I visited 12 services last week and was particularly impressed to see some great person centred active support (PCAS) in Hove. Three people who live at Walsingham Road were being supported by a member of staff in the kitchen to peel and chop vegetables in preparation for a very healthy dinner. At 51 Rutland Gardens, I saw a women peeling and chopping a sweet potato to make sweet potato chips. She was doing this without any staff support which shows how well embedded PCAS is in that service. I remember when the person in question first moved there having come from a residential home where she needed three staff to go out with her into the community because of the challenges she could present. She has done amazingly well at Rutland Gardens.
On a less positive note, one of the services in Hove has an awful lot of weeds. As the manager promised me faithfully she would get all the weeds sorted out by the weekend, I won’t say where it was but you know who you are!
The highlight of last week was our fantastic 20th Anniversary Festival of Celebration. CMG started in 1996 with just two residential services in Epsom, Surrey as a result of the closure of long stay hospitals in the area. Two of the first people to move into CMG services in that year, Mark and Darren, helped me start the proceedings for the Festival. The day included live performances by an excellent band playing on stilts, circus performances with people having an opportunity to try out circus equipment and a great dance routine by our very own drama group, The Brelade Players. We also had a hog roast, a barbeque and an ice cream van. It was a fabulous day with a great atmosphere. The rain held off until after we finished thankfully and the only fly in the ointment was the M25 – a bad accident at the Dartford Crossing stopped some people getting there. It certainly meant some people had a long journey and missed the start. We have some excellent photos which we will be sharing with you as soon as we can. Here are just a couple of them!