Over the past couple of weeks, members have been busy as usual with their activities. Tuesdays have been focused on mosaic working (although plenty of other choices are available) so we have made coasters, trivets and also decorated plant-pots.
Woodwork, papier-mache, dancing, cooking and music have all been going on around the centre. This week we celebrated Emma and Sarah’s birthdays with the sounds of Happy Birthday.
For three days this week, members had the opportunity to enjoy a Chinese lunch to celebrate Chinese New Year. Several sous-chefs, under the supervision of Daryl, helped to prepare three different meals for the benefit of the members. As usual, there was plenty to go round and everyone enjoyed their food.
Many members used their creative skills to make lanterns as well as complete Chinese themed word-searches and colouring. We also had ‘The Chopstick Challenge’, where members used their chopstick skills to move ten jelly-babies from one dish to another in the shortest time. There were some varied methods but everyone had fun trying!
This week continued as we finished the last, with plenty going on! Gareth, Peter K, Jamie and Brian all continued with their cardboard and papier-mache objects, with Jamie proudly showing off his Coca-Cola lorry by Thursday.
Angus is well on the way to completing his bird-box while Paul, Tracy, Amy, Suzanne and Sarah spent time baking. Vincent and Scott have been busy making posters and scrap-books about their favourite pop-stars and James Bond actors!
We have also been playing various games-as well as the usual dominoes and bingo, we have been testing our observational skills with ‘Dobble’ (Harry Potter version). This has proven a popular addition to the games selection, especially with Emma.
Outside, the old greenhouse has been removed and thanks to the generosity of Exeter Southernhay Rotary, a new and larger one is being assembled by John (our amazingly patient and weatherproof gardener!). He is also laying slabs and making the garden more accessible all year round. By early Spring, we should be able to make a start on preparing our fruit and vegetable areas and enjoying the outside space.
The new year started as the old one finished with everyone straight into their activities. This week has seen an array of papier-mache creations started, word-searches and colouring undertaken, birthday cakes baked, pool, Scalextric racing and even some Tai Chi before lunch! The theme for the fist couple of months is China, so some activities have been linked and as we approach Chinese New Year, we will be deciding what lunches we are going to have later in the month.
Emma has been busy dressing our mannequin, while Peter K, Jamie and Brian have been busy with the glue and paper. We celebrated our first birthday of the year, as Rachael turned 21 again! As usual, she was presented with a home made card (Liverpool FC themed of course!) and treated to a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.
We are creating a time-capsule where members can put their ideas for things they would like to do and/or achieve this year-we look forward to seeing if they happen this time next year. Some ideas involve getting out and about on trips as a group but also individual aims including learning some sign-language!
This week we are having our greenhouse replaced with a larger one and also having the raised bed area paved to enable better access to planting-hopefully we can get planting and enjoy some fresh fruit and vegetables in our cooking.
On Wednesday, 34 members sat down for our annual lunch. Due to the larger amount of diners, we decided on the theme of a ‘Leftovers Lunch’-Cold meats, roast potatoes, salad and coleslaw followed by mince pies and cream. Thanks to the building works, we had ample space to form a hollow square with the tables, allowing plenty of room for all.
Prior to lunch, we emptied the post box and gave out a considerable amount of cards and then set the tables ready to eat.
Between courses, we drew the raffle prizes, with Sarah and Emma winning the star prize in the shape of a rather large cuddly tiger! Everyone won at least one prize and then tucked into their puds!
With just one Monday left this year, it means it’s time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at the Exeter Gateway Centre!
The centre has been a hive of activity over the past few weeks as we’ve built up to Christmas. The decorations have been dusted off, mince pies baked , as well as cards and presents made and the karaoke machine has been used to great effect.
Two birthdays have been celebrated this month-firstly Vincent’s, then Debbie (one of the centre’s support workers). On both occasions, we were treated to some delicious cake after a tuneful rendition of Happy Birthday!
We’ve welcomed several new members recently-Sam, David , Glenn and Andrew among others. We hope that they enjoy what’s on offer and stay with us for a long time.
As we move into the last full week of opening, we are looking forward to our Christmas lunch, with possibly nearly 40 members dining!
It is with great sadness to announce the passing of one of our long-standing members, Becky King, after a short illness. She will be fondly remembered for her infectious giggle, cheeky faces and her love of Westlife and Boyzone (especially her sing-alongs when listening on the computer!). She will be sorely missed by everyone at the centre.
With Christmas approaching, the members have been busy with their activities, many choosing to make items as presents. Several choices have been calendars, pencil-cases and cards. Vincent, Suzanne and Martin have started on this year’s post-box, ready for the flow of Christmas cards.
Paul and Tracy have again been busy in the kitchen, this week baking mixed fruit muffins-very popular with a lunch-time hot drink! The pool/air-hockey table has been well-used and our Scalextric set is still proving popular-this week, we have been entertained by Vincent’s commentary as members have raced their cars.
Next week, we are off on our annual pantomime trip to the Northcott Theatre to watch Beauty and the Beast. It will also be time to dust off the decorations and get in a festive mood.
Every Spring and Autumn Freemasons from all parts of Devon meet to give support totalling in excess of £50,000 to local charities throughout the county who are in need of assistance. This time we were one ofthe groups nominated by one of the local lodges, the Exeter Northcote Lodge. The money is raised by the “WAKE Fund” a trust set up by William A. Kneel, the Provincial GrandMaster from 1970 to 1984, & the late owner of Kneels laundry & dry cleaners (now Johnsons).This year on 1st November, Right Worshipful Brother Ian Kingsbury JP., Provincial Grand Master for the Devonshire Freemasons, presented cheques to 20 deserving causes during a celebratory meeting at theExmouth Masonic Hall. EGC’s Trustee Helen Foster represented us & was delighted to receive a cheque for £1,250! Thank you to Alan Morgan, our treasurer, for his role in obtaining this donation.
As usual, everyone at the centre has been keeping busy with plenty of activities on offer. We have celebrated four birthdays-Barbara, Amy, Suzanne and Gareth’s. Various designs of cake were baked by Paul, Tracy and other members and quickly devoured soon after the blowing out of the candles!
On the creating front, Emma, Gareth and Angus (among others) have been busy sawing and chiseling under the careful guidance of Jonathan-bird-boxes are the popular choice at present. Peter K has made several calendars on different themes and the Tuesday members are still busy with their clay making.
Inside the centre, we have been cooking, playing scalextric, pool and air-hockey plus the usual bingo sessions, dominoes and word-searches.
As Halloween fell on a centre opening day, we decorated the building during the week, culminating in a party that was attended by 27 members. There were some fantastic costumes, dancing, games, and of course food. Prizes were awarded for the best costumes and dancers, plus everyone was entered into the raffle. A great time was had by all!