The blossom’s on the trees, blue skies above and that means only one thing at Meldreth – summer fete time is approaching fast!
New this year, in the absence of the traditional AGM, will be a Meet and Greet session from 1 – 2 p.m in the Grand Marquee. Come along and meet Scope Executive Director of Services Carol Tozer and other Senior Scope Managers including Central Area Manager, Carrie Irvine.
Orchard Manor parents will be given a label with their child’s name and photo, residential flat number and funding authority. This is your opportunity to talk to each other, meet your child’s friends’ parents, discuss transition and move on possibilities and learn more about Scope’s strategy, over tea and cakes…
Resident and staff teams across the Meldreth site have been working hard in preparation for this year’s Annual Meldreth and Orchard Manor Fete to be held on Saturday 22 June. Fete opening is at 2pm.
The organising committee ensure there are games and activities for everyone to enjoy. This year we see a return a of the Driver Taster sessions in the main car park for ages 14 and up, then for the first time we have a Pet Dog Show with all kinds of classifications and prizes up for grabs. There will be the main raffle, bar and café and cakes galore!
Young disabled people (aged 18-26) at Orchard Manor Transition Service, in Meldreth South Cambridgeshire, are currently exhibiting their Ultra-Violet (UV) artwork through Changing Spaces in Cambridge (6-7 Sussex Street) from Monday 19 November until Monday 3 December.
This is a first for Orchard Manor, a vision of Art Skills Tutor Vicky Fowler, and a real opportunity to let the community see some of the residents’ inspiring artwork.
Art is used at Orchard Manor as a basis for skills development, providing an excellent tool for self-expression and choice-making. The young people have been involved in a variety of projects including set design (for films created in drama sessions), planning and creating a sculpture trail and making cards and bags for fundraising.
Over the last few months the young people have been involved in UV art sessions. The studio has been fitted with Ultra-Violet lighting and work undertaken with various engaging materials, under the colour enhancing light. The UV lighting is especially beneficial for visually impaired people. One of the pieces created has been the large mural. The artists were encouraged to experiment with mark making using UV paints. This included people walking on, wheeling over, throwing objects at and pulling string along the surface of a large sheet of canvas which was placed on the floor. They also looked at using different methods to create a painting and used large chunks of ice, which they rubbed salt into and made holes in before pouring paint over and leaving out in the sun. The finished pictures are the beautiful marble-effect paintings.
Come to our open afternoon
We are holding an open afternoon on Thursday 22 November from 2 – 4 pm and invite family and friends to join us in viewing the inspiring works of art. Parking is close by at the Park Street Arcade car parks. Sussex Street is located just a few minutes walk from the city centre market which runs all week long. Combined with some Christmas shopping this is an ideal opportunity you won’t want to miss. We hope to see you there.
This year for Halloween we decided to try something a little bit different by turning Orchard Manor into Hogwarts for the week! The week-long events proved a huge success for both residents and staff.
Monday began with an official sorting ceremony. The new Hogwarts ‘students’ were sorted into their houses for the week. These were randomly assigned groups, which offered a great chance to socialise with people from different groups and flats.
Young people could earn ‘house points’ by working hard and winning games and competitions between the houses. The house teams became very competitive as the week went on! Fancy dress was encouraged and everybody made their own Hogwarts cloaks and ties, decorated in their house colours, which they wore for the whole week.
Monday afternoon included a visit from Shepreth Wildlife with a very special guest – Alba the Owl! Abla’s carer talked a little about how they care for her and what she can do, before demonstrating her flying – right past our faces! We would like to say a big thank you to Shepreth Wildlife Park for giving up their time to bring Alba here and an equally big thank you to everyone who brought in donations for the park. This visit was the highlight of the week for many! But the excitement continued throughout the week as the young people participated in Hogwarts-themed sessions on Tuesday with Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Transfiguration and Quiddich!
On Wednesday the groups arrived to find a taped outline of a body and police tape – Dumbledore had been killed! The skills sessions turned to CSI-type investigations mixed with Cluedo, leading to accusations on Thursday morning and our Physiotherapist being led away for this crime!
This week was fantastic fun and a resounding success for both staff and residents who have thrown themselves enthusiastically into the magical world of Harry Potter.
