Hi everyone and welcome to our 200th blog post!
It was suggested that his post will be a reflection on how and when we started and also a look at some of our more memorable achievements.
This has proved to be harder than i thought we have done so much!

The starting date was Jan 2003 – when I started work at Deafblind UK
This was a huge jump from my previous work of being a children’s entertainer/clown for 12 years.  Not only did I have to educate myself on deaf-blindness and deaf awareness but I wanted to adapt my previous talents so the people that I worked with had something new and different in their lives.
There was a lot of trial and error, but if something got a reaction I would keep it.
My desk was always full of toys and rude shaped vegetables – and I would use whatever I could to   create a smile with the people that I worked with.
to me that is what was important in my work, sadly not the tonne of paper work that come with it.

Extreme clowning really started when I started doing this line of work – but it was not really officially Extreme Clowning until a couple of years into it all.

It took a while for me to realise that what I was doing, no one else was doing – I had a very
unconventional approach and despite the fact it took a while for some people to come to terms with how I worked (some still havent) it worked.  People were starting to see a difference in the people that I was working with.  Because of that I now grab the bull with both horns and just get on with it.  There’s a whole big world out there to be discovered and Extreme Clowning have to take the first step to help someone like Jimmy to take the second…





everyone at work thought I was a bit bonkers – but these costumes were very expensive and we was being given 2 for free!
I used to wear them at partys all the time – a very underestimated tool

DABS
which myself and jimmy designed

Jimmy had been kindly given some funding to go on holiday to Euro Disney as he had not had a holiday for over 5 years
anyone else would have jumped at the chance but Jimmy had never heard of Disney or Disneyland!
He had one friend that had been and they told jimmy it was rubbish – so going on the only information he had Jimmy did not want to go on a free holiday to Euro Disney but would prefer to pay and go to the isle of wight!
It then became my job to inform jimmy about disney so he had enough proper information to allow him to make a sensible decision.
He eventually said yes – we than had 2 months to feed him with as much disney info as we possibley could – looking at it from every angle

he had no recollection of Disney from his childhood at all
he had never done rides before
he had never done the eurostar before
he had never had continental breakfast before
my main concern was introducing him to mickey mouse and then he feels a 5 foot mouse – so I had to explain the whole character thing

this was one of the best holidays i have ever had with Jimmy – everything was a new experience
taste, smell, touch, emotion
he was up everyday at 5
even the first day we was there – when he didn’t really know or understand what to expect – he was so so excited






Disney was fantastic
and they really knew how to look after there disabled guests
Jimmy nominated them for a deafblind friendly award
(he also nominated a sea lion but that’s another story!)
Princess Anne – ” I hear you have been camping in hunstanton – i grew up there”
Jimmy – ” yes we did camp but weather very crap bad “
Princess Anne – ” did you enjoy your holiday at Euro Disney?”
Jimmy – “yes it was very good, and i like go back but too expensive”
I remember getting this email inviting us to the Aardman studio in Bristol
and i went and told my manager and she was concerned that Jimmy would not have enough hours, and that they had no car to take him and who would pay petrol etc etc….(All red tape)
in the end she just sort of said sod it!
she knew it was to good an opportunity to miss – so  Jo from head office drove us (in the snow)
and we had an Asolutley amazing day out
they even gave us lunch!
Jimmy feeling Angry boys face
This day out had all come about because of jimmy’s love for clay and sculpture, i then introduced him to plasticine which was new to him , i then told him about creature comforts (i chose this over wallace and gromit due to jimmy’s love of animals)- using toys to help explain, and the rest is history 
They gave Jimmy a real morph
but in October of 2005 Ardman had a very bad fire and a lot of props and models were destroyed
so Jimmy mailed him back to them

but the model crew was fine and just laughed!
phew!!!!
Like many memorable days out this has now became a part of jimmys life and he now recognise characters and toys that he did not know before

I was given a caravan which was stations at Hopton Holiday park in Yarmout – this was one of the parks that i used to work at.
I donated the caravan to Deafblind U.K
so it could be used for members and there holidays
I went there several times with Jimmy
Whilst we was there we would always spend a day at
Bimbo became a great friend to us, he was amazing with Jimmy
and would play with him and let Jimmy feed him and feel him
Jimmy had never heard of a sea lion – he thought it was a lion that lived under the sea!
so i contacted Bimbos keeper and trainer at the time Tracey and she organised a meet and greet for us
 This lead to jimmy nominating bimbo for a Deafblind friendly award
and it also made the papers and the T.V
We went back to see Bimbo a few years later to discover some bad news (No, not that)
Bimbo had gone Deaf and blind
and now relied on touch for commands, a little like hands on sign language but more flippers on!
Since then he has moved to Blackpool i beleive
where he is kept busy now – with the ladies!
Blackpool Magic Convention

Jimmy was introduced to magic when i started working with him
most of the other people that i worked with had a memory of magic from the television – but not jimmy
he had no idea of the concept at all.
So i started to develope and adapt magic that i used to perform so that it could be accessed by Jimmy.
Watching his face while i performed a trick to him was totally amazing –
to me this was real magc
i adapted things so that he could feel the magic happen – my aim was for him to be able to have contact with the trick as much as possible

i have showed him how some tricks work but he is not interested
he is amazed now as much as he was when i first showed it to him

Here is Jimmy at Funny Girls
opening up yet another can of worms lol

Our Blackpool trips usually consist of
Funny girls
the Sea Life centre
and the Magic convention!

