With the building works in full swing, we decided to get out and about to leave more space in the ‘caravan’ for those who were happy to stay. Over two days, groups of members made a trip to Bernaville Garden Centre for a look round and a hot drink in the cafe.
On Wednesday, Eileen and Jonathan took eleven members and on Thursday, Daryl, Debbie and Rob took another eight. Emma, Sarah and Peter K enjoyed it so much on the Wednesday that they went Thursday too! The buses were straightforward, and there was little waiting time and we made it back within Gateway hours.
On both days, packed lunches were enjoyed by the pond with the company of several ducks and a friendly robin. Members gathered ideas of how to improve the outside space when the building works are complete and also found a barbecue that Daryl would love to use!
April 1st saw the start of the improvements to the Gateway Centre. The builders wasted no time in dismantling and demolishing various parts of the building. Members and staff alike have been amazed by the swift progress already made.
Meanwhile, activities have continued in our temporary home next door, in what Sarah refers to as ‘the caravan’! Despite being a cosy space to work from, there has been plenty of choice of what to do-Tia and Mickie were among several members who finished posters and clocks and the usual word-searches, colouring and games of bingo have continued. There is also a wifi signal, so the computers are still available for internet use, allowing David to get his daily Shakin’ Stevens fix!
As the weather was particularly warm on the first day, Jamie, Brian and Vincent managed a few games of pool (the table is outside but wrapped up from the elements when not in use) and others sat in the garden area. Unfortunately, due to cooler and inclement weather on Wednesday and Thursday, we were mainly restricted to the inside. Although it has been a bit of a squeeze everyone has coped very well and to help matters, we have been given copies of the plans showing how fantastic the building and facilities will be when finished.
Trips out and three days of BBQs have been organised, so this will hopefully ease the situation and before we realise it, we will be back in the main building.
This week saw several members finally finishing their clock creations, with ideas resulting in an amazing selection of timepieces. The finished articles included a police car, dogs plus favourite pop stars!
After some incredible fund-raising efforts led by Ros (one of the centre’s trustees), we are now pleased to announce that the centre will be undergoing some major building works to improve the facilities for the members and staff.
Early on Thursday 28th March, our temporary accommodation for the next 8 or so weeks was carefully craned into place in the car park. Over the course of the past weeks and during the day, resources were put into storage or relocated so Andy and his team could start the work.
By the end of the day, those attending took their last look at the centre in its current condition, looking forward to seeing the improvements. By the beginning of June, there will be more space, an improved outdoor working area, a cloakroom plus other new flooring and decor. This will add to the quality of the members’ experience and allow more room for activities.
There will regular updates on progress so keep visiting the site!
As mentioned in a previous post, it was decided to hold a week of exercise activities to raise money for Comic Relief. This took the form of aerobics/chairobics, dancing, air-hockey, exercise-biking and walking in and around the centre. In total, over 20 members took part during the week and the aim was to complete an hour’s exercise over the course of a day.
To link with the aim of being healthy, Eileen and her team of chefs also prepared some delicious pasta lunches and fruit based puddings to keep up the energy levels.
Members took home a sponsorship form and hopefully we have raised a generous sum of money-the final amount will be announced soon.
Over the past few weeks, members have been designing and making casings for a small battery operated clock. This has proved very popular with an array of ideas being planned and created. Jamie brought in one of his Eddie Stobart lorries (a toy one!) to base his clock on, and Peter K adapted one of his Doctor Who creations into a storage box and clock for his mum. Other designs include Paul’s Stagecoach bus, David’s Shakin’ Stevens and Scott’s Elvis themed clocks. There are still several members who will be finishing theirs this week.
On the birthday front, Lisa celebrated ‘The Big 40’ and was treated to a magnificent rendition of Happy Birthday, a cake and card too.
As it was Shrove Tuesday during this week, it was decided that pancakes would be on the menu on all three days! Over the course of the week, Debbie, one of the support workers, expertly flipped in excess of 60 pancakes, which were then served with a choice of fillings-sugar and lemon, peanut-butter, maple syrup and various fruits too. Some members took the opportunity to try all the fillings in one pancake!
We celebrated two birthdays this week-both of the Peters. Peter S was treated to a more traditional style cake, while Peter K had a Doctor Who themed one, made and decorated mostly by Emma R, Michelle and Victoria!
With the sun shining and it feeling warmer, one of the activities this week was making tissue paper flowers-it proved very popular, with some very colourful creations taken home.
This week we shall be gearing up towards our Comic Relief fundraising event, where members will again be taking part in an hour’s exercise to raise money. This will happen the week after the official Red Nose Day but not long to wait for the photos!
This week we celebrated yet another birthday-this time, one of the more ‘mature’ members, Brian. He was treated to a triple layer chocolate cake, made by our Jamie (not Oliver!) and his assistants Cathie, Anita and Tracy. Their hard work was much appreciated by all and thankfully the heat from all the candles didn’t set off any alarms! As usual, everyone joined in with the singing and signed a hand made card.
Among the activities this week has been still life painting-this has been very popular along with making posters and has definitely engaged the members with Sarah being particularly proud of her work! Again, the pool table has been in regular use and the players are definitely improving!