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Craig’s News Blog

Welcome back! Hope you all had a wonderful New Year. I’m looking forward to all the new challenges coming up this year.

So far this year we’ve had some great acts for Thursday Live. In January we had the band Ubuntu Vibes come to Cherry Road for the very first time. They were accompanied by Andy Cooke a musician. They performed an African story through music, dance and speech. They interacted with our clients very well, they were humorous and lively. We would welcome them back to the centre anytime.

One of our favourite regular acts, Elvis, was back in Cherry Road for Thursday Live. He was great! Everybody was dancing around having a good time from start to finish. He took the time to interact with everyone. Even those who are usually reluctant to join in were inspired by him. The room was full of laughter and everyone enjoyed themselves.

I had the pleasure of working with Mat Clements in a 1-1 drumming session. He’s very talented, and I learn new skills from him.

We are very creative in Cherry Road. Our centre is full of artwork created by us all. I have designed and produced my own artwork. I enjoy painting and pottery. These are some of my paintings.

On a wider note in the rest of Scotland, Glasgow Burrell Collection will be re-opening on the 27th March. Something to look forward to.

I recently interviewed one of our team leaders John Connell. He is responsible for assisting with the day to day running of the establishment. He is very involved with staff training and support. John works in collaboration with Napier University. He mentors the learning disability students on placements in Cherry Road. I help out with this too. John told me he was in a unique position as he was in the old Cherry Road at the turn of the century. In those days it was a very busy environment attended by people with mixed needs and abilities. The Council needed a base for people with complex needs and so Cherry Road adapted to serve their needs. John’s vision for Cherry Road is “to become an internationally renowned centre of excellence.” John would like to see, in the future, our service extend to include evenings and weekends but not at the expense of the quality of service we’ve got just now. Some of John’s fondest memories are of our Creative Learning workshops and he says our Thursday Live performances are genuinely world class!

Craig Pentland

Blog Editor

Craig’s News Blog

Welcome back! My first Blog went down a treat, thanks for all your feedback. I am always open to new ideas.

Caitlin Mulgrew and the pots and pans samba band came to Cherry Road for the very first time. Caitlin worked extremely well with our clients. Everybody was up and out of their seats having a good time. We’re hoping to see them back at Cherry Road soon.

A Spanish couple from Edinburgh joined us and performed Flamenco in our conservatory. Daniello played a guitar and a cajon. Inma danced and played the castanets. As one of our service users often says we all were “shaking our shimmy!”

Performer Ciaran McGee was very good right from the start. He was an excellent singer! He would always be welcome back. Everybody joined in and had a good time.

I went to my first meeting with People First in Dalkeith.  People First Scotland are an advocacy group for people with learning disabilities, run by people with learning disabilities. It’s a great opportunity for me to get involved with the Scottish Government and Midlothian Council. My confidence has grown during my time at Cherry Road and the support I receive here allows me to access other opportunities with continuing support from Cherry Road.

Over the past 18 months our Outreach service has been preparing an Art Exhibition at The Steading in Rosewell. The pieces on display are all designed by service users. The artwork showcases the hard work and dedication of the service users and staff on the Outreach programme. Well done to all involved.

Staff profiles will be a new addition to the blog. This update includes an interview with Liz Davidson, manager of Cherry Road Resource Centre.

Liz explained she loves her job “I feel very privileged to be part of making people’s lives better, more enjoyable and helping people to learn.” Cherry Road felt a safe place to be during the pandemic. Staff and service users really looked after each other. Liz is always open to new ideas, assessing the service and getting feedback from us and our families to inform future plans for Cherry Road. I asked Liz if she had a special moment to share. She spoke of the success of the summer programme and a special moment when one of our clients reached out for the first time to play the strings of the violin. Liz said it was very emotional and brought a tear to her eye.

I’m sorry to report that one of our staff members Steve Bruce is moving on to pastures new. We all wish him well in his new venture. He will be missed by all at Cherry Road.

Craig Pentland

Blog Editor


COVID-19

Cherry Road Learning Centre are currently operating a reduced service for people with critical need.

For more information about current provision, please contact us on 0131 561 5402 or email liz.davidson@midlothian.gov.uk

We are working in partnership with residential and other day service providers to replace our input in imaginative ways in partnership with Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians, families and care teams supporting people at home.

Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians have developed online resources specifically for people with learning disability, their families and care teams.

They have a website of resources and ArtlinkTV featuring sensory based ideas for activity at home. If you’d like a hand to find content to suit the person you support please contact kara@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or call/ text/ what’s app 07715083926.