Santa Claus will be coming to town on Saturday 7th December. Join in the festive fun with the Aldingbourne Trust from 11am to 2pm at their Creative Arts Studio, No73 Aldwick Road Bognor Regis. Where they will be getting in the festive spirit with a charity fundraising Christmas Market in aid of the My Network project.
My Network Co-ordinator, Debbie Allsopp said, “The Christmas Market is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate their talents. Members have been making items to sell and will be around on the day serving teas, coffees, cake, mulled wine and mince pies.”
Students from their Creative Arts Studio have also been making goods for sale, so there will be a selection of Christmas gifts available to purchase, and a Christmas tombola offering the chance to win some wonderful Christmas prizes. There are also tables available for rent at £10, so if you crafty and would like to sell some items please contact Debbie on 01243 838539.
My network is located at No73 Aldwick Road, which is a welcoming place where people with learning disabilities can come to seek advice, find out information or simply meet friends and socialise. My Network aims to support social inclusion, and hosts social evenings every Thursday from 6-9pm, activities can include bingo, karaoke and quiz nights. They also provide a Saturday lunch club on alternative weekends, where members are encouraged to plan a meal, shop for the ingredients, then prepare, and cook the meal.
The Christmas Market will raise additional funds needed to continue the support they offer to adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. It will also support My Network to provide more events to the local community, continuing their support in providing social inclusion.
“The LOL launch party was an amazing experience. I am so proud to be a part of LOL, and to be able to deliver events that are so important and very much needed.” Says Emily Jazz Behan – Living Out Loud Volunteer
Local community groups, including the Aldingbourne Trust, Apulstock, Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies, launched their new Learning Disability and Autism friendly Clubs night at TAO in Bognor Regis on Wednesday 6th November.
Community Solutions Manager, Casper Rioseco said “The launch of Living Out Loud last night was a huge success with a resounding turnout. To see so many people enjoying themselves and feeling that they can be themselves and not have to worry about being judged in a safe and welcoming environment was a beauty to see.”
It was a huge turnout in numbers with nearly 250 attendees, with a variety of people of different ages coming together, from different walks of life, showing that having a disability and/or autism is not even a consideration to being able to socialise and most of all have fun.
They are already in planning for the next night, which will be taking place on Wednesday 4th December and hope to prove once again there is a demand for a full on clubbing experience within the local area for people with a learning disability and/or autism.
“The night was filled with good music, a great atmosphere and many happy faces. I can’t wait for the next one, and to see in the future the impact these events will have on the community.” Said Emily.
Powerful Trainers are adults with learning disabilities who are trained, supported and paid by the Aldingbourne Trust. Our Power Trainer make a difference by delivering a workshop to a variety of audiences, on attitudes and approaches towards people with learning disabilities by promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. We are based near Chichester and train across Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.
During the workshop the Powerful Trainers of the Aldingbourne Trust provide first hand experience of the complications they experience with everyday life and welcome questions from the audience who are interested to hear about their difficulties, their challenges, their support and their achievements. What our Powerful Trainers say about the service they offer:
“I like the challenge of educating people with no knowledge of learning disabilities. We increase awareness and understanding. If you were in our shoes, what would you do?”
“We go out and train people about learning disabilities and what our lives are like. I enjoy it; I get to meet people and go to different places. We are trained to help other people.”
The workshop is designed to provide insight and understanding on what it is to have a learning disability and to function in society today. The learning is useful to all organisations, schools and colleges with a view to helping students or staff members gain a greater understanding about learning disabilities and autism. Information and experience is shared so that learners can understand how to support customers, peers or colleagues to access a fully inclusive environment and equal opportunities. “Powerful Trainers had a huge impact on my team and managed to shatter a few preconceptions” Anonymous
As a team we are involved with the NHS Springwell project, where a group of people with a learning disability are consulted on their experiences of using NHS services. Recent work with Springwell included working on an interview panel, interviewing for two lead positions within West Sussex – a General Manager and a Lead Nurse. It was a marvellous opportunity for our Powerful Trainers to speak up and establish what they consider to be important for learning disability care.
A representative from Springwell Project NHS said “Thank you for coming to the meeting today. You made very interesting and useful points that helped Helen a lot with her Occupational Therapy project. Please feel very proud of yourselves for all that you have done so far to make things easier for people with a learning disability. I am very proud to work with all of you.”
Work is now under way to set up the Trust’s latest project – a community garden at the library in Bognor Regis. This project is unique for Aldingbourne, and it links back to the horticultural beginnings of our charity.
The development of the community garden will be funded by grants already secured, including from Southern Water and National Lottery Awards for All, as well as by other donations.
We will be looking for volunteers from the local community, including people connected to Aldingbourne, to help create the garden. In the coming months, we will be sharing more information on how the project is progressing and how people can get involved.