More Making & Creating!

OLAR (Ordinary Living Activity Room) has been busy busy busy recently and is full of beautiful works of art and creations made by the tenants. Tenants of all abilities at Ordinary Living enjoy OLAR, and no matter what level they are at they can still fully participate and achieve. The ethos is fun while improving, or learning new skills. Tenants choose their own projects, ranging from Lino cutting, cross stitch, wood work, sewing and anything in between! After seeing some boats that others had made one tenant created a wonderful sea world which is now hanging from the ceiling. A Hanging Seascape Some tenants enjoy working with clay. This year we have moved on from making pots to creating sculpture. They have learnt how to construct an armature and build up the clay to form their sculpture. But most importantly they have been able to use their imagination. Working through how to create something solid from an abstract idea, and finally seeing the end product has given an enormous sense of achievement. There are many projects on the go at OLAR at the moment, but something new to us all is lino cutting. One of the highlights of the Ordinary Living calendar is the annual Summer BBQ. It’s a chance for tenants to meet up with old friends and have some fun. Everyone likes to get involved and there is much excitement leading up to the day. The tenants who come to OLAR wanted to help with the preparations so we decided to make bunting. It was a great team effort where tenants of all abilities were able to take part and do their bit, improving social skills and learning new techniques while having fun.


Spring into Action!

Spring has finally arrived and the tenants have been enjoying some gloriously sunny days. Some of our tenants have been enjoying choosing and planting seeds in their gardens and we are looking forward to seeing their gardens in full bloom. Some tenants enjoyed a three course Sunday lunch on Easter Sunday. The menu including prawn salad and roast lamb was designed and prepared by the tenants with support from the staff. After their delicious lunch some of the tenants were tasked with finding an Easter egg treat each which had been hidden around their home or garden. Everybody enjoyed the challenge of searching for their eggs and with some support everyone was successful in locating their chocolate treat. One tenant said that it was “Great fun” Some of the tenants have been training hard for the Special Olympics National Games this August in Sheffield. Each week  they take part in the Special Olympics and have at least one hour of training in their chosen sports. We are extremely proud to announce that two of our tenants at Westward Ho! have qualified for the games, in the tennis and swimming disciplines. They have worked really hard and had to compete in numerous competitions in order to qualify for their places. We wish them the best of luck in Sheffield. The Special Olympics supports over 10,000 athletes and is the largest provider of an all ability sports programme and offers training in 28 different sports. It provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to compete and progress at local, regional, national and international levels.


OLAR - What is it all about?

Ordinary Living’s Activity Room (OLAR) has been a hive of activity this year, and continues to be a fantastic and popular resource, that is quite unique to us at Ordinary Living. So, a bit more about OLAR………..  Individuals are encouraged to choose their own projects and are supported through the planning and execution process to produce a piece of work of which they are proud. Using the ethos – that every idea is a good idea, means that there are an array of crafts and activities on offer.  On any one day at OLAR individuals can be learning to knit or sew, getting messy with papier mache and clay, singing, dancing or cooking. Others may prefer, at times, to sit in the quiet corner with beads or Lego. While others may prefer to be outside helping in the garden or making something in the shed. The staff spend one to one time with each individual finding the right activity to encourage improvement in motor skills, literacy, and communication, whilst enabling each individual to have a real sense of achievement and gain maximum satisfaction from a day at OLAR. We work to build confidence by tapping into skills already held, but also by encouraging individuals to try something new. And what have we been up to at OLAR?……….  After the glitter and fun of Christmas was cleared away we settled down to discuss future projects for the new year. We had been given a sewing machine, no one had used one before but several people were very enthusiastic to try it out. The results were amazing as you can see from the photos. Each individual had a definite idea of what they would like to make and were over the moon with the results, and rightly very proud. We are now talking about what to make next, and planning a visit to a fabric shop. Cooking is a very popular activity at OLAR. Recently individuals have taken turns to lead the group through the cooking process, from discussing ingredients required, reading the recipes to delegating tasks. Initially this was aimed at confidence building but it has also helped with communication and social skills. Several individuals are now moving on to more difficult recipes with great success. Both tenants and staff enjoy the results with a nice cup of tea!   A ‘Seaside Stripe’ Bag This didn’t last very long A pretty new skirt Yummy cookies Check out this fab Tea Cosy!  


