30 Days Wild Week 3 Update!

Week 3! Wow it’s going by so fast!

This week we had planned to give all of our visitors an opportunity to explore our secret orchard, however thanks to the rain we were unable to complete many journeys around the orchard, but hopefully people will be interested in exploring it another time when the weather is better.

orchard

This week we made some lovely natural flower bouquets using leaves, grass and flowers from the ELHAP garden.

 

DSCN0671 (2)

Our adults also spread some wildflower seeds around the garden with the hope that some lovely brightly coloured flowers will begin to spring up by next year.

 

Finally a bug hunt took place in the garden. We found many different insects hiding under logs, on leaves and flowers. We managed to find  some slugs, snails, spiders, woodlice and more!!!

 

As we roll into week 4 we have more big things planned including: Wild flower identifying, natural face masks, another bug hunt, Bird feeder making and trying to make a stinging nettle tea!

Should be a good week!

 

30 Days Wild Week Two!!!

Here it is the second of our 30 Days Wild blog for the month of June!

This week we have been busy with a wide array of different wild activities.

We have made daisy chains, Butterfly artwork and butterfly chrysalis’, gone on a long, long nature walk in the sunshine, created our own wildlife quiz, eaten our lunch on our bird watching deck, splashed about in the rain and explored our own orchard with a nature scavenger hunt!

Next week we will be using our orchard a lot more as it is our Orchard Week for all of our friends that visit us from our local schools! Hopefully the weather remains so everyone can have a fantastic opportunity to explore our secret wilderness!

We hope you enjoy the pictures of our second wild week of adventure!!!

 

Butterfly session!!!

Random wild sightings of the week!

This weeks wild art work!

 

May/June half term update!

Just a quick update for everyone about last weeks amazing May/June half term playscheme!

It was a great week, although it was very quiet we managed to have four fantastic days of fun mess and the usual ELHAP chaos!

Great fun was had by all and below are some photos to show what we got up to, ENJOY!!!!

30 Days Wild Week One – Lets Begin!

Last Wednesday marked the start of one whole month of ELHAP going wild as part of the 30 Days Wild challenge.

For the entire month of June ELHAP will be going wild and adventurous with all things nature related.

This is what we got up to in the first 3 days!

Wednesday 3rd June! – International Mud Day!

What a day of mud, mess and mayhem! What started as a nice sensory session descended into a full on mud slinging event. It was amazingly squishy and squelchy but so much fun to throw mud at one of the walls in the playground.

ELHAP at the start of the day!

 

ELHAP at the end of the day!

 

Thursday 4th June – Giant art explosion!

On Thursday we took to the ELHAP garden for some giant art creation. This also quickly descended into a flurry of paint throwing shenanigans which has now made our back fence look rather more interesting! And the most important thing is that everyone had fun doing it!

 

Friday 5th June – Sensory Playdough!

On Friday we made some interesting playdough filled with some sweet smelling sensory scents including, rosemary, mint leaves, cinnamon and vanilla. Not only was smashing, bashing, cutting and kneading the dough great fun it also smelt amazing!

 

Overall it was a great start to this years 30 days wild extravaganza we have plenty more to come over the next few weeks so keep checking back to see what we are getting up to!

Feel free to share your wild adventures with us too!

 

 

 

Ruth’s ELHAP story

My family!

My family!

My time at ELHAP started back in 1987 when I was leaving school. I had always wanted to work with kids and adults with special needs but couldn’t get a job as I had to be eighteen. I didn’t give up and ended up being offered a placement at ELHAP on the YTS scheme.

I started right away and began working with Kate, Liz and a few others. They were all amazing and began teaching me what to do and how to handle a wide variety of situations. For me it wasn’t just a job it was the first time I truly realised I found somewhere I belonged. It was with the support of my ELHAP family that I spent a few happy years there achieving my City and Guild’s qualification.

During this time I had the pleasure of working with a young boy who I still see today. He is now a staff member at ELHAP who was once an adorable little blonde lad who has grown up to be a fine man!
I left to have a baby called Amber but stayed in contact with Kate and Liz and used to pop into ELHAP to visit from time to time. I went on to have another baby named Jade. I think from the experience I gained at ELHAP it was quite clear that Jade had some form of special needs. After years of fighting to get the right help for her I contacted ELHAP and asked if they could help me. The help they gave me was amazing and helped me gain information on how to get the funding for Jade. By then I had another little girl called Sapphire.
In 2005 our whole world got totally destroyed as we were involved in a serious car accident that left me permanently disabled. It had a terrible impact on all of my children, but it hit Jade and Sapphire the hardest. Shortly after being in hospital for 12 weeks Jade got expelled from mainstream school and it took a year and a half to get her into a school that would be able to meet her needs. I don’t think I would of managed if it wasn’t for ELHAP stepping in to have Jade volunteer there for a few days a week.

