Surrey Care Association Day Trips: Day Space, Reigate
31st August, 2018
Eugene and I, Kim Garande, visited Day Space in Reigate, an activity centre for residents; whom they address as ‘customers’ in the surrounding Surrey area. The focus of the Reigate centre is to provide a high standard of person-centred activities for individuals with learning disabilities in the community by offering them a day of a wide range of challenging, however sociable and fun activities which vary in duration depending on individual requirements such as baking, art, music, dance and relaxation sessions. Moreover, they offer a free taster session for new customers to help them decide if they would like to attend Day Space on a regular basis.
We ended our experience at Day Space with a games session in my group, while Eugene’s group gathered to wind down and rejuvenate in the tranquillising purple Relaxation Room, with peaceful background music.Most customers who attend Day Space have more frequently attended the centre weekly, for years. The influence and impact of the outstanding commitment to care and community ethos of the Day Space staff members’ practice is evident in the differences they make in the customers’ personal lives; creating a strong support network and a strong sense of community through the Day Space family.
The Kitchen Space where we did our cooking. There was another room where the other customers took part in the baking process.
We began our day by having a team meeting led by Lizzie Penny, the Deputy Manager, who has worked for Day Space since 2017. Lizzie is a favourite among the customers because of her enthusiasm and genuine strive for providing the best experience and care. She is also a woman of many talents, with her singing and ukulele skills being the crowd pleaser amongst the customers that I had an opportunity to spend the morning with. Additionally, I had the opportunity to engage in a music session whereby every customer was given an instrument and a selection of songs to sing with the rest of the group, while one of the staff members also played the piano.
From our visit, it was clear that this was a place in which the customers looked forward to attending, with some eager to share news about their week with the group. The Day Space staff recognise the differences in abilities and interests among their customers; valuing their input in activity ideas and work effectively to accommodate everyone. On Friday, Eugene and I spent the two morning sessions with two different groups of customers who varied in personalities and different levels of communication.
From the onset, it was a very interactive session. The customers were encouraged to share any interesting news in their week prior to attending and were supported by the team to showcase any materials they had to share with the group. For example, one of the customers had a beautiful hand-sawn piece that she had decided to share with the group. It was amazing to see the smiles from the rest of the group, which I feel increased this customer’s confidence. What I found particularly good was the Newsround part of the session at the beginning. One of the Day Space staff Joe gave a very informative presentation in my session on a current event that week- The Notting Hill Carnival. He asked the customers questions on what they knew, giving them opportunities to share any knowledge they had. This gave the customers a chance to keep up to date with current news that they may have missed.
We ended our experience at Day Space with a games session in my group, while Eugene’s group gathered to wind down and rejuvenate in the tranquillising purple Relaxation Room, with peaceful background music.