The Creative Learning team was established with an aim to engage adults with learning disabilities in meaningful daytime group activities.
We do this by supporting you to retain existing skills and build new ones; by encouraging you to try something new and embrace positive risk-taking; by embracing your creative side to express yourself and continue to develop confidence. While taking part in Creative Learning workshops we encourage involvement, communication, social skills and a positive, happy atmosphere.
We believe in empowering individuals to live life to the full. Our sessions are planned to stimulate, interest and encourage. Our team has a wide range of skills, talents, experience and qualifications which (along with Walsingham Support’s core values, emphasising that everyone is different) help to guide you on your own individual journey of supported personal development.
What is the benefit to you?
• Taking part with others in group-based activities.
• Developing social skills.
• Maintaining interests and existing skills.
• Learning new skills and information.
• Forming new friendships and strengthening existing ones.
• Gaining greater self-confidence.
• Being involved in local projects and events; connecting with other local organisations and people in your community.
• Taking next steps after formal education.
• Preparing for possible future employment.
• Feeling a sense of purpose and creating memories.
What can I do?
Currently most of our sessions are based at the Barn in Ledbury, set in the wonderful Herefordshire countryside. Here we have rooms for different activities including a well-stocked workshop and a bespoke kitchen. In The Barn you can choose to do:
Art and Craft: from gaining techniques to being inspired by our beautiful natural setting, these sessions help to build confidence expressing yourself through various visual media.
Media Skills: using tablets, laptops, desktop computers and various software you can create photos and videos, send emails, surf the web and use the internet safely to communicate with friends and family.
Sewing and Craft: recent projects include batik and tie-dye but our groups enjoy making collages, weaving, hand stitching and machine sewing – come and express yourself through all things fabric!
Domestic Skills: plan a meal, budget for it, understand food preparation and hygiene, learn a variety of cooking techniques and – saving the best for last – sample your creations yourself!
We offer sessions to encourage cooking skills for independent living and a Catering Club to prepare lunches cooked and presented for on-site staff along with your group.
Woodwork: we have an excellent record for making and selling products, from bug boxes to benches and everything in-between. Join us whether you are a beginner or want to build on existing skills to see how a design can become a lovely object you have helped to create.
Numeracy and Literacy: everyone wants to be understood! Writing your name and address, telling the time, understanding money; these are all skills that develop independence and confidence. Learn in your own style, at your own pace, discovering that these same skills help you to ‘phone a friend, enjoy a favourite book, read or write a special message in a birthday card and tell a hilarious joke.
Clay: have hands-on help designing and making clay items that can be decorative or useful – or both. Learn to use glaze and see how your work looks after it has been fired in our kiln here at The Barn. Some of our pieces have gone to homes near London, in Wales and even Scotland.
Healthy Living: an opportunity to set your own goals and get advice on ways to improve your quality of life. Find out first hand the benefits of exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness, meditation and more.
Morning Club: come and meet, talk and take part in activities that develop friendships and forge links with the local community. These sessions are driven by the interests of the group, who agree together which activities they want to do from month to month. Swimming, local walks, pampering, crafty fun… you name it, we do it.
Beyond the Barn our outdoor based activities positively thrive on the animal and plant life we are lucky to have surrounding us. We currently keep Ryeland sheep and a clutch of chickens. We have an orchard, fields and gardens which, come rain or shine, provide hours of fun and fresh air. You can choose to do:
Animals and Rural Skills: what could be better than seeing a new-born lamb? Help care for the sheep and look after the chickens in their snug enclosure. Get closer to nature by learning about the life of the land through the seasons of the farming calendar, including a taste of fresh-pressed apple juice when we harvest the orchard in the autumn.
Bushcraft and Ecology: unleash your inner survivor as you learn how to forage for seasonal fruits, flowers and leaves, take part in outdoor cooking and discover the important art of fire-building. Now more than ever it is important to understand and appreciate our natural habitats, including the variety of creatures and plants which live in them.
Gardening: Find out just how much variety goes unnoticed in our busy lives, from flowers that feed our bees to sensory plants that make humans happier. Discover the joy of propagating seeds, nurturing and helping them to grow into plants that can be enjoyed in a garden or even on the plate.
Think it would be fun to come and meet us? We would love to hear from you!
When do you run sessions?
