Monkey Business

Our guys from our Sherwood site recently went on a trip to a Monkey Forest. Thankfully the weather held out and we managed to miss the rain! The clients were really excited and we were practising our sign language for monkeys during the build-up to the trip. 

The monkeys at the forest are Barbary Macaques and they are at risk of extinction, some of the money we paid to get into the forest will go towards conservation for these lively animals. 

We enjoyed a day out seeing monkeys in something close to their natural habitat rather than behind glass at a zoo, this was a real hands-on experience and something we’ve not done before. The day was filled with facts, learning lots of interesting information about these cheeky creatures as we walked around the park. 

We enjoyed lunch in the picnic area before having a nosey in the gift shop and we bought a special magnet to go on our fridge as we start to collect more magnets from the wonderful trips we’ve been on! We all had a great day and we’re all really excited for more trips to come this summer!

Fit for Life

Being healthy is one the things we emphasise when looking at how we support our clients. As I’m sure you know, we focus on being active and eating healthily and responsibly. Since we started we’ve always offered a gym programme for those people who are interested or who would like to exercise more often. Recently, there has been a lot of information in the media around the benefits of weight training for bone strength, flexibility and weight management. It seems appropriate then to share some lovely photos from a weekly training session at our local gym. We’ve been working with Xercise4Less for a couple of years and really like the high quality of their equipment and their realistic pricing. Combined with their location in the heart of our community, Xercise4Less is a great option for some of our folks and we’re always really happy when we hear of people continuing their training in their own time.

Screen Time

Our most excellent friends at West Notts College are delivering yet more creative activities with us. This time it’s screen printing, which as you can see, is having some excellent results. We value the opportunity to have specialists in their fields come in to our service and share their skills and knowledge. The people that have chosen to take part really benefit from engaging in an activity they might not normally have the chance to do, and screen printing is not that easy! We’ve learned lots about following a process, design, colour and working tidily. Thanks again West Notts, you are welcome anytime!

Sew far, sew good…

Our sewing group has recently restarted at our Mansfield Woodhouse site after a bit of a break. As one of our group has recently become an uncle, we are making baby clothes. Baby clothes are great for apprentice pieces, as you practice a range of new skills on a small scale. This is also the first time using a pdf pattern, downloaded for free and printed on scrap paper, and put together ourselves. We are also sticking with our recycle and reuse ethos with our fabric, it’s amazing what you can do with an unwanted pillow case, or duvet cover! Talking of duvet covers, we are enjoying working in the recently renovated sewing room, with the soft furnishings made during a previous project.

All Aboard!

The first of our residential trips has pulled up the anchor and set sail, bound for adventure in the summer sunshine. Our intrepid voyagers embarked on our annual trip on the canals of Yorkshire this week with our friends from the Ethel Barge Trust. The trip is an excellent exercise in independence, teamwork, learning new skills and having a great time. Six of our folks have volunteered to spend two nights on board a narrowboat (skippered by experienced crew and supported by our staff team) taking in the fresh air and having a break from their day to day routines on the great British waterways. Thanks as always to the Ethel Barge Trust, they are a truly amazing bunch of people. Check them out (and support them!) @ethelbargetrust

All the World’s a Stage

Three of our sites have come together to take part in a weekly Drama session which will include; role play, therapeutic drama, circle time, movement and music, storytelling, mask work, and more enjoyable and relaxing activities. The group are immersed in an expressive sensory experience which enhances so many of their social skills and life skills. The weekly workshops provide clients with a safe space where they can explore themselves through the medium of Drama. These clients are building confidence creating an empowering atmosphere, but most importantly we’re having lots and lots of fun.

Doing it Ourselves

We pride ourselves on having really nice environments here at Space Inclusive, but as with anything, time can take it’s toll… As you can see from the before pics, our daily activities board and cloakroom area in our Mansfield Woodhouse building were looking more than a bit tired.  After the successful revamp of the sewing room and sensory area, our DIYers got their heads together, had  a search through Pinterest and came up with a plan to increase the space for hanging our stuff, improve on the hard to clean wipe board, and brighten the area… Well done everyone, we have had a focused effort on DIY with everyone contributing in some way and you should be really proud of your efforts…

BSA Star Rider

As I’m sure you know, our bike project is one of the sparkling diamonds in our treasure chest of activities. What you may not know is that repairing bikes is not the only skill the group members have. One of a very talented bunch, our very own Evelyn has a skill for writing that has had us all cock-a-hoop! So, I’ll shut up for now and let you read Evelyn’s account of bike clubs recent restoration of an old BSA bicycle… Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Dave had gone to the cattle market in search of bike parts going cheap, when he saw a man selling an old rusted to heck brown and white bike. So being the bike enthusiast that he is, Dave approached the man and gave the bike a once over.

