In this week’s blog I’d like to share the outstanding work and facilities provided by Penny Meadow – a day service based in Colchester, Essex.
I’m very impressed by the innovative and creative range of indoor and outdoor activities on offer. Ed Cook who runs the service, is extremely passionate about providing the very best for visitors and ensuring they have an incredible time, and is constantly coming up with creative new ideas for the service.
The land has a plot space for people to get involved in growing a range of vegetable produce, which they then sell to the local community at their stall, outside the house. They have rabbits, chickens and ducks- whose fresh eggs they also sell to locals.
Individuals have access to larger animals such as alpacas, rescue donkeys, and a flock of sheep which keep everyone entertained, and there is a garden art cabin available, where creative arts activities take place regularly.
Penny Meadow rent the local church hall for sports, martial arts, yoga, and have access to a lovely woodland, where they hold ‘Forest School’ – building campfires, doing outdoor cooking, and making dens. The people we support get involved in practical bike maintenance, where they help to repair used bikes, and then enjoy riding them out on the land.
‘Out-and-about’ Saturday groups are also on offer, with a choice of activity daytrips such as rowing, tobogganing and dig-a-land. Midweek, the service holds work experience opportunities for individuals, who volunteer for a local charity – and by doing so, increase their employability.
Penny Meadow is incredibly proud of its individuals, some of whom boast some great achievements: Daniel has represented Team GB at the Special Disability Olympics, in Powerlifting, and Zane has recently gained an orange belt in mixed martial Arts!
The service is extremely active, and coming up on 12th July, they are excited to be running their internal Awards – the theme being Alice in Wonderland. The hall will be decorated in fantasy style, and everyone will attend a Mad-hatters tea party, wearing crazy hats.
I’m impressed at how forward-thinking and innovative Penny Meadow are. They want to increase accessibility and invite, and share their incredible facilities with other CMG and Regard services. They hope to build outside classroom near the woodlands, so that other services can participate in Forest School, and get involved with all the fun outdoor activities.
I will definitely pop in again, to hone in on my forestry skills and of course attend the Mad Hatters tea party!