THE FOREST OF DEAN
With the Forest on our doorstep we always ensure that every client has the opportunity to visit the daffodils. This year we caught the daffodils right at the peak, and a video was made of the trips so the clients could ‘re-live’ their enjoyable afternoons!
During the school holidays we endeavour to take clients out once a week. These trips have to be meticulously planned and carefully managed, to ensure that every need is catered for – not too far, disabled toilets, wheelchair access etc. ‘Hats off’ to all staff, volunteers, drivers and escorts for their contributions to the very successful summer trips, much looked forward to by the clients!!
Mon 31st July 2017. TRIP TO NEWENT LAKE AND THE MAD HATTER!
We decided to do something very different for our Monday group of clients. A great number of them had never been round Newent Lake coming from outlying villages. After having had coffee and biscuits at Sheppard House, the clients were wrapped up in blankets and wheeled down to the lake. There they loved the fresh air and scenery, whilst the men were entranced by a young gentleman who had set up camp to fish. After some considerable time watching, the clients, and the fisherman, were rewarded by seeing a fish caught, bringing back earlier memories of fishing for some of the men who had enjoyed the hobby in earlier years.
After sheltering under the trees from a shower of rain, everyone made their way back to Sheppard House for a fish and chip lunch, on a plate, rather than in newspaper!
After lunch, party games were enjoyed and then we revealed that we were to have a visitor! The Mad Hatter invited all the clients into his world for afternoon tea. The tables had been laid with a card table cloth and country flowers, with bone china plates, cups and saucers! The staff dressed up as people from Alice in Wonderland and Alice looked quite beautiful!
The tea was enjoyed by everyone, all done in Mad Hatters tea-party fashion, of course, with a lovely spread of sandwiches, jam tarts, heart shaped cakes etc.. All the clients really enjoyed it, especially as it came as rather a surprise!! Trip no 2 next week!
Tuesday 9th August 2017. TRIP TO GARDEN WORLD, WHITMINSTER.
The weather was a little dreary as the women said goodbye to the men as they were going on separate trips. Men are notorious for their dislike of shopping whilst for the ladies, it always seems a most pleasurable experience – especially if they rarely have the opportunity for a good bit of retail therapy!!
The Garden Centre at Whitminster has grown considerably in size so there were plenty of articles to browse, try on and buy, as well as looking at the garden plants and garden accessories!
All clients indulged in the Carvery at lunch, and after pudding and tea or coffee, many clients ‘hot footed’ it back to the shopping areas to make final purchases contemplated over lunch, whilst some took a more laid back approach and decided to look at the animals…Luckily for the staff, no one opted to come back with a ‘living’ purchase, though no doubt shoes, clothes, bags and jewellery will all be worn and admired in the weeks to come!
TRIP TO THE MOTOR MUSEUM, BOURTON ON THE WATER.
The men , six clients and six carers set off in the morning to visit the Cotswold Motoring Museum….more to their taste than shopping! They stopped off en route for tea, coffee and biscuits and arrived at Bourton on the Water at 11.30a.m. The men thoroughly enjoyed looking round the museum and bought a few goodies in the shop. At 1.30pm the rain started to come down and the restaurant they thought they were going to for lunch was shut for refurbishment. A snap decision was made to head back to Gloucester to eat at The Beefeater in Longford. By the time they left the Beefeater at 4p.m. the clients had been well fed and watered….A great day was had by all!!!!!
OTHER TRIPS IN 2017
WESTON SUPER MARE.
There is also an annual trip to Weston Super Mare! This year it took place in June during half term and it was pleasant to see the children having donkey rides and playing on the sand and paddling in the water. It was a humid day with occasional light showers which didn’t really affect the holiday atmosphere. Clients, escorted by their carer, were free to wander along the promenade, eat where and when they chose to, and go shopping or visit other items of interest in Weston.
THE WILLOW BOAT, JUNE 2017
The Willow Boat day out is also becoming an annual event and clients really enjoy the day afloat, finding it both interesting and relaxing! The volunteers who assist on the Willow Boat are excellent and clients are offered a go at steering the boat and sitting outside as well as watching the world pass by on the water…
A picnic lunch is prepared by staff at Sheppard House, for eating aboard the boat at a stopping point where clients are also given the opportunity to stretch their legs. Vanessa’s quiche is a statutory requirement of any picnic!
CREAM TEA AT TRIOSCAPE.
Friday 9th June saw all clients present going to Trioscape for a cream tea. Every client seemed to very much enjoy this, despite having eaten a good dinner!! It was an event very much enjoyed by the staff too! Some of the clients were able to have a quick look round the shop too, buying items to take home.