Barbecue Time Again!

Last week saw the first food cooked on the new barbecue. Both Daryl and Jonathan were chefs and members ate an array of food, including haloumi kebabs, chicken, sausages and burgers over the course of the week. Erin, our volunteer, kindly made cheesecake and cookies for all, so everyone enjoyed a feast!

During the great weather, the beds were harvested of the onions and leeks and the greenhouse is more like a rainforest as the vegetables have grown considerably! We are looking forward to picking courgettes, tomatoes, peppers and chillies.

We have celebrated several birthdays, with Cathie baking a cake for us all to share. There has been more cooking in the shape of scones-cheese and leeks (from the beds) and savoury too.

Members have been busy with the usual activities and have also been decorating pebbles and glass jars and bottles. Afternoon bingo has seen plenty of winners choosing a variety of prizes and there is a real feeling of fun and enjoyment throughout the day.

Suzanne has been spending a lot of time outside, whether helping in the garden or practising her archery skills-so far, the target has been coming off the worst rather than the members!

Last week, we successfully interviewed for an Activities Co-ordinator/Senior Support Worker, who will be starting next month-more to follow.

Hopefully, over the coming weeks we will have some more members returning and also be able to welcome some new faces.

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Keeping Busy

The centre has been busy over the last few weeks, with members keeping occupied throughout the day. We have been working hard in the garden, with Suzanne and Tony (plus others), planting, weeding and watering. With Jonathan’s help, the duo planted up two roses in memory of Becky and Sarah, which are placed either side of the main entrance for all to remember them.

Inside, the pool/air hockey table is getting plenty of use (obviously cleaned down and players distancing), and a range of other activities are taking place. Members have been decorating pebbles with their names and other designs, to either take home or put in the centre’s garden.

We have purchased a new barbecue, thanks to Exeter City FC and another donation, which we are planning to use next month for a week of outdoor meals, weather permitting! Hopefully, the sun will come out and members can spend more time outside, whether gardening, colouring or just enjoying a chat.

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Spring has Sprung

With the pleasant April weather, many members have been busy out in the garden and greenhouse. Under the watchful eye of Jane, Suzanne, Tracy and Michelle potted on the tomato and basil seedlings plus planted some courgette, pepper and chilli plants in the greenhouse.

Jonathan took Suzanne, Tony and Tracy into the garden area to tidy and sow some wild flower seed. Hopefully, along with the already blooming bedding plants the garden will be very colourful and fragrant come summer.

We have celebrated Jamie and John’s birthdays, with Cathie creating two fantastic cards for them both.

Rachael, among others, has been busy decorating tins and pots with pictures of their choice, ranging from pop stars to model trains. The usual colouring and word searching has been popular and the bingo prize box needs refilling!

As the weeks progress we look forward to many more familiar faces coming back to the centre and old friends can be reunited.

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Happy Easter…

Since reopening on the 8th March, the returning members have been keeping themselves busy in the centre. There have been plenty of safe activities to partake in, from bingo to gardening and cooking to colouring.

Suzanne and Tony spent a time planting and tidying the garden, helping Daryl to repurpose the bbq into a planter and also filling the pots around the exterior of the building. Tracy, Michelle and Emma made some delicious Easter treats and most members had a go at designing their own eggs, with some fantastic results!

We are looking forward to the weather improving and getting outside-there are sweet peas to plant as well as fruit and veg to go into the greenhouse and beds.

Hopefully, the current situation improves, we can welcome back more members to the centre

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Farewell

It is with great sadness that one of our members, Sarah, passed away recently. She was a long time attendee at the Gateway Centre and spent many a happy day taking part in the activities with her friends. Sarah was very popular-her infectious smile and raucous laugh were loved by all and she left a lasting impression on all those that met her. Her love of Abba was no secret, entertaining members and staff on the karaoke machine. Sarah will be sorely missed.

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We Made It!

The last four months have flown by, and members and staff alike have certainly become used to the new way in which the centre operates. Everyone has coped admirably, and despite the smaller numbers, we have managed to maintain a vibrant atmosphere and enjoy a host of activities in and outside the centre.

With the build up to Christmas, members have been colouring, card and gift making, cooking and of course playing bingo! Hopefully, as the situation improves, we can welcome back more members and increase the range of opportunities.

We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, in whatever form it takes, and a Happy and Safe New Year from everyone at The Exeter Gateway Centre.

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Activities Continue…

The members have been very active over the past few weeks, with plenty of word-searching, colouring, bingo, painting and generally having fun being amongst friends. Safety measures are being well adhered to, and everyone is now familiar with the routines within the centre.

On the days leading up to Halloween, some members (and staff) came in suitably scary outfits and activities were linked to the theme.

We’ve managed some socially distanced cooking, with Paul and Emma baking some very tasty cheese scones. In the next few weeks, some members will be making and decorating Christmas cakes.

Prior to closure, several members had worked hard on a mosaic sign to put out the front. Gareth had put in a particular amount of time and was pleased to see his labours on display-all we need now is people to notice both the new and existing sign and realise that we are not the Sycamore Centre!

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Having Fun

The centre has been reopen for four weeks now and members have settled into the new routine of keeping a safe distance, hand washing and wearing face coverings. Activities are continuing mostly as before, with adjustments where necessary but everyone seems happy to be back in with their friends.

As the weather has been fine, several members have been using the outdoor space to sit, colour, chat and eat their lunch. Suzanne and Gareth have planted the first of this Winter’s vegetables (red and white onion sets), with their crop marked out for some friendly competition! They also planted up some Spring bulbs, so hopefully outside the entrance will be a wash of colour.

Inside, members have been using the computers and pool table (all cleaned down prior to and after use), as well as playing games of the ever popular bingo (using pens and paper cards) during the afternoons.

Everyone has adapted incredibly well to the new measures, and, despite having fewer friends at sessions, members are very much enjoying socialising again.

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Welcome Back!

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).

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Time Flies!

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.

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