meet new people from the centre who I couldn’t have met in person to discuss our worries."