Thats Jimmy!

Jimmy pulling an 11ft ladder out of a breifcase

http://www.kaymarmagic.com/

Our first encounter with Justin Lee Collins – he let jimmy feel his hair, Jimmy said he looked like a lion!

Here is Jimmy being greeted by a group of Deaf Magicians including the fantastic Johnny Fantastica
http://www.johnnyfantastica.co.uk/

Jimmy meeting Joe

These guys gave Jimmy a magic trick as a gift
it was like a change bag but in the guise as a baseball cap
Jimmy learnt the trick – and here he is the next day performing it to them
i was amazed – we know Jimmy has a certain element of the showman in him but the whole performance of the trick means he has understood everything we have told him about magic

like for instance a certain way of holding something so people cannot see the gimmick, this would not necessarily automatically occur to jimmy but he has taken this in and is now aware

Below is a video of David and Dania
who perform an amazing quick change act
they was performing a lecture at blackpool and Dania let Jimmy feel
her while they performed the glitter drop at the end, so he could feel the speed and the change of clothes
it was fantastic

 

Jimmy loves magic and he loves Blackpool
he has made a lot of friends there and learnt a lot of new and interesting things

Jimmy’s 40th Birthday
I tried to make this event as big as i could
so Jimmy had a day to remember

Jimmy had paid for the hall – which was an acheivement in itself!
and i arranged everything else

everyone invited brought food

We had the U.K Garrison turn up – which was fantastic

Jimmy sstarted his day by having a ride in a pink Limo which was kindly donated by

http://www.limousines-peterborough.co.uk/

They said we could have it for half an hour but when they turned up the driver said he was told to drive us around for an hour – so we didn’t argue

This was my veiw outside work at 9 in the morning – it was amazing

We all went out for a lovely meal the night before the party which was great.
Something simple that Jimmy does not do a lot


 Here jimmy had Mexican for the first time

and we all laughed at the amazing posh and precise presentation of jimmy’s desert
which made us all laugh – as not only could jimmy see it but he woofed it down like a pig!

The invitations read “please wear something pink”

Zag and esteban filming in the back of the Limo

Jimmy taking it all in

2009
marks sour landmark performance at the royal college of medicine
This was a first for Jimmy – i would interpret solitaire (stripper) for Jimmy while professionals from the medical profession all over the world watched

Jimmy had worked with solitaire before but only on a personal level
Jimmy was aware that this would be public – and i also had to voice over what i was saying to jimmy
this was another first and also a very important topic which myself and jimmy feel very strongly about

escert from the running order of the afternoon

Disability: Sex, relationships and pleasure Friday 13 November 2009

Venue: The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE
A joint meeting with Sexual Health and Disability Alliance (SHADA)
Disability, sex, relationships and pleasure. Some answers to the questions every Health and Care Professional working with people with disabilities needs to ask.

9.30 am Registration, tea and coffee
Chair: Dr Sris Allen, Past President of the Sexuality and Sexual Health Section and Helena Barrow, Registered Manager, The Chaseley Trust, Eastbourne
Open Plenary
10.00 am Welcome and introduction
Dr Sris Allen, Past President of the Sexuality and Sexual Health Section
Opening address
Dave Thompson MBE, Founder and Chair of Warrington Disability Partnership
Setting the historical context
Simon Parritt, Chartered Counselling Psychologist
A registered care home manager’s experience
Helena Barrow, Registered Manager, The Chaseley Trust, Eastbourne
A doctor’s experience in learning disabilities
Dr Daniel Atkinson
11.15 am Tea and coffee break
11.45 am First set of workshops
The Law
Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, Reader in Psychology and Social Policy, Birkbeck College, Claire De Than The City Law School, and Mary Foster, MSI Education Consultant at Sense
Policy development
Dr Graham Jowett, Director of Education, Treloar College
New model of practice for staff In disability services
Lorna Couldrick, Senior Lecturer School of Health Professions, University of Brighton
12.30 pm Repetition of workshops
1.15 pm Lunch and exhibition
Performances
Chair: Dr Tuppy Owens, Director of The Outsiders Trust
2.00 pm What they never taught me at the spinal injuries unit: The multi sensory experience
Dominic Webb and Sue Newsome
“Dancing in the dark”
Solitaire, Jimmy and Jonathan Lucia-Wright
2.30 pm Sex workers as enablers
Sue Newsome and Thierry Schaffauser
Plenary – Narratives supporting change
Chair: Dr Petra Boynton, Lecturer in International Health Services Research, Division of Open Learning, University College London
2.50 pm Introduction to EBP
Dr Petra Boynton, Lecturer in International Health Services Research, Division of Open Learning, University College London
Disabled people speak about their lives and what would help
Michelle Donald, John Gillett, James Warham
3.45 pm Tea and coffee
Closing Plenary
Chair: Helena Barrow, Registered Manager, The Chaseley Trust, Eastbourne
4.00 pm Completion of evaluation forms
A panel of speakers to answer questions from the day
SH&DA
Dr Tuppy Owens, Director of The Outsiders Trust and Shital Shah, Counsellor/Psychotherapist and Trainer
Closing statement
Dr Tuppy Owens, Director of The Outsiders Trust
4.30 pm Close of meeting

