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Centre celebrates being a special place

Posted on October 30, 2018

It is a place where the members are people first and foremost, but just happen to have a disability. Centre 81 at Great Yarmouth encourages its 70 users to plan their own activities at its headquarters and out in the community – rather than having activities set by staff “experts.”

At its annual general meeting chief executive Diana Staines said she was keen to “champion the ethos of Centre 81 which is quite simply to encourage all to recognise that it really is ability not disability that matters.”  Her report included comments from members, who were keen to stress the centre was a “special place” where they can be themselves, with no airs and graces, and where everyone is respected as adult decision-makers.

Activities and skills range from cookery to wheelchair dancing. Members also enjoy visiting garden centres, party nights, fun days, fundraising singing sessions in a local supermarket, sport such as Boccia, bowling swimming and sailing as well as building model railways, arts, board games, and jigsaws.  Personal pampering was also “so important” helping members feel “relaxed, spoilt, cared-for or just human,” added Ms Staines.  Activities boosted personal skills and confidence, while members made new friends and enjoyed themselves.

The charity-run Centre in Tar Works Road also runs a vital community transport service which now has 11 buses, 19 drivers and 648 passengers across the borough.

Its plans for a new purpose-built building on the same site are progressing with a development steering group set to meet in October.

Upcoming events which the public are welcome to attend included a Christmas Fayre at Great Yarmouth Minster from Friday November 30th to Sunday December 2nd and a production of Snow White and the Seven Wanabees at The Kings Centre on Wednesday December 5th at 2pm.

The annual meeting, which was attended by the Mayor of Great Yarmouth Mary Coleman, saw two new trustees, building business director Mark Everard and member Sally Ward, join the board. Afterwards members enjoyed a celebration afternoon of entertainment and music.

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