Health and wellbeing festival
Over 300 of our Care and Support customers from Essex and London joined our recent health and wellbeing festival.
It was a beautiful day, and our customers enjoyed taking part in a range of activities. There was karaoke, smoothie bikes, chair yoga, a petting zoo, sensory massages, a treasure hunt and live music – to name a few!
Some of our customers had a great time dancing to live tribute acts, including ‘Elvis’ and the ‘Beached Boys’. Alicia (below), one of our customers, stepped onto the stage to give her first-ever public performance as a DJ.
Lots of our customers also had their artwork on display at the festival’s exhibition.
Other people put their gardening skills to the test, by making their own hanging baskets and potting plants to take home.
Teresa, one of our customers, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself today with my housemates. I’ve really enjoyed myself with my picture taken, my drawing on the wall, I enjoyed the glass painting. And we made a milkshake smoothie.”
Kensley, another attendee, added: “I enjoyed the photo booth, the music, the dancing, the animals. It’s very good.”
The activities were all real-life examples of things our Care Support Workers offer customers in their homes and services. We support over 10,000 care and support customers in the Southeast - over 300 of whom have a learning disability and receive specialist support in Essex or London.
Sue Allison, our Head of Service, said: “We focus on empowering people and giving them more opportunities, so they can achieve their aspirations and enjoy life. This event gave everyone the opportunity to have some fun and get together with other people. The last few years have been very difficult, and it was fantastic to see so many happy people truly enjoying themselves. I am so proud of our teams, who provide exceptional support for people every single day, and change lives for the better.”
Creative ways to support people
During the pandemic, many people found themselves isolated and having to shield, with fewer opportunities available to lead their usual lifestyles. Our care and support teams worked alongside our customers to maintain their lifestyle, wellbeing, friendships and relationships during this period.
We also found creative new ways to support people to continue leading fulfilling and enjoyable lives, including organising alternative activities in their own homes due to the need for people to isolate. We introduced household pets (including ducks and dogs) in some schemes, and lots of our customers got involved with redecorating their homes and gardens. We arranged fun challenges and used technology differently to help people keep in touch with family and friends.
This festival took place during Learning Disability Week 2022, an annual awareness campaign created by Mencap. The campaign aims to fight and campaign for a fair society, educate and raise awareness of learning disabilities, smash stigmas and end discrimination.