More Barbecues, Baking, Bingo and Birthdays!

The past couple of weeks have been crammed full of activities and celebrations. Robbie and Julie R celebrated their birthdays with home-made cakes and cards. Peter and Gareth seem to be in competition to see who can make the most objects (Peter is probably just in the lead!). The list of creations made by them and several others includes calendars, a bird-box and a coffee table.

As well as making birthday cakes, the chefs have been busy assisting with the barbecue lunches, preparing salad and vegetables plus sorting drinks and desserts. Daryl insisted on using the barbecue despite the weather forecast-luckily he avoided any major downpours and everyone enjoyed their dinners!

Numbers for the Tuesday opening are gradually creeping up-those members attending are certainly enjoying the activities. We have had a couple of potential new members come to try the centre and we look forward to hopefully welcoming them as regular ‘Gatewayers’ soon!

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A Busy Week!

This week has seen members keeping themselves very busy as usual-there has been the usual cooking (making muffins from the glut of courgettes!), papier-mache creations, bingo, dominoes and computering to name but a few!

Peter has kept the staff busy with his turn-over of picture frames and Gareth has shown great patience with his police vehicle (he’s now making a fire engine!). As usual, Scott has shown his proficiency on the PCs, copying and printing an array of pictures to go on his many creations.

Tuesday saw more willow weaving, this time making hearts-five members came in this week and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

There has been a birthday celebrated as well, but unfortunately Alan’s date wasn’t in the book, so rather than a large sponge cake, he made do with a muffin and one candle!

Thanks to the Exeter Rotary Club, we were able to purchase a new work-bench for woodworking and craft. Under the supervision of Daryl, Amy and Gareth helped to put it together. There were no instructions in the box, so after some discussion, the correct decisions as to where bits and bobs went were made, and we now have a new bench!


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Willow Weaving and More Besides…

This week saw the first Tuesday opening, where a more structured day was on offer. The idea is to run a course of focused workshops and activities for everyone to join in with (as little or much as they want). The first ‘theme’ is using willow to create various objects. Under the careful supervision of Daryl, Debbie and Jonathan, a variety of creations were made, including woven fish and plate stands. The plan is to continue this for a few weeks, giving members the chance to increase their skills and the amount of objects made!

As usual, everyone has been busy in and outside the centre-Peter has made two picture frames as presents and the pool table has seen plenty of use. As the weather was fine on Wednesday, 13 members went to Belmont Bowling Club to enjoy the games on offer. We celebrated Molly’s birthday and she was treated to her own rendition of an Abba song by our resident crooner, Vincent!

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Barbecues, Bingo and Baking

The weather held, so Daryl fired up the barbecue three times for over twenty members on each day, offering a selection of burgers, sausages, chicken, turkey and halloumi and vegetable skewers. Supplemented by salad, and finished off with fruit based desserts, everyone certainly enjoyed their lunches!

We have harvested more fruit and veg from the greenhouse and beds, baked cheese scones and will be making yet another cake for the latest birthday coming up.

Outside, Peter and Gareth have been busy making models of an ocean liner and off-road car, with Scott and David starting money boxes. Also, Suzanne and Peter helped to sow some grass seed at the rear of the building and the beds, trough and greenhouse were well watered.

Inside, the computers have been in constant use, bingo is played every afternoon and plenty of drawing, colouring and chatting has been going on. David received another envelope, this time a reply from his favourite football club (Manchester United) with a signed photo of their manager and a Red Devils magazine! If you don’t ask…

Hopefully we will be able to get a few more sessions of bowling at Belmont before the end of the season and a few local trips out. On the 3rd September sees our first opening on a Tuesday, where we will be trying out different activities, starting with ‘willow workshops’ (details and photos to follow!)

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Activities Galore

The past few weeks have seen members busy with a multitude of different activities, from dominoes to drawing and bingo to baking.

Tracy, Tia, Linda and Daryl (Senior Support Worker) have celebrated birthdays, with the kitchen a busy place with making cakes. We have also started to harvest plenty of fruit and veg from both the greenhouse and raised beds-some of which has been enjoyed at lunchtime and the remainder prepared and frozen for a later date.

Peter and Anita have finished their latest projects and David was most excited to receive a large envelope in the post containing a signed photo and letter from The Shakin’ Stevens fan-club, in reply to his letter sent a few weeks ago!

Jamie, Scott and Vincent have been busy finding and printing pictures for their folders and others, including one of our newest members Chris, have designed posters of their favourite pop and film stars.

The barbecue has been fired up once already in August, and this week sees another round of hearty lunches for those who want them. Hopefully the weather will hold and we can enjoy the outdoor space.


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Any Other Business…


All manner of activities have been going on over the past weeks-gardening, cooking, bowling and bingo as well as computing and arts and crafts. Peter K has been busy using his papier-mache skills, whilst Jamie, Brian and Scott have also kept themselves well occupied.

The vegetable beds and greenhouse are now producing plenty of fresh ingredients tor the ‘chefs’. David, Scott and Jamie have ensured that the garden area is tidy so members can enjoy the sunshine.

Three birthdays have been celebrated recently-firstly Caroline, then Mike and finally Rob, our long-serving volunteer (complete with new hairstyle!).

Several members gave their support at the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service HQ Open Day, where we had a stall with a lucky dip and information about the centre. The stall was run by Helen, Ros and Ellie (all trustees) and, aided by Rachael, money was raised.

We are now looking forward to a week of barbecues and making the most of the extra space that we now have.


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Grand Opening

On Wednesday 17th July, Exeter Gateway Centre was officially ‘reopened’ following our recent building works. The ribbon was cut by Councillor Peter Holland, the Lord Mayor of Exeter following a buffet and official welcome from Ros Leveridge, one of the centre’s trustees and driving force behind the fundraising.

During the days leading up to the opening, members had been busy baking, cleaning and generally preparing for the occasion. Upwards of 80 people attended the event, including Gateway members, families and carers, members of the Exeter Southernhay Rotary and other invited guests.

Speeches were made, followed by Chris Jones, the outgoing President of Southernhay Rotary presenting a cheque for over £5700 to Helen Foster, the Chair of Trustees on behalf of Rotary-they had kindly adopted us as their charity for 2018/19, raising money towards resources to improve the daily activities for the members.

A massive thank you goes to everyone involved in making Exeter Gateway Centre the place it is-a welcoming, safe and stimulating environment for all members.

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