Sapphire also received funding to attend ELHAP play schemes and sleep over club. I will admit if it wasn’t for ELHAP there is no way I would of coped and for that I will be forever grateful.
It doesn’t end there I am very proud to say my eldest daughter Amber worked at ELHAP for a few years and she is also now a mum.
She currently attends the ELHAP Early Years group with her son Jasper on Monday mornings.

Jade is also hoping that sometime in the not so distant future that she will be able to return to visit ELHAP aswell.

ELHAP will always be a big part of my life and holds a special place in my heart and for all of their help over the years I will always be eternally grateful.

Ruth

Eddie’s ELHAP story

In July 2012, I joined the ELHAP volunteering project as a Supported Volunteer as I was diagnosed with Autism at aged 3. My brothers Oliver and Jack both worked at ELHAP during Saturday Clubs and Holiday Playschemes and they encouraged me to apply to be a volunteer. I wanted to volunteer because it would be nice to gain experience doing drama workshops with the children.

Art with the kids

Art with the kids

During the Summer Playscheme I volunteered for more than 100 hours. After that I decided to do part of my university dissertation at ELHAP working with local school groups and adults with disabilities.
In January 2013 I was invited to Ilford Town Hall where ELHAP received an award for their Contribution to Redbridge Young People and I was on the front cover of the Ilford Recorder newspaper.
Throughout February 2013, I worked on my Dissertation where I did Theatre-Based Play Opportunities with children who have learning difficulties doing drama therapy which they enjoyed and I was very satisfied with.
Then in March 2013 I did a Placement with the local schools at ELHAP. I manage to complete my level 3 Supported Volunteer award (more than 100 hours), and later that month I collected my award with a certificate at the Sir James Hawkey Hall in Woodford Green! This was a special awards ceremony where volunteers were awarded for all their hard work at ELHAP.

Volunteer awards ceremony

Volunteer awards ceremony

In the Summer of 2013, I received a 2:1 for my university course which I wanted to aim for. Without volunteering at ELHAP I don’t what I was going to do after I had finished university.
I volunteered for the last time in November 2013 before I graduated. I decided to leave ELHAP on good terms as I have decided to concentrate on gaining paid employment and doing more acting opportunities.
I believe ELHAP has given a lot of children/adults with learning disabilities opportunities to do things which they enjoy doing and this helps them building their confidence like it did for me.

Currently my 10 year-old half-sister goes to ELHAP during Holiday Playschemes she really enjoys it as she makes friends and has a good time playing with all of the other children/volunteers and staff members.

Eddie

Summer 2015!!!!!

This year ELHAP went all out to have the best summer playscheme ever!

Months of planning took place to make sure that all children were given the best opportunities to play in the most fun, crazy and imaginative ways imaginable.

It was 25 long and hard days of fun, mayhem and pure chaos but it was possibly one of the best ever. This year we had many, many new children joining us but also many that it would be their last summer at ELHAP. This was also the case for staff and volunteers with many of the team heading off to university in September or simply to new ventures in their lives. We had a large number of newbies joining us both as volunteers and staff and it felt like they had all been here for years!

Rather than simply writing about how brilliant the summer was we wanted to share with everyone some excellent photographic evidence of how successful the summer truly was. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we did experiencing them!

Please enjoy some of our favourite moments from summer 2015!

soft room chilling

soft room chilling

hanging out on the big slide!

hanging out on the big slide!

Relaxing times!

Lego contemplation

Lego contemplation

dressing up as Stephanie from Lazy Town

dressing up as Stephanie from Lazy Town

chill

chill

Swing chilling

Swing chilling

Kangaroo time!

Kangaroo tim

Epic tunnel shenanigans!

Epic tunnel shenanigans!

Chillaxing

Chillaxing

Fun with fans!

Fun with fans!

Superhero squad

Superhero squad

Pure muscle!

Pure muscle!

Superheroes!

Superheroes!

Super hero day!

Plenty of dressing up and heroic deeds!

The ELHAP super squad!

The ELHAP super squad!

There were many higlights over the summer but one of the best days at ELHAP ever was our Friday Holi Day! The children, staff and volunteers were armed with a ton of powder paint ready to throw at each other. Never before has making so much mess been so much fun, quite literally everyone and every thing was covered from top to toe with an assortment of colours and it took aaaaaages to wash off! Some staff even had some green paint left in their ears the following week!

ARRRRRGGGG!!!!

