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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Flat Pack Fun and more…

This week again saw members keeping busy with a variety of activities. With several birthdays coming up, there has been a lot of baking going on. Eileen and Helen (Chair of Trustees) had made a rip to IKEA so the challenge was on to put together some items. Gareth, Amy, Robbie and Vincent took on the task, and under Daryl’s watchful eye, a new coffee table and shelving unit were soon assembled!

There has been an enthusiastic increase in painting canvasses for the walls, with several new pictures ready to go up with Emma R’s creations form last week. The decking area has been used for papier-mache and woodworking, plus the usual pool playing, bingo-ing, drawing and colouring has been happening inside.

Outside, members have been enjoying the sunny weather by eating lunch at the new bench and Emma, Peter and several others have lined and planted up our new boxes. The centre is beginning to look and feel very homely and hopefully we will be able to add extra resources and storage in the coming months.

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Millfield 2019

The annual trip to Milfield School was upon us, so a group of members and staff climbed aboard the coach (shared with Exeter’s Horizon Club) and made their way for what was again, a great day out with fantastic weather too. As usual, everyone enjoyed their lunch and then spent a few hours walking it off!

As well as the ‘bucking bronco’ and soak the pupil, Suzanne, Donna and Emma took the opportunity to hold a selection of puppies. Rachael was on the winning team on her first attempt at tug-of-war and Robbie, (along with several others) made the most of the face-painting skills on offer!

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and spent time on Monday sharing their experiences, although there were some weary members come lunchtime from all the walking!

A big thank you must go to the staff and pupils of Millfield who make the day so special for so many people.


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Busy, Busy!

This week, the centre has been a busy place-due to the increased space, the daily numbers are steadily rising so there have been plenty of activities to keep members busy. Jamie and Emma have used there artistic skills to paint canvasses for the walls. There is a lot of space to cover, so others are also having a go give the centre some colour. Sewing is proving popular, with an array of hand-made bags being created, as well as dominoes, card games, colouring, word-searches, pool, air-hockey and the usual bingo!

All of the major structural work has been completed but there is still much to do finishing off the interiors and equipping the centre with storage areas, blinds and some fabric to lessen the ambient noise.

Although the weather has been pretty poor, due to our new decking area, Peter K and Brian have been able to work on their papier-mache garage and boat respectively. The raised beds contain a few vegetables, as does the greenhouse (the industrial strength tape is just about holding it together!) and we hope to eventually get another shed to help with storage.

We celebrated Cathie’s birthday with Paul and Tracy’s expertly made cake and a rendition of Happy Birthday. Cards have been made and ingredients bought for the fast approaching next ones.

Excitement was mounting during the week, as members were eagerly looking forward to the weekend’s trip to Milfield School-more to follow!


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Donkey Sanctuary

On Wednesday 5th June, 25 members plus staff and carers visited the Donkey Sanctuary, near Sidmouth. The bulk of the members met Daryl, Jonathan and Rob at Exeter Bus Station and caught the 9A bus. Having disembarked, we walked the short distance to the entrance and split up to go around the area. A couple of Gateway members have adopted donkeys, so great fun was had trying to spot them!

After meeting for lunch and spending a few pennies in the gift shop, we wandered back to the bus stop and made our way back to Exeter. A great time was had by all, and we’re now looking forward to the Millfield trip near the end of the month.

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