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.
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.
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!
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.
The building works finished on schedule, so on the 3rd June members could again use the main building in all its glory! Andy, Richard, Darren and the other builders had used their skills to greatly improve the centre. Members were amazed at the space that has been created-there is plenty of room to move about the building and with the addition of a cloakroom, less chance of tripping over a coat or bag!
The toilets have been reconfigured, opening up more space for tables and the conservatory enlarged to allow seating as well as the pool table. To the rear, decking has been laid with a perspex roof allowing for a year round project area. The office has been moved to the front giving a view of arrivals and storage has been added in the shape of two cupboards.
Everyone coped admirably during the 8 weeks in the portacabin and now can really appreciate just how amazing our new accommodation is.
This week, 11 members plus Daryl and Jonathan enjoyed a morning’s bowls, courtesy of Belmont Bowls Club. Under the watchful eye and guidance of Dave and Gordon, a great time was had by all-considering no-one had bowled since September, there were some very impressive scores to be had!
We have also managed to get outside due to the better weather-Jonathan carried on Suzanne’s hard work from last week by turning over the solid soil in the beds ready for planting. The pool table has seen plenty of use and friends have been able to sit in the sun, eat lunch, enjoy a chat over a hot drink and admire the continuing improvements to the main building.
Inside the ‘caravan’, activities have continued with bingo, bracelet and necklace making plus keeping our weather chart updated. We also celebrated Becky’s birthday with a cake made from a selection of doughnuts!
This week has seen a massive change to both the inside and outside of the centre. The front now has all the brickwork ready for doors and windows, the extended conservatory has been clad and doors and windows put in plus there is now some flooring down in the new toilets. Also, the new ceiling lights are in place and there is an extra sink in the kitchen. It is very exciting to think that by this time next month we will be in our greatly improved building.
Meanwhile, we have managed to get the cover off the pool table in between showers and some members have also been painting and gardening-Suzanne was very keen to get to grips with the jungle-like vegetable beds! Inside, activities have continued, many linked to our new theme (suggested by Rachael)-all about ‘The Weather’. We hope to monitor the rainfall, wind speed and temperature around the building and keep a record of the weather over the next few weeks.