Services in South East England recently held their regional forum at Wick Lodge in Clacton-on-Sea. Service users from across all sites in the South East presented to the members attending. One person was supported by a family member who attends the family forum. Advocates attended the event, along with Melinda Glover, Director of Operations for the South East region. Everyone was very pleased to see Melinda, and she was very supportive and encouraging. The forum went very well and a variety of ideas came about from it.
Service users discussed activities they enjoy, as well as those they would like to do. Some of these have now started at the services interested:
- Thors Park have started clay and woodwork sessions, which are going very well with lots of people taking part. Yew Trees have been running clay sessions for a while and have been experimenting with a potter’s wheel. They have made some wonderful things and the ladies are so very proud of their work.
- Service users and staff continue to explore community resources. Access to the new private pool resource is going well for individuals at Thors Park. The pool is beautiful, as you can see, and allows up to 10 people to use it at any time. It is solely for the use of Thors Park during their session, so everyone feels safe and supported to use this valuable resource. Use of the pool is also being explored for Yew Trees, so hopefully it won’t be too long before the ladies are able to take a splash themselves. This would form a graded approach for some before stepping into a public pool.
- Football with Healthy4Life at the local leisure centre on Thursdays continues on a weekly basis, which is going really well for our ladies at Ducks Halt and Yew Trees. The Rock It club in Thorpe is also a great community resource which ladies from both services frequently attend.
Service users decided to have a Christmas party for the region, which will be held on December 8th. Everyone has been working hard to prepare for the party; all the service users are involved in coming up with party games to play, with all sites playing a part in the organising. Some of the activities planned so far are; pin the nose on Rudolph, a Treasure Hunt, a quiet corner for colouring, musical statues, a best Christmas hat competition and Christmas Pictionary.
There will also be a DJ, a snow machine and a photobooth where people can take pictures with the snow machine and fun Christmas-themed props like hats, glasses and beards. They can then use these photos to make Christmas cards for their family that are truly personalised, original and creative. Service users and staff alike are looking forward to the party!
Damien from The Orchards presented at the recent forum on what he has been enjoying recently, talking about how much he loves to cook. From this a Bake Off competition was set into action, with the judging taking place at the Christmas party. Good luck to everyone taking part!
The regional forum also discussed their roles for each forum and how they can promote greater service user involvement. Everyone will have the opportunity to apply for a role at the next regional forum in March, with a vote taking place to democratically elect each position. Until that time, the roles will be conducted by service users at each service in a shared manner; Old Leigh House will be the organisers; Thors Park will be the Chair; Ducks Halt will arrange events and activities; Bostall House will be in charge of ‘Meet and Greet’; Yew Trees will take the minutes; and The Orchards will organise invites and publications.