For the first time yesterday, Ellen and I attended a ROAR event; a craft session at a local church hall.
ROAR stands for Recreational Opportunities Allowing Respite and is run by our local Mencap organisation for adults with learning disabilities http://www.dacorummencap.org.uk/roar/. Every month they send out a programme of activities that can be booked in advance – from lunches and pub visits to discos and information events. Being quite young for her age and not, I feel, quite up to downing white wine at the pub (although I certainly am) we decided to opt for the craft session instead.
I thought I’d failed at the first post as everyone came in with various carrier bags, lunch boxes and kitchen foil from which they unpacked all manner of delicious looking food. Ellen was on a promise of a McDonalds after the session; so was not too distracted by the display, although the girl she was sitting with was tucking into what she said was chicken sausage with ketchup (does that exist?!)
Vicky, the lady who organises the sessions, certainly produces imaginative and fun activities! This month it was wind-chimes and dream catchers. Vicky explained to Ellen the function of dream catchers and she was eager to make this one first. It involved tying a lot of tricky knots, which soon became my job and Ellen, of course, picked the beads with the smallest holes for me to try and thread! Still she was very happy with the end result, as you can see.
We then moved onto the next table to make our wind chime. Vicky had managed to gather a whole pile of unwanted teaspoons via Mencap’s Facebook page, and using them, some lolly sticks (decorated of course) and some fishing wire came up with a very imaginative design for a fully functioning wind chime! But more knots!! Everyone was very happy with their windchimes, although goodness knows if they all made it home without becoming a tangled mess (ours didn’t).
Ellen enjoyed the couple of hours, but I could see that to those people who no longer have college to attend or a job to go to it really was a life line. That’ll be us next year – gulp.