Our social media posts frequently highlight events that have formed part of our ‘Wednesday Funday’ programme. These are group activities organised by the housing support team, for current residents and those recently moved-on residents, who live in their own accommodation but who are still supported by our floating housing support workers.
Here is one recent example in more detail: we ran a ‘scrapyard challenge’ style task, where residents had to work in teams with their housemates to build a model boat. They could use items from their recycling or garden waste to construct their vessel and each team was also given a £10 kitty, with which to purchase any extra items they required, such as glue.
It was fascinating for the staff to watch how teams worked together and utilised each other’s skillsets to complete the challenge. Duncan witnessed one team build a Viking longship, using offcuts from an old bamboo screen in their garden. As they went around a local shop to purchase the other items needed, Duncan was impressed at how they budgeted carefully to ensure that they got the best value for money out of their £10. It was encouraging to see them working out what they could afford to spend, what they really needed to buy and what they could make use of elsewhere to save money. This is a great skill for our residents to practice and helps them learn useful techniques for making sound financial decisions in the future.
The venue for ‘Wednesday Funday’ varies: the scrapyard challenge was held at the residents’ homes; but sometimes we invite residents to the Restore office, or we meet up with them at a local park. The activities have included a picnic, frisbee and table tennis tournaments, pizza making, video game sessions, a drumming workshop and a pottery wheel taster session. It’s testament to the creativity and dedication of our housing support workers that they continue to come up with original, innovative ideas for ways to bring our residents together. One former resident explained how these afternoons have been a lifeline for him:
“I’ve met new friends. There’s different activities for me to go on. Since I’ve been with Restore I’ve been getting my personality back … coming back as a person. Being treated as a person.”
And that’s what it’s all about, at the end of the day: serving our residents. Some find social settings difficult, others thrive in them. But the opportunity to meet with other people and build community is a key part of the support we offer. The structure of a planned activity one afternoon a week is often strong motivation to leave the house and can help to reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety. Moreover, there are vital skills to be learnt from many of these activities: it might sound like ‘Wednesday Funday’ is just an excuse for a jolly time, but – in reality – it is an integral part of helping our residents to rebuild their lives.
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