Carnival magic

Michael loves the Somerset carnival; it’s the largest illuminated procession in the world and usually takes place every November in towns across the county.

Michael lives his life through events so this year has been particularly difficult for him because of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Frome-based support workers Emma Speck, Claire Burge, and Sonia Huxtable, worked on building a float with Michael, even though the carnival has been cancelled.

Emma Speck said: “As a substitute for the carnival preparation, we decided to build a float and Michael chose the theme: `Michael’s ark.’ We made animals out of toilet rolls and recycled products so they could be collected in his float. Michael has been involved in shopping for and the collection of materials, and the building of the ark. He is non-verbal and uses signs and social stories to communicate with us.”

The base of the ark is a wheelchair which was kindly donated by one of Michael’s housemates. We then used wood for the frame and Correx sheets for the remainder of the ark. We bought him a fishing net too and he enjoyed picking up the animals to put into the ark. Michael chose all the sensory items to attach and picked out the solar lights too.

Building the float has been a positive experience for Michael, it has kept him occupied when he would have been involved in the carnival, and he now has a float to enter in next year’s Frome carnival.