Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Studio of many talents

I ADMIRE anyone who has a talent for art and music. I love both, yet I'm useless at both. It is why the work that comes out of our Independence Studio at the children's Grace Little Centre here in north Carlisle never fails to amaze me.

The independence studio is an art and animation studio. The studio has created  short animated films on important topics such as voting, healthy eating and hate crime. Earlier this year Carlisle Mencap was involved in the UK-wide annual #No2H8 Crime Awards. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of tackling hate crime. In March this year, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall joined Carlisle Mencap and representatives from the Home Office at Tullie House in Carlisle for the launch of Take Control, a film about hate crime, funded by the Home Office. It was the talented service users, aided by our dedicated staff, at the Independence Studio that came up with the film with the help of Cumbria Constabulary.  And the same studio also produced another DVD on ‘Mate Crime’, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner. (Mate Crime is when criminals ‘befriend’ vulnerable people in order to exploit them financially or sexually).

These films were created in order to help educate others on topics that may be difficult to understand. But as well as the films, the studio also has a creative enterprise project where we sell some of the crafts that we make in the Carlisle Mencap shop in Botchergate, central Carlisle, as well as in other external sites, to help fund our projects.

And some of these crafts and items are truly impressive. I mentioned a couple of months ago that we could do with a Carlisle Mencap banner for our stalls when we attend shows and galas. No sooner said than done. An eye-catching banner appeared on my desk. Now the service users are currently doing good with wood - as you will see by some of the images attached to this blog.
These fabulous festive decorations will be gracing our Christmas Fair at the Doves Cafe/Church of Scotland hall in Chapel Street on Wednesday December 12, from 12.30pm to 4.30pm. It has been truly heartening the interest expressed by various 'cottage industries' in taking up stalls at this event which should be an excellent showcase in the run-up to Christmas. And the Independence Studio will have its very own stall - and deservedly so.

Meanwhile...trips to the DW Fitness sports centre continue as I gear up for the '20 Miles For Carlisle Mencap' walk at Watchtree  Nature Reserve on Sunday November 4. Sheila and Morag have got more sponsors than I have (boo!) but I haven't really got into my stride yet so look out friends and family (hurray!). I visited the reserve today in typhoon-like conditions. As sponsored walks go it is going to be one of the more picturesque and interesting ones. I'm a fan of birds and wildlife so I can well imagine that these 20 miles may well be punctuated with frequent, unplanned sudden stops as I cry out: "Oooh look, a nuthatch!" or "Wow, did you see that red squirrel?" etc etc. So finishing the walk by Tuesday morning maybe a reasonable target to aim for!
Don't forget, follow us on Twitter (@carlislemencap) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mencapcarlisle/) as well as visiting our website (www.carlislemencap.co.uk) for the very latest updates on all things Carlisle Mencap.
@carlislemencap @watchtree @dwfitnessfirst #watchtree #dwfitness @mencap_carlisle

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