It was pretty much a normal start to a shift with Jack; he needed to know the staff he would be working with on the day – the two ‘M’s – Megan and Mike. Normally he would wear shorts but because he was wearing his posh “Jack loves Franklin dictionaries” tee shirt, we decided that maybe smarter joggers were more appropriate for his visit to the Seiko UK HQ.
We left Options View Malvern at 9:30am – Jack as usual requested to sit in the middle row of the people carrier. Megan and I (as usual) said – no chance – Jack laughed as he normally does.
The journey down was pretty uneventful. We arrived at Seiko UK at almost dead on 12:30pm, took a picture of Jack pointing at the Seiko sign and also a picture of him posing with a Novak Djokovic cardboard cut-out wearing a Seiko watch.
We were taken through to the watches showroom. Jack was like a boy in a sweet shop as he saw watches and clocks on every wall – all the different brands that Seiko deal with were represented (Kenneth Cole, Lorus etc). Some of the big wall clocks played tunes if you pressed a button. After he had his fill of watches and clocks, we had a cup of tea.
Then it was time for Jack to get his beloved Wordwizard, complete with original 1997 packaging. Christina, from Seiko’s marketing department, then brought through three large carrier bags full of other Franklin products – not just to try but to keep.
Jack was elated. He got one US product that you cannot even buy in the UK that can speak out words. There was also a birthday wishes poster, a Lorus watch, special (rare) Franklin and Seiko badges and product catalogues just in case there are any products Jack does not already have. After this we were introduced to the Franklin Brand Manager who had popped in specially before shooting of to an afternoon meeting in London. He had looked at the pictures of Jack’s collection and deliberately chosen things he did not already have – a lovely idea. Despite all the modern stuff, it was the Wordwizard that Jack held closely.
Then to our surprise Christina said they had prepared a buffet lunch. We were not expecting this but Megan and I tucked into the sandwiches and savouries.
One final surprise was a chocolate caterpillar birthday cake that the Seiko team had brought in. Jack had his second cake of the day. A bit more chatting then it was time to pack stuff away and say goodbye.
Then it was back in the Galaxy for the long drive home.
Finally at 4.30pm we returned to Options Malvern View. Back in Jack’s flat we laid out all his new gear on his lounge table so he could see it in all its glory. He is going to be a very busy man for some time to come.
This was great day out, although it was challenging for Jack to cope with a four-and-a-half hour car journey, and lots of new people to interact with at Seiko/Franklin, he coped admirably all day. This goes to show if you can develop activities that focus on people’s interests, wonderful things can happen.
A massive thank you to the staff at Seiko/Franklin for making one young adults birthday dream come true.
Life Skills Instructor
Options Malvern View