Festive Fun

December was a month filled with celebrations and activities for our tenants. The month started with many of the tenants enjoying a holiday at Butlins, Minehead. During their holiday tenants were able to take full advantage of all the facilities on offer and even though the weather may have been cold outside they were able to use the heated Splash Waterworld swimming pool. The tenants had a wonderful selection of different shows to keep them entertained which included the Aladdin Rocks Pantomime, Madness and Tinie Tempah tribute acts and a magic show. In addition to this the tenants also had the opportunity to enjoy the traditional fairground and explored the beach and surrounding areas.  Although the staff that went on the trip returned exhausted they said that everyone, including themselves, had  had a wonderful time and that all of the tenants were on great form. With great excitement , preparations for Christmas started once the tenants returned from their holiday and everyone enjoyed decorating their houses in anticipation of the start of the festivities. As some of the tenants go home for Christmas a pre-Christmas party was held for all the tenants and staff to celebrate together. This year the celebrations were held at the Pier House, in Westward Ho! Everyone enjoyed their traditional Christmas lunch which was followed by a disco. It was a fun filled party and the dancing continued until the last song was played! Christmas day is a magical time for both tenants and staff and this year was no exception. After everyone had opened their Christmas presents, tenants and staff  joined together to help prepare Christmas dinners at various houses.  In Westward Ho!, this was for an impressive twenty six guests – it was a real team effort and dinner was served on time and was delicious! After a busy week the tenants bid farewell to 2016 and welcomed 2017! Happy New Year to everyone!   Festive fun at Butlins Our Lodges at Butlins Pool in the Games room Butlins Accommodations Satff enjoying Butlins too! Xmas Towel Art Strike! Bowling at Butlins


A Sad Goodbye.

