Business as Usual

This week has again been packed full of activities to keep everyone busy…

Paul and Tracy have spent a lot of time in the kitchen, baking cakes and using fresh ingredients to make both leek and potato and pumpkin soups. Scott, Emma and Caroline have been using the PCs to create word documents about Elvis Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other subjects. Roy has been showing off his cue skills on the pool table and a new supply of bingo prizes had to be bought this week.

The second birthday of the year was celebrated, with Jenny G sharing her freshly made cake with the members. Peter K took home another Doctor Who inspired character for his collection-this time an almost life-size K9!

There will plenty to do to keep everyone happy-hopefully we will be able to get out and about soon and report back on our adventures.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all from the members and staff at the centre.

The new year has started as the last finished, with baking, making and celebrating! Our first birthday of the year was Rachael’s, and as usual a cake was baked and ‘Happy Birthday’ was sung with its usual enthusiasm! As well as keeping busy in the kitchen, members have already started making (and in some cases finished!) various items. Hand puppets are still popular, with Liam from One Direction being swiftly created plus John Travolta from Grease taking shape.

With the purchase of another printer, some members have been learning how to find and print pictures to accompany typing. Our theme for the new year is health and well-being- Jamie created a word document about ‘What makes me happy?’, which included pictures of Manchester United and snooker and Peter K has been searching for Dr Who!

In the next few weeks we will be celebrating Chinese New Year, with a week of lunches and then looking forward to Valentine’s Day. There will be plenty of bingo, air-hockey and some more energetic activities to link to our theme.

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Christmas Dinner and Play

Having taken 26 members to see Jack and the Beanstalk, (a thoroughly enjoyable trip out), it was time to really now time to up the ante and cook dinner for 33! With the help of a team of chefs and table decorators, the members were treated to a festive feast! As usual, there was plenty to go round so seconds was the order of the day!

The dinner was followed by the raffle-the top prizes being a signed football and shirt, courtesy of Exeter City FC. Nearly everyone that had bought tickets won a prize and some several!

On the last Wednesday before Christmas, a group of members visited the Sycamore Centre (next to Gateway) to perform this year’s play. This is a traditional event lead by Debbie-this year saw Roy eloquently reciting Twas the Night Before Christmas with sound effects from the choir. It was interspersed with three songs and some communal singing!  A big thank you to Debbie for organising and rehearsing her volunteers.

This just left the final Thursday  for members to wish each other a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

There will plenty of activities and events to report on next year, so watch this space!

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Cakes, Crafts and Karaoke

The conveyor belt of cakes finally came to an end, with over 20 members finally icing and decorating their creations. This meant that there was now some space in the office for the Christmas raffle prizes! Calendars, bookmarks, wreathes and other presents were laminated and wrapped accordingly-the centre has been a real hive of activity for the past month and families and carers will have received some very interesting and thoughtful gifts.

As mentioned previously, the members enjoyed a week of ‘Party Lunches’ and Karaoke. There were some very enthusiastic renditions of a selection of Christmas songs plus some excellent ‘sous cheffing’ under Eileen’s supervision. Prizes were awarded for the best singing, with Vincent, Robbie and  Rachael among the recipients. Thank you to Paul Lee for his DJ and MC skills!

A popular creation this season has been hand puppets, with Jamie, Rachael and Scott making a bear, Prince Albert and The Terminator respectively! Other puppets are a work in progress so more to follow!

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Birthdays and a Goodbye

Birthdays seem to be coming thick and fast at Gateway, with Vincent, Victoria and Nicola celebrating theirs in early December. This year saw Debbie, one of the centre’s support workers, reaching a’special’ milestone-she was on leave but popped in and was soon laden with an array of gifts! As usual, everyone was treated to the Gateway rendition of Happy Birthday!

We have been very fortunate this term to have Beth, a student at Exeter College, working alongside the staff-she fitted in immediately and was very much liked by the members. Beth finished her placement in this month and we wish her well in her future studies and thank her for her contribution to the centre.


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Festive Build-Up

The past few weeks have been very busy at the centre, with the members creating an array of items ready for Christmas. Eileen has been overseeing Christmas cake making, whilst the other staff, including our newest addition Jonathon, have been supervising the production of photo frames, embroidery, book marks and calendars just to name a few.

The first batch of cakes have been iced reading for decorating, with the remainder being done in the next few days. Jamie, Brian and Vincent have decided to create an approximately quarter size reindeer (thankfully without sleigh!), whilst Scott and Peter have gone for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harry Potter themed calendars respectively.

Afternoon bingo is still very popular, especially with the festive prizes on offer, and some days, upwards of a dozen keen ‘bingoers’ can be seen crowded round the tables with their ‘eyes down’!

This week will see the centre being decorated ready for the following weeks’ events-Christmas Karaoke, buffet lunches and a full on Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. We’re also fitting in a trip to the Northcott Theatre, as it’s Jack and the Beanstalk panto time.

With so much happening, there will be plenty of photos and updates, so watch this space!


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Halloween was upon us again, so it was time to decorate the centre and carve the pumpkins! During the day, some members were busy playing bingo (with all manner of Halloween related prizes), while others, including Suzanne and Emma, helped to make props for the evening’s games.

Some members had arrived in their costumes, whilst others changed-a great effort was made to look ‘scary and spooky’ and prizes were awarded for the best dressed members. Both Karaoke and dancing took place over the course of the evening with a particularly impressive rendition of Ghostbusters from Vincent. There were interludes for various games including musical statues and ‘eat the marshmallow off the string’ (no hands allowed).

As well as the entertainment, there was hot food (hot-dogs, jacket potatoes, beans and salad followed by jelly and muffins!).

A big thank you must go to Amy, for organising a treasure hunt around the centre with some very clever clues. A great time was had by all and there were some very tired members the next day!


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