Sporting success story Scott Robb has paid tribute to the care staff who inspired him to transform his life by taking up wheelchair football.
Just two years ago the 34-year-old lacked the confidence to even inquire about the sport – now he has just lifted the Scottish Power Chair Football cup with his Clyde Caledonia teammates.
Now Scott, from Ayrshire, has told how his life has been transformed, thanks to staff at Blackwood’s St Leonard’s Court in Ayr, who encouraged him to try out the sport.
Scott said: “I cannot thank the staff at Blackwood enough for their continued support and encouragement which gave me the confidence to start playing power chair football.
“At first I was quite nervous about getting involved and having to meet new people but everyone at Blackwood was so supportive of me and urged me to at least give it a go.
“They reassured me that I would be able to pick up the new skills that I needed to play and without them I really don’t think I would have had the courage to go along.
“Not only have I learned valuable new skills through power chair football but I have also made so many new friends that I would have never met before so it really has been a fantastic experience.
“Winning the Scottish Cup was the icing on the cake and I am already looking forward to kicking off the new season in September.”
Blackwood is a renowned housing and care provider which operates across Scotland to help people with disabilities or care needs to live as independently as possible.
Power chair football is a four-a-side game played on a basketball-sized pitch. The aim of the game is for players, who have special bumpers fitted to their wheelchairs, to kick shoot or dribble an oversized 30cm diameter football.
CARE AND SUCCESS
Scott has praised Blackwood staff for giving him the extra nudge he needed to get involved in the sport, which originated in France in the 1970s.
Now he trains once a week at St Maurice’s High School in Cumbernauld with Clyde Caledonia, who won the Scottish Cup after beating rivals Clyde Lions 1-0 in the final.
Irene Morrison, Service Manager at Blackwood, said: “We are over the moon with Scott’s success. I know he was a bit concerned at first about going along but I’m delighted that we managed to settle his nerves and persuade him to try it out.
“It’s great to see Scott really live his life to the full and we are all incredibly proud of his achievement.”
Since its beginnings over 40 years ago, Blackwood has provided support to customers to make their own choices and have control over their lives in homes that meets their needs.
Scott’s home has been completely adapted so that all rooms and appliances are wheelchair accessible. Other adaptations that Blackwood use throughout its homes to improve the quality of life of its customers include minor alterations such as lowering thresholds between rooms for easier wheelchair access, fitting grab rails and installing easy-to-use lever taps. They also carry out bigger projects, including installing wet rooms, level access showers and “rise and fall” kitchens.
With 1600 properties and tailored individual care packages for elderly people and those with physical or learning disabilities, mental health issues or sensory impairment, Blackwood is at the forefront of the care sector.
As such, Blackwood works in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, more widely dispersed than any other care or housing provider and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.