After nearly six months. the centre finally reopened on the 1st September. All the necessary safety measures had been put in place and the first session members arrived. The numbers had to be cut drastically to allow for social distancing but everyone was happy to see those who had come back.
As usual, there were plenty of activities on offer and members soon got back into the feel of the centre. With the addition of a small marquee in the garden, we were able to get outside and enjoy the good weather, enjoying lunch and a chat (all at a safe distance).
Well, the weeks seem to have flown by and we’re already half way through June. Members have been keeping safe, yet occupied-plenty of making the most of the glorious weather. Lisa has been to Bicton Park; Robbie on several walks along the river; Vincent to the allotment and others out and about. Indoors, jigsaws are still very popular, with Lisa and Robbie completing many over the past weeks.
The weekly Zoom meetings have had upwards of 17 members and staff ‘meeting’ for a chat, quiz and general catch-up. It has been great to see how well everyone has coped admirably under the current conditions and hopefully, when safe to do so, we can look to reopen.
This week, several members (and carers) plus Jonathan and Daryl had a catch up online. For nearly an hour, we caught up on what we’ve been doing to keep occupied and showed friends examples of our handy-work. In particular, Robbie has been making more jig-saws, Rachael has been colouring in St George’s Day Dragons and Lisa baked some ‘melting moments’ biscuits to share with family and friends.
It was not only a chance to see each other but also to introduce ourselves to carers and family members that we hadn’t ‘met’ before. It was a resounding success and has been scheduled in again, hopefully this time with a quiz and a few other activities!
Members and their families have been keeping occupied over the past weeks. As well as honing her football skills in the garden, Rachael has been busy crafting and also making a second batch of Oaty Crunchies (apparently delicious!).
If you fancy giving them a go the recipe is as follows:
1tsp bicarb. of soda
1tbsp tepid water
4oz margarine or butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
4 oz porridge oats
4 oz granulated sugar
4 oz dessicated coconut
Heat the oven to 150C or 300F or Mark 2
Dissolve the soda in the water.
Melt the fat and syrup in a pan and mix all the ingredients together.
Roll the dough into small balls ( makes about 20).
Cook on baking tray for about 15 mins.
Eat and enjoy!
Please do let us know if it’s something you try…
Vincent has been busy at the allotment, helping to plant potatoes, carrots, leeks and broad beans. Indoors, he’s had a pool competition and in the garden played boules (but the dog kept running of with the boules so the competition was called a draw!). As you can see from the photos, Vincent has also been golfing, baking and window cleaning which explains why he had a crafty daytime snooze!
Lisa had fun getting messy, making salt-dough cookies for decoration and then hanging!
Many of the members have been keeping active up to and including the Easter weekend-Emma H is doing daily exercise and dance sessions, as well as other activities to pass the time. Sarah and Emma have been making the most of the sunshine but also being creative indoors. All three members have been enrolled onto Mencap’s Round The Wold Challenge, so Daryl, the centre manager, has been updating their passports to gain them miles towards their first leg of the challenge.
Although the centre is shut, we thought we’d update visitors to the site, showing activities members have been doing to keep occupied. Rachael has been busy on the craft front, making all manner of Easter related items. She has also been keeping her fitness levels up in the garden, playing football and frisbee.
Lisa has also been creating Easter items as well as completing a 1000 piece jigsaw and sitting in the garden pretending she’s at the beach!
Another one of our members, Robbie, is a keen ‘jigsawer’ and has already finished several, along with going out walking and keeping active on the Wii.
Meanwhile, Tracy and Michelle have been walking the dogs and getting to grips with fitness activities in front of the TV. They’ve also been making the most of the sunshine by doing arts and craft on the patio.
Daryl, the centre manager, has been walking his dog in the sunshine (actually the park), before working his way through centre admin. He brought home some small seedlings that are now getting quite big!
Hopefully, there will be more photos and updates as the days progress…
With the centre closed to members, the staff took the brief opportunity before lock-down to start and complete some jobs, both in and outside the building. Jonathan worked hard around the beds and garden to get it ready for some planting later in the year. Meanwhile, Debbie was hard at work cleaning the kitchen area. Daryl had been on leave, but he popped in to bring home work that he can get to grips with over the coming weeks.
Hopefully, we will soon be together again, appreciating the sunshine and eating the produce from the garden and greenhouse, plus doing all the activities that we enjoy at the centre.
As the upcoming Friday 13th was Sport Relief, the members again decided to have a week of taking part in physical challenges. These included air-hockey, exercise biking, aer/chairobics, Wii Fit and ‘lifting the roll of silver boarder roll’! (invented by Jane, one of the centre’s support workers).
During the week, over 25 members attempted various activities and hopefully we will have raised some funds for this worthwhile charity.
As well as the physical activities, members have been busy with the usual bingo, colouring and word-searches. The theme for the next couple of months is dinosaurs, so several members have been working on a couple of creations-we have both friendly and ferocious looking creatures!
Gareth, amongst others, has been working exceptionally hard on our mosaic sign and he also joined Suzanne, Tracy, Mickie, Rachael and Peter in the greenhouse, under the direction of Jane, where they manged to pot up some vegetables and sieve some of the soil.
At the beginning of the month, the bakers treated the members to some tasty Welshcakes in honour of St David’s Day and also baked a cake for Lisa’s birthday.
Next week, we are looking forward to a behind the scenes tour of Exeter City’s stadium and getting more work done in the garden…
With this Tuesday being Shrove Tuesday, we decided to have pancakes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday! Over the three days, Debbie and Daryl cooked over 100 pancakes for the members! Paul, Tracy, Amy, Emma and Victoria all helped to prepare the batter and the fillings. There was a choice of cheese, ham, sugar and lemon, chocolate spread, jam and golden syrup…some members chose the entire selection in one pancake!
Activities have continued as usual-Gareth is determined to finish the new sign and Peter K has made several mosaic based gifts for family and friends. Colouring, bingo and papier-mache continues to prove popular as has Daryl’s childhood Hornby railway!
Jane and her gardeners have added what will hopefully be splash of colour to the outdoor planters and there will soon be some seeds sown ready for the summer.
Michelle and Donna celebrated their birthdays (Donna’s being a special one!) and they enjoyed the usual rendition of happy birthday, where Donna nearly drowned out the remainder with her singing!
Activities have been in full swing again, with the Tuesday group carrying on with mosaic tiling projects. We are continuing with coasters, trivets and up-cycling pots as well as creating an extra sign for the exterior of the building.
Peter K has finished yet another creation and David A celebrated his 53rd birthday (we’ve lost track of how many times he’s said how good he looks for his age!). Vincent has been busy entertaining us with his singing-we’ve had Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond this week!
There were plenty of Valentine’s cards made and themed word-searches completed along with the usual games of bingo, colouring, pool, Scalextric, computing and air-hockey.
Hopefully it might stop raining and we can eventually get out and prepare the beds for this year’s vegetable crop…