We recently lost one of our tenants, Jonathan Stevens, who very sadly passed away.  His funeral was attended by a number of Ordinary Living staff and Scott Lovejoy gave a eulogy on behalf of the company.  Colleagues who attended his funeral commented on how joyous it was and a very fitting celebration of Jon’s life – full of happiness and love.   Eulogy read by Scott Lovejoy Hello everyone my name is Scott. We are here representing Ordinary Living and want to give you all a little insight into some of Jon’s life over the last 5 years. Jon moved into the family of Ordinary Living on the 31st Oct 2011. He lived in three properties over a 5 year period, The Nook in westward Ho!, South Arscott Farm in Holsworthy and finally Iona in Folly Gate, a three bed roomed bungalow which Jon called HOME. Steve recalls the first day he met Jon, it was in the hallway at The Nook.  After the usual greetings, Jon said, ‘I have heard you are the boss! Ummm. I think we will get on okay!’. We all very quickly realised that Jon liked Hierarchy and would give his attention to the highest ranking person in the room. Jon enjoyed watching TV and listening to music whilst at home.  In particular, one of his favourite pop singers was Nicole Scherzinger, but to Jon she was affectionately known as Nicole Shirt Swinger! Each day he would buy the sun newspaper and after reading it throughout the day he would pass it on to the night worker. Jon was always thinking of others. Jon loved his rabbits whom he affectionately referred to as his bunnies! Thank you to Karen and her daughter Lily for offering them a new home and Lily is certainly sharing Jon’s love for the bunnies. Jon always had a joke or a tongue in cheek comment to make. His visits to the Ordinary Living office in Bude were always entertaining.  On arrival he would say, ‘Hello, how are all you lovely ladies?’.  He would then make a bee line for Marie (that’s Steve’s mum), plant a kiss on her cheek and ask how was that son of hers keeping and also ask after her Grandson Lucas. If Karen was in the office Jon liked to comment on her wild hair and would ask if she had even bothered to brush it! This always made everyone laugh and Jon would have a giggle. Jon had time for everyone, he would ask Jackie if business was going well for her husband, he always had time for a chat, friendly banter and would lift anyone’s dull mood. However! If Jon was not in a happy mood or something was bothering him, we would quickly know something was wrong! Steve recalls a team meeting in Iona and just as the meeting was concluded, Jon came into the lounge. He announced, ‘I think I heard my name mentioned and this is my home and I don’t want meetings here!’. He then walked out slamming the door, walked into his bedroom and slammed that door. However, he realised that he had missed slamming the bathroom door so came out of his room, slammed the bathroom door and went back into his bedroom and slammed his bedroom door!  Needless to say, we used the training room for meetings afterwards or ensured Jon was not home if we were going to have a team meeting. Jon had special relationships with a lot of people. One of which was Gemma, Whom Jon would call ‘That Miss Bossy boots’! He would moan about her to Steve, saying she had dared to suggest he should cut down on his chocolate and treats to help him lose weight! But Jon would always conclude by saying, ‘Well she is only thinking of me and she thinks quite a lot of me, so nothing needs to change’.  Gemma you were often in the firing line from Jon but you also shared lots of happy times and he thought a great deal of you. Some of those happy times included holidays and an Elvis and Freddie Mercury night. Gemma, myself, Rob (Jon’s close friend) and of course Jon all went off to Cedars to watched the show. It was a brilliant night and there are some photos here for everyone to see later. I could go on and on, there are so many things that we want to share … ….. Like Jon wearing his flat caps and cheerfully telling me when he had bought a new one.  ’Just like yours Scott’, he would say. ….. Always addressing Steve as Mr T! ….. Going to the luncheon club with Marc, and on seeing Marc’s wife working there, Jon would often say, ‘Oh Marc… I see the ball and chain is here!’ Jon had a special fondness for Marc and Marc was very protective and supportive towards Him. Marc thank you for everything you did. I would also like to thank Jackie who was one of the team at Iona for her dedication and for being with Jon when he passed. Jackie, thank you from everyone. Sue and Peter, your commitment to Jon and to the Ordinary Living team who have supported him has always been fantastic. You formed a unity with us which enabled us to always support Jon in his best interest, ensuring his life was meaningful and fulfilled. Thank you for helping us to get it right. I have spoken here today on behalf of my colleagues; It’s been an absolute privilege to have known Jon and to have been able to share some of Jon’s life with you. And to Jon; Thank You for letting us be part of it, you will never be forgotten.  


Goodbye to Autumn

As we say goodbye to autumn and welcome winter the staff and tenants at Westward Ho! are reflecting back over our eventful summer and autumn months.  Our tenants took full advantage of our stunning location during the summer months and enjoyed birthday celebrations at the Pier House and Blue and Green which boast amazing views over the sea.  There are some wonderful walks on our doorstep and tenants have enjoyed exploring Westward Ho! beach,  Kipling Tor near Seafield House and The Northam Burrows. Some tenants have also travelled further afield and have enjoyed attending the ComicCon Event, at the Westpoint Arena  in Exeter and days out in Legoland, Windsor.  We are all looking forward to the next season and further adventures.


Ordinary Living Sponsors Young Surfing Champion

Kit Innes is a local surfer who is very much on the rise in the competitive surfing world.  Kit has competed in many national surf competitions in the last few years and has been so successful this year that he has been selected to represent Great Britain in the World Junior Surfing Championships which are being held in the Azores. Being ‘that good’ at surfing takes a great deal of time and effort from Kit, who takes every opportunity to get out in the surf.  Luckily for him he lives in short walking distance of the great surfing beach at Widemouth Bay.  Kit has great support from family and friends and indeed the whole local community, who are really proud to know this rising star.  Ordinary Living’s sponsorship will help him to fund his career in competitive surfing, travel, training, boards and other equipment do not come cheap! Kit is planning to pass on some of his amazing surf skills to a few of our tenants who are keen to learn surfing from a Pro. Kit has his sights set on the next Olympics and we, at Ordinary Living, are behind him ‘every wave’ of the way!  


Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Ordinary Living!


Helicopter Ride

Two tenants were lucky enough to head off for a helicopter ride to see Ilfracombe from the skys! They had an amazing time.