ARRRRRGGGG!!!!

Powder cloud

Powder cloud

Paint explosion

Paint explosion

PAINT FIGHT!!!

PAINT FIGHT!!!

Messy staff

Messy staff

very messy

very messy

Holi day paint fight - the aftermath!

Holi day paint fight – the aftermath!

Painty mess

Painty mess

Staff team post Holi day - a little bit cleaner

Staff team post Holi day – a little bit cleaner

This was the year of the #selfie at ELHAP. Plenty of pouting and posing going on!

#selfiebros

#selfiebros

#selfie

#selfie

Oreo Truffles!! Yum!

Oreo Truffles!! Yum!

more selfie bro!

more selfie bro!

As well as the selfies there were plenty of great moments showing the bond between staff and the kids!

Relaxing on the bouncy castle

Relaxing on the bouncy castle

DSCN5636

Trampoline fun time!

Trampoline fun time!

Swing friends!

Swing friends!

just hanging out

just hanging out

Dress up - animal style

Dress up – animal style

Casual bike ride

Casual bike ride

And also the friendships between the kids that have developed over the years!

Best buddies

Best buddies for life!

We had messy moments!

Children getting their own back on the staff!

Children getting their own back on the staff!

Whipped cream fight

Whipped cream fight

Mega marshmallow cooking

Mega marshmallow cooking

Marshmallow fire!

Marshmallow fire

Water yum!

Water yum!

Ice lolly

Ice lolly too cold!

We had some fantastic trips out to Homerton Grove and Glamis adventure playgrounds and some great visits from the exotic animals, mad science with Nitro Nick, the African drumming and dancing and mug decorating with Creative Biscuit!

African drumming workshop

African drumming workshop

African drum circle!

African drum circle!

Mug painting dressed as an owl!

Mug painting dressed as an owl!

Epic face paint - SSSSSSSnake face!

Epic face paint – SSSSSSSnake face! Big thanks to Sally for her face painting skills!

exotic animals!

exotic animals!

Arriving at Glamis

Arriving at Glamis

net chillin'

net chillin’

Tarzan swing at Glamis playground!

Tarzan swing at Glamis playground!

Zipline!!

Zipline!!

Taxi!!!!!

Taxi!!!!!

Visit to Homerton Grove

Visit to Homerton Grove

360 degree swing at Glamis

360 degree swing at Glamis

#taxiselfie

#taxiselfie

Overall it was an amazing summer and from all of us at ELHAP we would like to thank everyone including the children, parents, carers, staff, volunteers, visiting workshops and everyone else for helping to make this year a summer to remember!

There was a fantastic buzz of energy throughout all of the 25 days which helped many of the staff complete the long trek through the summer! Hopefully we can make summer 2016 an even greater year! Best start coming up with some crazy ideas now then!

Finally we wish the children, young people, staff and volunteers who are leaving us the best of luck in your futures and thank you for all the good times we have shared together at ELHAP, don’t be strangers and stay in touch!

ELHAP Staff team 2015!!!! A truly amazing bunch of people!

ELHAP Staff team 2015!!!!
A truly amazing bunch of people!

Lots of love from all at ELHAP!!!!!!!

Dave’s ELHAP Story

This  week’s ELHAP Story comes from Dave (now known as Dr Dave) who was involved with ELHAP for many years. Hope you enjoy reading his story!

I must have been about 9 or 10 when I first came to ELHAP. My sister had been coming for a while and then one morning I found myself on the blue Redbridge bus with a driver called Dave, we were all subjected to the song Agadoo on a loop throughout the journey.

25 years on and I can still remember doing den building, the sandpit and above all else the soft room!

Time went by and my sister still had a lot of involvement with ELHAP however I gravitated away only to come back when it was time for work experience.

All of my mates had tales of working at solicitors, accountants and The Sun, but it was agreed after a fortnight of den building and learning the basics of adventure play, I had by far the coolest and most useful time. Work experience led to a couple of summers of volunteering and then going off to university whilst working in the summers, until finally emigrating to Wales and a life in the NHS in 2005.

There are many things that I learnt from my time at ELHAP, I learnt that no matter what never drop a brick into a wasps nest, step aerobics is something that should stay in the 90’s and that if you make a lousy cup of tea on day 1 of your new job you’ll probably not get asked to make another!

On a serious note ELHAP has helped my family on more than one occasion in the past, sometimes at short notice and for this we will always be grateful. It provided an environment where me and my sister could work together as equals and is something that 10 years on she still talks about enthusiastically. Over the course of 25 years I have both played with and worked with some fantastic people and while sadly not all are still with us, I have some brilliant memories and experiences which remain with me to this day.