New centre is big success for trust

TWO busy months have passed since the Aldingbourne Trust opened its new premises in Bognor Regis.

The trust has been delighted with the response from the public to the No 73 centre on Aldwick Road.

It has set up a variety of projects such as a drop-in centre for adults with learning disabilities, a creative arts studio, I-Cook, Support Workers Direct, the supported living team and My Network and My Network Plus.

I-Cook allows the trust’s clients with learning disabilities to use equipment they might not have in their homes to cook new dishes and mix with their peers.

My Network is a preventative service put in place by the county council for adults with learning disabilities who are ineligible for funding.

Emily May, the centre’s drop-in co-ordinator, has organised a range of courses and activities such as healthy-eating talks, art and craft sessions, social evenings, walking groups and emergency services talks.

She said: “We hold regular healthy-eating sessions at No 73, using I-Cook facilities.

“I have found these sessions are especially helpful for our My Network Plus members because they are missing regular support with meal preparation.

“The sessions are planned around cooking meals to eat in our dining area or meals that can be split into portions and frozen to ensure each client has healthy and nutritious meals for that week.”

The opening of No 73 in March saw the trust move from its town-centre premises and bring together several services. Also proving popular at the centre are the social club and Thursday social evenings.

They provide regular peer support for those who go along.

They also play a part in running the services.

“We have seven volunteers with learning disabilities who help on reception and with our workshops and we also have two new volunteers from the local community,” said Emily.

“We run monthly member forums which enable members to have their say on workshops and what they would like to see at the drop-in which they feel would benefit themselves.”

Since opening No 73, the trust has set up new links with music and reading services, the local PCSO, adult education and the L’Arche charity. Existing partnerships with various service providers have also been kept.

Anyone is welcome to call into No73 to seek advice or ask about the premises.