Monday to Friday, morning and afternoon. Choose which sessions you are interested in and which days suit you – you can book half days or full days.
We will always try to create a personal timetable that matches your preferred choices.
Morning session: 9.30 – 12.30
Afternoon session: 1.30 – 4.30
We occasionally offer evening or weekend activities/events. These are advertised on an ad hoc basis.
Where do they take place?
Generally at The Barn in Ledbury. See our address, below.
Alternative sites are indicated on our current timetable.
How do you run the sessions?
We aim for a low ratio of clients to facilitator, with one facilitator to a small group (approx. 4 to 5 participants) or two to a larger group. All our sessions take place in a safe, relaxed, secure and happy setting. We have a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon break and an hour’s lunch break for clients to chat, get to know each other and enjoy socialising together.
Fees include session content (facilitator and basic materials). Some sessions require additional personal items like overalls or a casserole dish and a bag to carry belongings.
We provide a drink of tea, coffee or squash at breaks and lunch time. We also recommend that you bring a water bottle to keep hydrated. You will need to bring a packed lunch if staying for the day.
Please note that we do not arrange or include transport to or from sessions and are unable to offer personal care as part of our service.
How much does it cost?
Sessions currently cost either £18 or £20 per 3 hour session, or £36/£40 for a full day.
Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a visit and meet some of the lovely people who come here!
What are people saying about us?
Individuals who attend Creative Learning:
“Creative Learning is a quiet, peaceful and happy place for me. I went to college before, but I didn’t like it because it was too busy. I enjoy it at Creative Learning. I have learnt how to cook things from scratch, make things for myself in sewing and I have improved my skills in telling the time and using money – this has helped me to go to the shops on my own. I have made new friends and I enjoy spending time with them at break times” - Amy
“Coming to Creative Learning makes me happy because I like to see my friends and meet new people. I love my sessions. I really like using the lawnmower in gardening”- Jason
“I like being out in the fresh air and helping to look after the animals. I have made new friends with people from my local community. I love seeing them at Creative Learning and having fun.I love to cook. It has helped me to be more independent in the kitchen at home. I like the staff at creative Learning because they are fun and look after everyone. They are a great team” – Mary
“I like coming to Creative Learning because it’s a happy place and I see my friends. I have learnt how to cook for myself and I like helping to look after the sheep and chickens. I love it when we have a bonfire in bush craft and my clothes smell nice and smokey when I go home” - Ruby
Family members of those who attend:
“Something rather special.
I can’t express enough how delighted as a parent of a son with special needs I was to have found Walsingham Support Creative Learning. On our first visit we all left with that warm happy feeling inside and our son couldn’t wait to attend. The purpose-built building surrounded by green fields with disabled facilities for all to access is in a beautiful spot close to Ledbury with stunning views.
There are numerous amounts of structured creative learning opportunities, from cooking to gardening to appeal to all, delivered in small groups. All are supported by welcoming, dedicated, caring and enthusiastic staff putting their clients always at the forefront. Staff are communicative and very approachable to clients and parents creating the feeling that you are part of a family.
The special atmosphere is one of calmness, yet full of fun, laughter and all are valued, whatever their contribution. All are inspired to sample new creative learning skills to enrich their development and promote their independence.
My son absolutely loves attending and has benefitted enormously, especially with his confidence.
He has experienced many new activities and is continually learning new skills. Caring for livestock, replacing shed roofs, fencing, woodworking, pottery, getting out and about, learning ICT skills, all grasping his interest with enormous enjoyment.
I can’t thank you enough”. - Amanda, Parent
Facilitator at Creative Learning
If you were to ask me about a typical day for me in my role as a Facilitator of Numeracy & Literacy then I would say “there isn’t one” - each day has fresh challenges.
Our aim in the Creative Learning team is to offer person-centred activities that encourage a safe environment for learning and the development of individual’s skills. I do a lot of planning before sessions to meet the varying needs of our clients and often the plan will go out of the window as the people we support have ideas of their own, but that’s ok because it is so great that everyone feels they can contribute to the sessions.
I want every single person who attends a session to be successful, happy, safe and comfortable in their surroundings and be able to function in all aspects of their lives. It is never just a job! The rewards are, for me, those special moments when a connection is made and success is theirs, and those smiles that follow are priceless.