The group was set up to provide high levels of stimulation strong participation for adults with learning difficulties and to be based in and supported by a local community. The service is very popular with learners and highly endorsed by carers and parents who report that learners have developed increased social and communication skills. The service provides a weekly interactive arts, crafts and drama session for 15 – 28 learners with varying levels of learning difficulty; the service is run from St Andrew’s Church, Moredon, Swindon.
The sessions start with a group welcome and news of each person’s week developing memory and listening, followed by a supporter-led activity, storytelling, cooking, modelling, craft work, concrete sculptures, drumming, dram model making dance, nature walks. Storytelling has become a strong feature at the start of the day along with friendship making and group work. The service also provides carers with stimulating examples of using craft work as a way of building relationships.
The staffing includes three support workers. Church members and volunteers also support the sessions.
The service runs all year round except for holidays (2 weeks in August, 1 week at easter and 2 weeks at christmas) with the centre open from 09.30 am to 2.30 pm.
We have a management committee which meets regularly to plan and discuss the future of the group.
SWIAS is a registered charity, number 1146087.