The new service is based at Kirkleatham Business Park in Redcar, is open seven days a week and aims to offer a variety of activities, including a computer with free Wi-Fi access, a Nintendo Wii games console and a pool table that also converts into a table tennis and air hockey table. There is also a craft area provided for those who enjoy more creative activities. A lounge and dining area is also provided and clients will have access to the on-site gym at the Business Park.
As well as providing a safe place to pursue leisure activities, the drop-in centre aims to give practical support and information, encourage the development of simple life skills, and develop or maintain social networks, whilst increasing the individual’s level of independence and facilitating the making of new friends.
Photo: Client Alan Messenger enjoying a game of pool with Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) Care Manager Michelle Tart (R)and Support Worker Rebecca Scott (L).
Cuts in council budgets have resulted in the closure of some council-run day centres for those with learning disabilities. Yet the demand for these centres is as strong as ever. The changes in the way clients receive their funds from their local authority has provided more people with learning disabilities greater control over their support packages. Personal budgets are now able to be used for activities and services such as those provided by the Caremark drop-in centre.
Charles Folkes, Managing Director of Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) said: “We felt there was a need for a new type of service in the area and we are already experiencing lots of demand for our service. Our drop-in centre offers people the opportunity to develop simple life skills, enjoy a range of fun and stimulating leisure activities, introduce them to new social networks and provide practical advice and support in a safe and relaxed environment.
“We have had tremendous support in setting up the service and we would particularly like to thank the Snooker & Pool Association who donated some fantastic cues for our service users through the Paul Hunter Foundation.”
At present, the drop-in service is available to adults with learning disabilities who are clients of Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland). However, there is the possibility that in the future this could be extended to others who would also benefit from this service.
Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) provide care and support services to people of all ages, abilities and ethnicities who would like to remain living independently and safely at home and maintain their community activities.