Over the Christmas period the staff put in extra hours, sweat and tears (and I'm sure some blood as well) stripping out the Art Room and the Sun Room in order to create two re-organised and refurbished areas.
They say you have to create a mess to build order, and that is exactly what we did! We broke down the existing monstrous sets of drawers (to be turned into bird boxes etc), removed plasterboard and stripped out redundant wires.
Then the building began. A bespoke cupboard was built along the back wall to neatly house all of the art equipment. The stainless steel bench was boxed in creating a separate section for the Foody Friday demonstrations, as well as housing all the pots and pans. Finally the floors were painted and all the pens and pencils etc. tidily stored away in cataloged boxes in the new cupboards.
So now we have a clean workable art room for the clients and a light and bright sun room for all our tea room (& doggy) visitors.
Liz Brown, our Plant Nursery Manager attended a cheque giving ceremony hosted by the Rotary Club of Durham this week and was overjoyed to receive a substantial amount of funding . This will go towards enhancing the meaningful, hands-on work that the day service users, referred clients and volunteers undertake in the horticulture unit and grounds at LionMouth Rural Centre.
The course was funded by the donation handed over last month by the Freemen of the City of Durham.
We look forward to seeing what Sharon and the service users can 'bodge' in the lead up to next Christmas.
10th May 2016
Back to the Future
A major donation from the City of Durham Freemen has enabled a groundbreaking community project to plan for the future – by stepping back in time.
A £7,000 grant from the freemen has underpinned ambitious new developments at workshops run by the LionMouth Rural Centre, including the revival of the ancient woodland craft of bodging.
The freemen’s cash injection will pay for a range of tools to extend the capability and range of the centre’s woodworking sessions. They include a pole lathe and shave horse, two key pieces of equipment used by bodgers - craftsmen who once operated in forest workshops transforming green unseasoned wood into chair legs and other furniture parts.
Additionally the money will provide a new cover for one of the horticultural poly-tunnels, landscaping and strengthening vegetable growing terraces and improving a barn where pottery and glass making kilns are sited.
Project manager Brigid Press said: “When we started much of our activity revolved around horticulture and working outdoors. Now we have a large clay and small glass kiln and are experimenting with woodworking ideas and furniture. Ultimately our aim is to be self-sufficient by selling what we produce to the public.”
Chairman of wardens Eric Bulmer, said: “Over the last five years we have provided grants totalling £100,000 to community projects in the city and we feel privileged to have given our help to such a worthwhile organisation.
“Lionmouth’s dedicated staff and volunteers provide a social, learning and caring environment for a vulnerable and often overlooked group within our society. I hope our support will go some way to unlocking the potential of this wonderful site.”
Every Friday morning we gather the lads round the tables in the multi function room and assign the tasks for the day. On a Friday though this means who will be chopping, cutting or peeling which particular vegetable, salad or fruit. This is because every Friday we prepare, cook and sit down to eat a two course meal. Everybody takes part in the preparation process, some will help with the cooking, and the others with the clearing away and washing up.
This week we went Mexican. Gary like to chop the garlic and onions in to fine slices, whilst John, who cant use a knife, peels the carrots. Half of them he gave to the other John to chop finer, but the rest he continued to peel for carrot shavings to go into the coleslaw. Chris tackled the cucumber and courgettes, whilst Alan bravely took on the chillies, as well as the better behaved mushrooms. Brian quietly peeled and chopped up several apples which were to go into the rice, milk, raisin and sugar mix that would create a large, belly busting rice pudding.
Needless to say the queue for service was noisy and loud. Tacos were slapped on offered plates and the spicy mince ladled on top. A colourful array of salads jewelled the table which were used to decorate and fatten the rolled up tacos. Needless to say seconds were on order, but even that didn't deter them from devouring ladles of rice pudding with warmed cream.
The washing up was done at a slow pace as everyone's belly weighed them down, but we ended the week as we did every week, replete and content from eating good food in great company.
Smile through Sport, a disability sports organisation, working across the North East is currently delivering a Start to Smile project.
The Start to Smile project aims to increase sporting opportunities in the North East for individuals primarily with a physical disability and/or mental health conditions aged 14 years and over. The sports the project can deliver are Athletics, Boccia, Cricket with a focus on Table Cricket and Multi-Sport activities.
They offer 8 week blocks of activities and/or taster events in any of the sports mentioned above with a charge of £2 per person per session. The sessions can be delivered at your own venue if you have access to one, or they can book nearby sport centres, community halls etc. They can tailor the sessions to suit the needs and levels of the individuals taking part.
Our new group of clients have been here a month now, and are settling in nicely. Brian, Chris, Gary, Alan, John and John attend LionMouth five days a week and undertake a series of activities. On Mondays and Wednesdays they help out in the plant nursery. On Tuesdays they do art, and Wednesdays its pottery. Thurdays they work on the grounds, and on Friday...well Friday is Foody Friday where we all learn how to prepare and cook a meal and then sit down to eat it. Once the washing up is finished there usually isn't much time to do anything but give the rooms and volunteer cabin a good sweep out and general tidy up.