Gateway

Melksham and Corsham Gateway Club

 

The Gateway Club meets in the main hall every Thursday evening from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m.

 

The volunteer leaders start arriving at about 6.00 p.m. and get out the various activities for the evening; Pool, Table-tennis, Football Table, Jenga, Colouring Books and Crayons etc.  The members arrive by car and taxi and the hall is quickly transformed with laughter, chat, music and dance.  When all the members and their helpers are together they can number between 50 and 60 people of all ages.  

 

The purpose of the club is to offer those with learning disabilities the opportunity to participate in various recreational activities in a safe and supportive environment.  The Gateway organisation seeks to provide the opportunity and forum for those with learning disabilities (and their families and carers) to obtain advice, guidance and support from a local specialist group.  And, the application of various methods to advocate the rights, needs and wants of people with a learning disability to enable greater integration in the local community.  All the activities are voluntary and the views of the members are sought whenever possible.  One innovation was the installation of a Juke-box with an extensive play-list, enabling members to choose whatever music they wanted played rather than have a leader choose for them.

 

The Club has various activities away from the Church such as; special parties, participating in the Melksham Carnival, Millfield School awayday, trips to the seaside etc. 

 

For a number of years, we have held a Gateway Harvest Festival on the Thursday before the Church’s own Harvest thanksgiving and last year we enhanced this by coming together as Church and Club and having a simple Harvest Supper together before the service which was great fun.  The members particularly enjoy singing and one of the high-lights of the year is the Gateway Carol Service at which members read the Christmas story and have the opportunity to sing their favourite carols.  They have no inhibitions when it comes to raising their voices and the delight on everyone’s faces is a joy to behold.

 

The leaders and volunteers are a wonderful group of dedicated people and we thank them for all their hard work, without them the Club could not exist and be such a vital part of the members’ lives.

 

 


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