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It was a busy summer at Centre 404 for our adult service users. Even though our termly clubs stopped for their summer break, the fun continued with plenty of trips out to fun places around London.

We kicked off the summer with a day of narrow boating provided free by Islington Boat Club (thanks guys!) A few of our members had the chance to drive the boat along the canal, the first time they had ever been in charge of a ship!

Matthew and Mia

‘Driving the boat, that was the best’ – Captain Nathan

Some of the hardier amongst our number also helped to open the locks, another new experience for everyone involved. We travelled from the boat club near Old Street all the way to Camden and back again. A few of us got pretty wet but that was in the rain on the way home when the heavens opened and soaked everybody on the way to the bus stop!

We were faced with some poor weather during July so we rescheduled our trip to Hampstead Heath and went to the Science Museum instead. The watch and clock exhibition was a particular hit as was the space travel area. We also ran some swimming sessions at Archway Pool before finishing off the summer with a day trip to Kew Gardens.

Luckily the weather was fantastic on the day and a great time was had by members from our music group, gardening group and people from the outreach service. These groups don’t often get the chance to socialise together and it was great to see everyone getting along well throughout the day. The majority of people on the trip had not visited Kew, and some of the more experienced members commented on how much it has changed over the years. We packed in as much as possible into the day and covered pretty much the entire park taking in all the major landmarks.

 

As well as our trips out, we also ran some dance classes at Centre 404 with the amazing dance teacher Francis who has delivered sessions previously for many of our children’s and adult’s groups. Members of our day service as well as individuals from some of our supported living services came along for the sessions and it was lovely to see so many wheelchair users joining in the dance sessions.

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At the beginning of July, Centre 404’s Leigh Road supported living project were extremely fortunate to welcome a team of amazing volunteers from the M&S in Marble Arch, who worked tirelessly over the course of several weeks in order to transform our shabby overgrown garden into a stunning, accessible and sensorially stimulating environment resplendent with its own charcoal barbeque and pizza oven

It was clear after day one how impressive this project was going to be in scope and detail. By 5 pm the entire space was dug out ready to begin planting and already the space seemed far more open and inviting, despite being bereft of any greenery.

The guys from M&S spent several weeks going back and forth with us and our tenants about what they really wanted from the space and a key theme was accessibility. Although our garden had paths that lead to different areas, huge parts were still inaccessible to those with wheelchairs, poor vision or other physical impairments due to grassy slopes and areas of uneven terrain. M&S went over and above the call of duty in this regard by digging out the central area of the garden and laying wheelchair friendly AstroTurf. They also wrangled a load of concrete from some local builders working in the area and used it to build up the ground around the new vegetable garden so that less mobile service users would be able to help tend the vegetables. Read the rest of this entry »

ian-and-charles  gardening_centre404Yesterday was our last gardening session of the year and it was a busy one that involved not only gardening but learning how to make Christmas table decorations using flowers and leaves from the garden. Elsa kindly brought in a mix of rose buds, white blossoms, ivy leaves and lavender alongside the materials to make a lovely piece for the Christmas table.

We had Christmas songs playing alongside some mince pies and chocolate treats whilst we made the beautiful decorations and they were surprisingly so easy to make!

All you need is:

  • Toilet roll
  • Elastic bands
  • Glue
  • Aluminium foil
  • Flowers, branches, leaves

To make:

  • Wrap some aluminium foil around the toilet roll and fix in place with either glue or an elastic band
  • Place a couple of elastic bands in different places along the roll
  • Place in the flowers and leaves through the elastic bands
  • Decorate with ribbon & any other materials

And there you have a Christmas table decoration!

festive

It was really good fun and the gardening volunteers loved it. We were also treated to Elsa’s cake concoction which this week was a rich chocolate and raisin cake. Read the rest of this entry »

img_3673 certificate zoe-nick

The Volunteer of the year Awards  organised by Voluntary Action Islington  took place on Wednesday 2nd November and it was a wonderful night out for staff and volunteers at Centre 404. We put nominations forward for each category and felt we had some strong contenders who have shown a wonderful amount of commitment and passion to volunteering with Centre 404 this year.

The categories for the evening were:

Young Volunteer of the Year: 16 – 25 year olds:

Volunteer of the Year: 26 – 60 year olds

Older Volunteer of the Year: 60+ year olds

Pat Haynes Memorial Trustee of the Year

Volunteering Team of the Year

It was a full house at Voluntary Action Islington with over a hundred people attending. 14 of us went to the awards from Centre 404, consisting of volunteers and staff and were warmly welcomed with sandwiches, drinks and cake.

As it was Voluntary Action Islington’s AGM as well as the awards we sat down to listen to the latest news from the organisation and were also treated to a magic show!

Alex Smith, founder of North London Cares, gave an inspirational talk about how and why he set up the charity as well as its sister charity South London Cares and the impact the charities have made on tackling social isolation in the community.  It is a wonderful charity that works with connecting young professionals living and working in London with their elderly neighbours through social clubs and a love your neighbour programme.

After Alex’s talk it was time for the awards ceremony. The team of the year was the first one announced and Centre 404’s gardening group were the winner!  All of our gardening group apart from Debbie were able to attend and were super excited to have won! We all went up to collect our certificate and were super thrilled to learn that we had won a three course meal, sponsored by Doubletree by Hilton,  at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant so we will look forward to that! Read the rest of this entry »

My name is Savaas I am a volunteer gardener who has made a lot of friends. I have grown lots of vegetables such as onions,garlics,sorrel, potatoes,etc .I love using the lawnmower & sweeping up leaves & digging .I also like cooking Risotto, Apple pie,. shepherd pie .I,ve chopped up lots of vegetables! But you have to be very careful because I cut my hand but not badly ! still the food took my mind of it.I also like the disco on Friday nights.

Pete and Julie

and the gardening team! 

images8JHA0ZSH

Savas drew a picture of gardening. It had seeds,  pods, flowers and trees on it. He does mowing on the lawn. You have to be careful of the wire. We do digging. Sweeping and raking. Planting things like vegetables, sometimes with a trowel. We use a big yellow hands to sweep up leaves.