Residents, students and staff from Meldreth and Orchard Manor were excited to be given tickets to attend the Paralympic Games this summer.
The Friends of Meldreth and Orchard Manor organised tickets for three Paralympic events including wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and swimming. Dozens of young people had the experience of a lifetime as they watched British paralympians make history.
Up at the crack of dawn on several days, everyone made their way in our buses to the various Olympic sites. Sat navs were programmed, packed lunches prepared, bags full of clothing and necessities ready. All the effort this kind of outing required was rewarded the moment we entered into the Olympic grounds. From the car park attendants to the volunteer ushers, the security guards and the novelty sales people, everyone had a smile on their face and a joke to make, a way to make you feel welcome and part of a momentous occasion.
No task was too great to ask of the Games Makers, who won all our hearts with their enthusiasm and acts of kindness and consideration throughout the Games. Orchard Manor were the recipients of their kindness when we arrived a little late for our Women’s Basketball session. After a few technical glitches one Games Maker offered to find us some better seating. We had found all the wheelchair access seating superb at other events, so you can imagine our delight at now getting taken to the courtside seating area just as England were playing! Screams and cheers erupted and smiles were on everyone’s faces as we joined the event.
The young people were enthralled by the sound of so many people, by the colours around them of flags and costumes and the sensory environments they found themselves in. The excitement of the days rubbed off on everyone. Strangers from all over the world chatted to you as you made your way through the park as though they were your next door neighbour. The group I was lucky enough to be with enjoyed an afternoon lunch sitting along the river within the Olympic Park on wooden benches surrounded by the wild flowers beds. We strolled around the park taking in all the wondrous sights, stopping with tea and biscuits before finding our way to the car park.
It was an astonishing feeling to see an event as large as this made so accessible to so many people. Our thanks go to the special dedicated group of Friends who made it is possible for us all to be part of this historical event – we have the badges, the souvenir programmes, the t-shirts and the wonderful memories to prove it!
Sixty farmers, SEN teachers, group leaders and care home managers gathered on 4 July 2012 for an inspiring Let Nature Feed Your Senses conference at Southfields Farm, Coleshill, near Birmingham. The purpose of this, the third national conference, was to share learning and understand the impacts of the sensory farm visits that have been hosted for over 10,000 visitors over the last three years across the network of 75 farms.
Tracey Demartino, Orchard Manor Skills Tutor, has been working closely with Liz Nottage from Russell-Smith Farm in Duxford over the past two years and presented the Orchard Manor story at the conference.
Find out more about the conference and view Tracey’s presentation with photos of Orchard Manor residents participating in the farm programme.
Guest post from Tracey deMartino – Orchard Manor Skills Tutor
Throughout Sports and Science week, Orchard Manor residents attended sessions in their flat/day group. We received brilliant feedback about this as everyone seemed to really enjoy working with their flat mates which created a lovely atmosphere.
Monday was the day for building and naming our rockets. The young people worked with each other and if someone was stuck for a name, the rest of the group were there to lend a hand – with names from “The Fizzard of Oz” to “Flying Without Wings”! In drama we made up stories about the adventures we might have in space if we could take off in the rockets built with Tracey, whilst in Art there was plenty of glitter to make the rockets go intergalactic.
On Tuesday we moved onto the launching of our rockets which was thoroughly enjoyed by all – except Tracey! (“I smell like I’ve been working in a fish and chip for a week without any washing facilities!”) Everyone was cheering each other as we launched our rockets and there was a brilliant atmosphere. The winner was Jess’ rocket (Pink Lady): it cleared 10 metres! Elizabeth (Adonis) and Joe’s (Beat Machine) were runners-up.
Wednesday was filled with numerous experiments. A competition started in Tracey’s room as we had a go at the Balancing Ball experiment (suspending a ball in a stream of air). There was lots of shouting by all – we’re sorry to say some were trying to put their competitors off! Emily beat all the competition by keeping her ping pong ball in the air for 1 minute and 26 seconds. The experiments in Shelley’s room focussed around sound. Amongst these experiments we listened to each other speak through: cups and string, homemade loud speakers and balloons filled with different things! In Vicky’s room the UV lights were working their magic, ice moulds were rubbed with salt to create holes and craters which the residents covered in fluorescent paint and sand, making them look like tiny glowing planets. These were left outside to melt – creating a space inspired, marble painting. We also made our own fluorescent lava lamps with glowing beads, which fizzed when we added effervescent powder. Rowena and Gemma were outside making volcanos using different shaped bottles, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and food colouring. Everyone was encouraged to make choices, mix the ingredients together and let the volcanos erupt! There were also giant bubbles and balloon rockets.
