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The 'Make A Difference Awards' highlights community champions making a difference where they live, presented by BBC Radio Solent for Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight. On Tuesday, the 20th of September, the ceremony was held at Portsmouth Guildhall, where eight category winners were announced.
Nominated by the community for creating real change by breaking down barriers and bringing people from different walks of life together, a judge of panels selected MAKE as the winner of 'The Together Award'. Through solid partnerships between social enterprise and charity activities, Aldingbourne Trust enables people with learning disabilities and/or autism across Sussex and Hampshire to have real choices and be more independent.
MAKE@Aldingbourne supports people to develop skills in various areas such as retail, café and creative sessions where they can make gifts, artwork and more! Art is a powerful tool of self-expression and individualism, and they love to see how that is reflected in each person's creations.
Sarah Mitas, the project manager, said, " We feel incredibly proud to be recognised as a community venue which is inclusive of everybody. The people we support are thrilled knowing they are valuable members of a team and that their work is appreciated".
Written by Lizzie Williams
“What an amazing night, it was so wonderful to see the community come together and support our Prom, it made such a difference to the people we support to have their own special night,” said Sarah Mitas, Team Leader at Make.
On Wednesday 11th December the Aldingbourne Trust hosted a Winter Wonderland Prom night at the at the Royal British Legion club in Lucknow Street Portsmouth. The Winter Wonderland theme was chosen to make it a socially inclusive event, so that people of all backgrounds and beliefs would feel welcome to come and have fun together. The night was attended by over 130 people, which included the people the Trust support, adults with learning disabilities and/or autism throughout the South coast and their families and friends.
Sarah and her team were overwhelmed by the support they have received from local businesses and the local community in putting together this event. The Royal British Legion Club supplied the venue for the evening, and local businesses including: Tepee Emporium who donated a flower wall, Victory Events for the balloon arches, Holly Walker and Luarla events donated chair covers and bows. Along with the decorations made by the team at MAKE the venue looked like a winter wonderland.
The evening started with a ‘prom ready event’ at their Make@Aldingbourne enterprise. Where local hairdressers and makeup artists turned the centre into a salon for the day, offering free hair styling and makeup for attendees to get ready for their evening. The Trust would like to thank Jade Paddell, Liz Dayment, Karina Castle and Heather Kaberry, gave up their time to help the prom guests get ready for their special night.
The community spirit did not stop there, as local families continued to support by helping to transport the guests to and from the event. Jo Suter and Nikki Mell spent the evening making sure the guests arrived and got home safely.
“It has been wonderful to see the community and services to come together and support what was a great evening,” said Sarah.
The evening was full of fun, friends and dancing with music from DJ Steve Kingsley from Kingsley Nightclub. With support from the Portsmouth Lottery Fund gifts were presented by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress enjoyed the evening, dancing along with the other guests. Steve Kingsley was given the honour of crowning the Prom King , Cameron Locke and Prom Queen, Tracy Holdcroft.
“I had the best time ever at the Make Prom, with the best mates I could have. I am made up I was made prom King.” Said Cameron.
“We want to create opportunities for the people we support to have fun and live the lives they choose. The evening saw a lot of old friends reunited, as they have grown up and not seen each other since school.” Said Sarah.
“Fantastic, what a wonderful evening. A huge thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made this wonderful evening happen.” Said Janet Hanby, from Havant.
“Thanks to the organisers of this prom. My daughter has been so excited waiting for the day to come and has loved getting ready, having her nails and hair done. I asked her this morning, did you enjoy yourself? She told me it was fantastic and fabulous. Definitely a success, I would say a massive thank you for making it so special,” said Jan Ann Huge, from Gosport.
The idea for the prom came from the people supported by the Make at Aldingbourne Trust, they wanted an opportunity to get dressed to the nines and enjoy with their friends, and to include as many adults with learning disabilities and/or autism along the south coast as possible. The event was such a success; the Trust and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth are already starting to plan another event for the Spring.
Visit our website www.aldingbournetrust.org for information about MAKE@Aldingbourne Enterprises, and more about our award winning charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live independent lives.
On Saturday 18th May, Make opened their doors to celebrate their Spring Fling. The team and the people we support made us proud, as they started the day with a performance of ‘This is me’. This was greeted with cheers from the local community who had come along to support us on our special event day.
Throughout the day there was live music and performances by Puffin Boy, Hannah Clarke, Amba Tremain and The Mary Rose and Royal George Street Dancers. Along with games, face painting and crafts, they were also joined by local providers including Boogie mites, Southdowns and Havant College and The Learning Place.
At 3pm they hosted a bake off competition, where the judging took place by Stephen Morgan MP, Amba Tremain and Julie Lawn. They enjoyed trying all the wonderful cakes, before announcing a winner. The cakes were then packaged up to be donated to the charity for the homeless HUSH, and Southsea Fire Station. Stephen then proceeded to present our hard working team with their well earned City and Guilds certificates.
The whole day was wrapped up with a fantastic raffle, very happy faces and a feeling of community. One lady told us “I’ve never seen so many happy faces. We visit Make all the time, and it was lovely to be part of this day. I’ve laughed, cried happy tears and laughed!”