Heartfelt thanks to care team for supporting French pupil
A FRENCH teenager whose disability has until now prevented him from taking part in school trips has enjoyed a fun-filled week in England, thanks to a Leamington care agency.
Loic Lazare, a pupil at the Lycee Truffaut in Challons in western France, has muscular dystrophy and requires a high level of care - meaning that he has not even been able join his friends on school trips within France due to difficulties in finding a carer to accompany him.
So when the Leamington-based Warwickshire branch of the Blue Ribbon care agency was contacted to assist with enabling him to take part in an exchange trip, the staff were only too happy to help.
Care manager Clare Andrews said: “When I was 14, I took part in an exchange trip to France and I am still in touch with my exchange partner.
“It was a really big thing for me, so I wanted to help make the trip possible for Loic.”
Loic, accompanied by a volunteer assistant, checked in at the Premier Inn in the Parade last Sunday, while the other teenagers stayed at people’s homes, and carers from Blue Ribbon went to see him each morning and evening to help with his personal care.
Mrs Andrews said: “He didn’t speak too much English, but his mum had given us a list of the French words for his equipment and during the course of the week, there were lots of hand gestures and a few laughs.
“Very quickly, he learnt how to say things like ‘stop’ and ‘that’s good’ and by the end of the week he was able to give us directions in English. It was a challenge, but we got through.”
During the week, Loic joined his friends on trips to Cadbury World in Birmingham and to Manchester, Stratford and Coventry.
The teenager at first found it difficult to sleep at the hotel, but the Blue Ribbon team arranged for him to borrow a specially-adapted mattress from the Royal Leamington Spa Nursing Home to make him more comfortable.
Mrs Andrews said: “It has been a massive thing for him and fabulous for the carers involved - really gratifying.”
In an email to Mrs Andrews, Loic’s mum Viviane Lazare said: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your precious help. Many, many, many thanks. I am a mum reassured, thanks to you.”
To find out more about Blue Ribbon, call the Warwickshire branch on 316200 or visit www.blueribboncare.org.uk
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