“How much do you want for that?” Dave asked,

“Twenty quid, duck“ The man stated. Dave gave a chuckle, hoping that the man was not serious, but the man did not join him in the laughter,

“Okay, thanks, but that’s more than I want to pay for it” Dave declared, before turning to carry on in his search for cheap bike parts,

“Hey, wait! How about we play a game of coin toss?” The man called out. “The person who wins gets to decide to pay what they want, between £8 and £15” the man called, making Dave stop in his tracks.

Never the one to turn down a game of chance, he agreed. People stopped doing what they were doing and turned to watch the two grown men play a game of coin toss. The man tossed the coin in the air, “Heads” he called only to have Dave reply with a shout of “Tails.” The coin landed on the floor, bounced, span on its side for a few seconds before revealing the winner.

It was….tails! Dave had won the bike for £8. Begrudgingly, the man selling the bike handed it over and took the money. Dave pushed the rusted bike along the pavement thinking to himself “The bike crew is either going to be happy I found this, or they will be questioning my sanity once more?!”

The Bike arrives at Space

It was a Wednesday when the bike crew first saw the bike that Dave had ‘triumphantly ‘brought for the low price of eight quid. Cameron was working on another bike doing the last little touch ups, James was at the drinks station making a round of drinks, Ash was pottering around cleaning up some breaks.

Evelyn had just arrived with headphones in listening to MIC drop by BTS, she shrugged off her rucksack, giving the guys a one handed wave and Dave a fist bump, when she spotted the new addition to the collection of bikes. “What is that? And why is it here?” she questioned.

“Oh I picked it up from the cattle market last week” Dave nervously stated.

“You got it from the cattle market?” she asked, looking at Dave as he looked from the bike to her and back again, “The guy selling it wanted twenty quid for it, but I didn’t wanna pay that much, so we ended up in an epic coin toss, I won and here we are with a bike” Dave proudly stated.

Evelyn looked from the bike to Dave, “Great” she said sarcastically, bringing a hand to rub her forehead

“Does it work?” she asked, Dave chuckled “I don’t know, but it will” he replied…Evelyn said nothing.

“I’m thinking if you and Cameron probably start with stripping the bike, and sanding down the surface rust, then we can see if there is any hidden problems” Dave suggested, Evelyn agreed and grabbing Cameron they set to work sandpapering the surface rust off the bike.

Restoring the bike from brown and white to the blue BSA Star Rider beneath

Throughout the next few weeks, the bike crew set about turning the bike from the rusted brown and white mess that it was, into the BSA Star Rider bike that you see in the pictures, with a Cameron’s prowess of sanding down the rusted bike parts along with the rest of the crew’s hard work.

Cai, Evelyn and Ben were sanding down the brown and white painted bike frame, “Can you believe that Dave got this bike, Eve?” Cai questioned, as he pressed down hard on the sand paper to get the old paint off “This is Dave we are talking about!” Evelyn replied. Just then the doors opened and Tom came in holding a couple of picture’s in his hand.

“Dave, I did some research in to why we are discovering two different shades of blue under the brown and white paint, following the crew’s discovery of the BSA logo beneath the old paint, it turns out that this bike is a BSA Star Rider, from the 1950’s” Tom declared.

The rest of the crew looked at the pictures asking themselves why someone would paint over the logo and the original paint work.

The bike crew got to work putting the now freshly sandpapered bike frame, front wheel, back wheel and mud guards back together, then they set to work fixing up the other problems with the help of Bike Club workers Richard and Dave.

The Finished Product

The bike crew spent weeks checking and cleaning and repairing the bikes many components to ensure that they work properly. One day, Cai stated “It’s finished” as course of high-fives rippled through the group. “What would I do without you guys?” Dave declared, to which Evelyn replied “Probably lose your head and end up in a padded cell screaming about bikes” which is par for the course banter from Evelyn.

The bike is now finished and ready to be put back on the road, nigh on 60 years after it first hit the streets, and Dave is now banned from playing coin toss!

What’s Cooking?

Improving health through shared meals

It is stated in government policy that “there is clear evidence that most people with a learning disability have poorer health than the rest of the population” We take this issue very seriously at Space Inclusive and we are working towards improving people’s health through a healthy eating initiative.

Our Mansfield Woodhouse team has been successfully running their Friday Feast for some time and our city sites in Radford and Carrington decided to join in and introduce a shared meal into the week! More than twenty people are enjoying amazing healthy meals and developing new skills each week. We have been exploring different foods and flavours and introducing new foods to people who have limited diets with great success. Meals are chosen by voting and everyone has a part to play in preparing, cooking and serving.