My first overnight business trip

On 28 February 2024, the Rix team and purpleSTARS went on an overnight business trip to Wales to visit the St Fagans Museum. This trip was the first time Ros Weinburg had joined us, and marked her first experience of travelling without the support of her carers. Drawing on this fantastic achievement, this article seeks to share Ros’ reflections on her experience.

group of people
Ros and colleagues outside St Fagans Museum

I felt like a grown-up because I had to organise a lot of stuff on my own. In particular, this was the first time I was away without my sister or my mum. I am especially grateful to Kanchan for liaising with my sister – I had not realised how much planning was involved in making this trip happen. I had to make sure that I was taking all my stuff, including my pills and clothes. I made a list of the items I was going to bring, as well as setting reminders on my phone to take my pills.

The most exciting part of the trip was going to see Cardiff Castle despite the rain.

Cardiff castle
Cardiff Castle

There weren’t any moments when I felt anxious or unsure and I had everyone’s support during the trip which helped me be more independent. I was also treated like an adult during our team dinner, which made me really happy. Everything worked well because we all stuck together. We did not get lost and everyone enjoyed themselves and going on this trip taught me that there is nothing I cannot do.

I was really glad to be able to see the items that we’ve been working on during the St Fagans Museum workshop session. It was different seeing the exhibits in-person, and being able to relate them to the interactive experience we’d been discussing. It was nice having a hands-on experience compared to simply joining in online as I was able to see, smell and touch the sensory items. For example, I was able to give my feedback on the smell boxes.

woman smelling box and on tractor
Ros at St Fagans Museum, taking part in the workshop and experiencing the exhibits

I’ve gained a bit more independence after this trip, but I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of travelling independently. I am confident that I’ll be able to travel independently with support after this trip.

Here are my three top tips for someone with a disability who is nervous about travelling independently for the first time

  1. Make sure that you know where you are going
  2. If you’re going to be with somebody, you stick with them so no one gets lost
  3. Make sure that you have a list of what you’ve got and stick to the list. Do not take anything you don’t need to take.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed this trip because it gave me a bit of independence, plus it was the first time I got to work with some people.

Ros Weinberg was interviewed by Synne Lim