It was an exciting week!
Flat 2 were the team winners at Orchard Manor’s Annual Sports Day last week. The event was part of a themed Sports and Science Week this year, which proved very successful and interesting for everyone involved.
As in previous years, sports day at Orchard Manor was a great success. It is now a much anticipated annual event that both staff and the young people enjoy.
Following a fun, science-filled week, the sun shone on sports day making the home-made ice creams during the breaks very much needed and enjoyed by everyone.
With nine events in total, the teams competed against each other in a variety of activities from a sensory star hunt, which involved delving deep in wobbly jelly and slimy spaghetti, to joining together as a whole team to complete a relay lap of the Meldreth grounds in the fastest time, as well as volleyball, football and cycling.
All competitors in the games came away with a medal, sticking with the Olympic theme.
However, this year’s champions were Flat 2, now proudly in possession of the Orchard Manor sports day trophy, which is to be engraved with their name and stay within the flat until next year when they will be offered the chance to compete to win again.
Thanks to staff and volunteers for their support in this event, which helped make it a success, and the creative teamwork of the therapists and skills staff in coming up with some great events!
June saw weeks of hard work and practice pay off as Orchard Manor‘s very own talent show took place in the hall in front of a live audience. Twenty-two residents took part, some on their own and others in groups and pairs, performing a wide range of talents: including singing, stand-up comedy and storytelling.
The winners were voted for by the audience as they cheered, waved their arms and shook instruments to show their support for their favourite acts.
In joint third place came:
Rahil Kunwar: Playing DJ sounds and chimes to Skrillex – Bangarang
Orchard Daydreams: Performing Gary Jules – Mad World (Lewis Brooks on Eye Gaze/Vocals; Becky Parkin on Keyboard/Violin and Jake Thorley on Chimes)
In second place came:
Georgie Archer and Elizabeth Chung: Singing and sharing with a microphone to Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
And, last but not least, in first place came:
Thomas Elvin: Reading ‘What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf?’
A huge thank you to everyone who took part and helped to make the whole day a success; it was enjoyed by both performers and audience.
A group of 11 volunteers from the Hatfield Job Centre in Hertfordshire have battled their way through a forest of nettles after all the rain and glorious sunshine we have had in the past month, to bring our beautiful sensory garden back to its full glory. They are only one of several groups of people who have donated many hours to help us bring this vision of a parent into full fruition.
The residents of Orchard Manor transition service and students of Meldreth Manor School can now seek respite from the sun and enjoy the smell of lavender and thyme as those plants flourish in the garden.
Our young people have made bird houses and a large watering vessel for the birds who visit the garden and these will soon be in place.
The garden would not be here without the dedicated groups of volunteers who have helped us throughout the year and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work.
Volunteer for your local Scope service now!
Liam is an Orchard Manor representative on the newly founded Cambridgeshire County Council’s (CCC) Transitions Partnership Board. The Board is a group of representatives from health, social care, young people’s services and the voluntary sector whose focus is to enable young people from the age of 14 – 25 to move successfully into the adult world by listening to their opinions and wishes for the future.
A consultation event (YIPPEE) hosted at Papworth Trust recently, was an opportunity for three of the new Orchard Manor representatives to meet up with representatives from different organisations. The day included consultation on the Cambridgeshire County Council’s draft SEN (special educational needs) paper, around the single assessment. The young people also discussed how they would prefer to make choices.
The YIPPEE event enabled the young people to vote on three topics they would like the Transition Board to consider during the upcoming year. These were communication and equipment, better work experience and leisure and transport. These topics greatly affect the lives of the young people at Orchard Manor and their input into these discussions will be invaluable so this is a great opportunity for them.
We look forward to hearing more about the work of the Board in upcoming months and will keep you informed on how the young people at Orchard Manor are influencing these decision makers.