One of our main focuses at Surrey Choices is community inclusion. This year has brought us two lockdowns within a global pandemic. Our staff have continued to break down barriers and stigmas to provide support to people within the community. This has produced many positive outcomes in a variety of ways.
After the first lockdown restrictions began to ease. The Farnham Group, supported by Patrick Allen, started to learn new skills in their outdoor sessions. Clare, Elizabeth and Betty were soon flourishing in this environment, amongst the community.
The group achieved many things such as recycling old cardboard boxes into birdhouses and hedgehog houses. Their confidence was boosted further by seeing the birds come down to eat from the bird feeders that they had made. This made them feel so proud of what they had achieved.
As the summer weather began to fade, Patrick and The Farnham Group decided to move their support to The Spire Cafe in Farnham. Clare, Elizabeth and Betty were also joined by Suzanne, another member of The Farnham group, as they started to do craft activities of their choice.
As their sessions became more regular the group were noticed by other people and staff on a regular basis. People began to enquire from them about what they were creating and were impressed by the results.
The group were making new friends at The Spire Cafe as people began bringing in materials for them to make things out of. They were being noticed by other people with learning disabilities who saw what they were doing and asked if they could join in.
They developed deeper friendships with each other due to the relaxed and friendly environment they were in. There was also a feeling of more control over their own lives as their independence levels grew as they were buying food and drink at their own leisure.
Clare, Betty, Suzanne and Elizabeth have started to talk about wanting to make Christmas cards and presents for their new friends at The Spire, and cannot wait to build on these friendships once the present lockdown is over.
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