Cooking plays an important role for young people with learning difficulties


Shane cookingA group of young people with learning difficulties from St Leonard’s on Sea in East Sussex have hosted their own American-themed fun night with a nostalgic take on the hit movie Grease.


The group who live at Bridgewater House residential care service dressed as Pink Ladies and T-Birds and enjoyed an evening of ‘mocktails’, hot dogs and ice cream to the sound-track of the film.


The dining room was decorated with Grease-themed posters and 50’s-style accessories to create the right ambiance.


The evening was the latest event in the service’s ‘round-the-world’ club where individuals get the chance to sample the cuisine and culture from different parts of the globe.


“We hold an international party every month and everyone who lives here loves getting involved,” said Bridgewater House service manager Lindsey Sherwood.


“It’s not just the evening itself they enjoy – preparation involves decorating the house and devising, shopping for and cooking the menu. They all throw themselves into it with great enthusiasm.”


In addition to the American-theme night, the service has also held Chinese, Italian and Polish evenings, and an English tea party during Wimbledon complete with the requisite strawberries and cream.


Cooking plays an important role for many service users at Bridgewater House, which is home to seven adults with learning disabilities, and cognitive, mental, behavioural and emotional difficulties.,


Lindsey and her team at Old Roar Road make it their mission to ensure all service users are encouraged to maximise their independent living skills in activities that reflect their personal interests.


Many attend Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne studying subjects including maths, computing and sensory communications.


They also take part in Active Arts dance classes at Hastings & Bexhill Mencap Society, as well as enjoying classes at the local leisure centre, including use of the hydrotherapy pool.


Bridgewater House is run by ACH, owned by award-winning care provider Regard, the UK’s fourth biggest provider of care homes and supported living services, who recently received a ‘Gold’ Investors in People award.



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