My visitors today

Friday 31 July 2009

Its a small world

"Fourth prize in the Buda Hills", mountain-biking, 1992

As I was leaving work earlier this evening I saw the friend I am meeting later on in Nürnberg. I cycled over to her, to confirm the arrangements and to save a phone call. I waited a few minutes on the side lines as she was saying goodbye to some visitors.

When she spotted me she grabbed me by the hand and introduced me as “the conductor Susie Mallett”.

I hurriedly made plans for tonight then chatted for ten minutes to the family I had been introduced to , a young man aged twenty-four and his parents..

Why was my friend so eager to introduce me?

Because this young man had been attending the Petö Institute between 1989, the year that I arrived there, and 1998. He had spent two months in Budapest, April and October, for each year for nine years. Now that is quite impressive. He carried on until he was fourteen, which must have been tough.

I believe that I worked with him, I am not sure that I recognised the young man but I recognised his father who had spent all that time in Budapest with him.

In October this young man will be starting a new job at one of the companies that the charity I work for here in Nürnberg has built up, that employs only disabled people. He will be living in the sheltered housing adjacent to our work-rooms. He has already snapped up a place in my Tuesday evening workers' group and has enrolled my services to help him design his living accommodation so that he can be as independent as possible.

All that sorted in ten minutes.

And all with the condition that I only speak English, which is fine by me.

What a small world the world of Conductive Education is.


Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to know a little more about the charitable companies that employ only disabled people, Susie.

Susie Mallett said...

I thought you might as I was writing it.

You can read about it here:

and here:

I know that they have joint projects with other European countries and have contact with Hereward College,Coventry. See:

If you would like to find out more that is not in the internet please let me know.


Andrew said...

This was never my end of the trade, but didn't Remploy do this sort of thing?

And surely quite a few charities, like the Spastics Society (later Scope) once provided sheltered workshops.

Weren't the latter victims of naive and/or ideological understandings of 'inclusion'?

Unthinking would-be progressivism in the service of the bean-counters, a dangerous force in a lot of fields.