Issue No.7 July 2019.
Here we are, nearing the end of June and signs of Summer approaching at last. Our long anticipated Garden party was held at Highview on Sunday 16th June. We were able to welcome many of our regular visitors and some new friends as well. Not many of our members came from the Care Homes, as some of them do not have weekend drivers.
Jeanette was back in fine form and had produced four different kinds of cake. The wonderful chocolate cake was really gooey. The white sponge had fruit and cream inside and a great array of fruits on top. Then there was sticky toffee cake and another- all equally mouth-watering and bad for the waist line. Everybody is allowed to indulge for the Maidenhead Mencap Garden Party.
Entertainment was provided by a small group 'Only Ukes', that played favourites from the 60's era. Several people have commented on their performance and they have agreed to entertain at my own Littlewick Show, on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August. They are a group of experienced musicians, who have just got together to perform. The leader is a Church organist and several others are choristers. I am sure we shall hear a lot more from them.
Other entertainment was provided by Hugh, who does our disco at Wednesday Club and is one of the regular Monday Club drivers. He also helps to keep the Sensory Garden watered and regularly cuts the Highview lawn. We certainly keep our volunteers busy.
The weather was fine and most visitors were able to sit in the garden and enjoy using the new garden chairs.
Monday Club member Dougal Watson rose to stardom a couple of weeks ago, when he joined colleagues in Scotland to play indoor bowls for England. Dougal and been modest and even a little vague about his achievement, so I contacted Linda, his mother, who was bursting with pride. Dougal was part of a team of twelve who represented England to play against teams from
Scotland and Wales. Linda tells us that Dougal is a very good player. In fact, partnered with his colleague Carlos, they all drove to Scotland for the three days of competition.
At the end of the competition , the result England GOLD, Scotland SILVER, Wales BRONZE.
It seems that there are other competitions for disabled people, but this is the only one for Learning Disabled people.
Dougal and Carlos are now International players and proud winners of the GOLD MEDALS. Next year, they hope to travel to Wales to defend their title. What a pity I am no longer invited to write my Charity Matters column in the local paper. This is the sort of achievement that local people would enjoy knowing. Dougal plays in Maidenhead at Desborough Indoor Bowling Club.
Highview has had a makeover. For some time, the floor in the Main Hall has been showing signs of wear, but a week or two ago, the damage was considered to be becoming dangerous. We knew that it was going to be an expensive job and had considered a temporary repair to be done by our regular maintenance man.
We called the company High Duty Flooring, that we have used before and it was all arranged very quickly. The company needed four clear days. We did not want to stop Monday or Wednesday Clubs and the Alzheimer's Group sometimes have dances at the end of the week. The following week, the Alzheimer's did not need the room and the company were prepared to work the weekend. Jeanette, Nev, Hugh and I cleared the room after Wednesday Club and I met the floor people on Thursday morning and handed over a key. I made lots of visits on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They were all working like beavers all the time. Then they began working at 7am on Sunday and by lunchtime, all was done- just a bit of time needed for the edges to dry. The Highview gang returned on Sunday evening and by 9.30pm, all was restored, ready for the Alzheimer's singing session Monday morning and of course Monday Club in the evening. We hope to get some help with the funding, but are happy that the floor is now safe and it looks good too.
Friendly bombs Theatre Company is a local charitable organisation meeting weekly to provide theatre activities for adults and young people with learning disabilities.
Several of our members belong to this group and from time to time they give a performance at Burnham Parish Church, where they are based.
On Tuesday 25th June, they produced one of these performances. They showed a review of the work of recent years and produced 'Titus Andronicus 'by William Shakespeare. The actors are very committed and give the event their full energy and enthusiasm. It is sometimes hard to realise that they all have a disability. It was all a bit gorey and the lady who was severely mutilated gave a very convincing rendition of somebody with horrific injuries. Several of our members took part, including Dougal W, Stephen P, John R, Jane B, Mitchell W.
The Annual Boat Trip was held on June 11th. All those who went enjoyed the trip, that began near the Riverside Park, travelled up through Boulter's lock to Cliveden Reach, then went back to Bray before turning again.
One of our regular drivers had to drop out due to holidays and we were fortunate that one of the Care Home drivers assisted us. There was a further delay, because the Fire Station had not expected us to use the minibus on a Tuesday, and they had to move a couple of fire appliances to get us out. They are so very kind to us, and do not complain. We need the two drivers, for escorting duties as well. I escort in an emergency, but I am slow at getting in and out of the bus. If they are late for club, it doesn't matter too much, but they need to be on time for the Boat Trip.
Last week, Colin was on Holiday, so members and helpers all coloured an etching of Colin and stuck the pictures to the wall. This was in preparation for his 75th Birthday that is to take place later this week. He got quite a shock to find about 75 pictures of himself adorning the main hall.
Club continues as usual with colouring, jigsaw puzzles and craft-work. Each week ends with Hokey-cokey that all join in.
We can always welcome new helpers. Colin and Margaret from Monday Club have been coming most weeks, and are very welcome. We try to give one-to-one service and that is not always possible. We are fortunate that Jeanette is now back with us...........complete with cake. I commented to her partner Tom that he was fortunate to have a brilliant cook in the family. He said that he sees the cakes come out of the oven ,get put in the car and away. He never gets a taste. That's what I call unlucky!!
Valerie J Bosley
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