We also was part of a huge exhibition that was on display at the college
the same day as the connferrance

photo taken by ashley savage
www.savageskin.co.uk

2 Higlights for 2010
The first one was…

Alex is very hard to motivate and spends a great deal of time at home listening to dvd’s and music!
My aim was to try and get him out and Star Wars always does the trick

The tickets was kindly donated by Warwick Davis

Various members of the Garrison let us feel props and sabres
And the Legend that is David Iskra who works for LucasFilm opened the cabinets and let us feel things!
IT WAS AMAZING
And the second Highlight was

ADBN DEAFBLIND CONNFERENCE
Denmark

We was invited by Sense to help with a presentation on Haptic communication
(using other parts of the body to help relay information)
Everything would be paid for, we even got spending money but jimmy had reservations about going….because Denmark may not have baked beans!

Once again i broke eveything down and explained that the food would be different but there will be some food that he will like – he didnt have to pay, what is there to stop you going?

This is the video that was made and shown at the conference in Denmark
we was also invited to perform magic at the Gala Dinner which was totally amazing.

The airport laid on a small car thing! to take us to the terminal – being Deaf and blind Jimmy has problems walking lol
Jimmy found this very amusing

I performed with Jimmy then using various techiques that i had adapted with the help of jimmy i was alble to go round and perform some one -to-one magic with other different countries
most of them i had no communication with at all just the magic and touch.
it was very scary at first but when i received my first reaction i was over the moon

this as far as i know had never been done before so i gave myself a huge pat on the back bring magic to these people who had lost it.

well here it is!
There is no way i was going to do this post without mentioning this!
I am very passionate with regards to anything that i do with jimmy towards sex and relationships as i feel it is VERY important and i get saddened when it is poo pooed!

Our appearance at the royal academy of medicine lead to an article being published in bizarre magazine

this lead to a huge amount of problems that i wont go into!
and all for no reason
this was jimmy’s choice and the article was very well written
and at last someone was challenging the subject that no one else dare talk about

Our trip to Harrods was amazing
Penny had such a great time

i wanted to make this a special day – as penny has a want for life but has very little hours
so i wrote to different companies in london to see who could help make her day special

£5 for a pot of tea and £12.50 for a scone – i am glad it was with compliments!

lol this was the face she would pull when i told her how much things were

we then went to covent garden where penny tried a free snog compliments of the management
she never knew that frozen yoghurt existed until then

Well – There you go!
we have more trips and shows booked ready for 2012
the year always goes really quick – we try to fit in as much as we can
and also as many different things as we can with as many different people.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank 4 very special people who are quite silent in this whole operation but without them none of this would be possible.

The first is my amazing wife

 who consistently puts up with my continuous pro-active-ness!
she supports me in everything that I do and I would be very lost without her support and help.

Secondly are our sponsors who beleive in what we do and support us every step of the way
 

Mr Gary Starr
http://www.garystarrpantomimes.co.uk/

 – for our website and continuous help and encouragement

and
Mr Phil Rubery
who discoverd us recently through Facebook,
Phils donations and support have made days out possible
and we welcome him to the mad bunch!

And not last but least i would like to thank
Jimmy O’Hare

 for his support and feedback
He started off as a beneficiary of extreme clowning but has become one of the team
Jimmys personality and enthusiasm is a huge shinning light in what we do
when people meet him they automatically love him
he has a huge thirst for life
and it is because of him and his love of learning and laughter extreme clowning started

Extreme Clowning will continue to do what we do
and one day we will hopefully expand and be able to offer this service to as many people as possible
at the moment myself and my wife organise approx 50 events a year
which is done in our own time
In the last 2 years we have extended our service to different disabilities that include deafblindness as sometimes tickets/events get offered that may not be suitable for one person, so we offer them to someone else who we feel could benefit from the experience

Thank you all once again for your support and encouragement

JJ,Claire and Jimmy