Help Learning Disabled Adults Gain Independence

 
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Jul 24, 2014

PIP Update July 2014

PIP Award Ceremony
PIP Award Ceremony

This week begins our summer leisure programme at PIP. Over the next five weeks, PIP students will be going to visit Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Lord's Cricket Ground, taking a trip to Brighton, visiting parks and swimming pools throughout London, and much more! These trips and activities are well deserved after a busy and exciting end to our 2013-2014 term. Since our last update in April, our students have worked hard to complete their course work, done a number of volunteer projects in the community, and made a music video with the help of some amazing volunteers from the BBC!

PIP has been abuzz with the sound of music this spring. Over seven weeks, a group of nine PIP students worked with four volunteers from the BBC to write and record a song and produce a music video. The students recorded the song at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios. On 11th of July, the song and music video premiered at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House in front of PIP students, families, and BBC employees. Check out the link below to watch the video!

The students worked extremely hard in their courses and finished the term successfully.  On 8 July, their work was reviewed by a panel of individuals from other ASDAN centres.  All of the students from PIP who took part in accredited courses earned their certifications.  This year, PIP students earned ASDAN certifications in Healthy Cooking, Numeracy, Literacy, Computers, and Work Skills.

PIP’s Transitions group and Work Skills group finished the term by volunteering in the local community. The Transitions group volunteered with the Calthorpe Project, a community garden near King’s Cross station in London. Our Work Skills students spent the last few weeks at the Canal & River Trust cleaning up the canals.

Last Friday, we finished the term with a celebration of our student’s success! They received certificates for the work that they have done over the term, and watched photos and videos of all of the wonderful things they’ve done this year.

Volunteering at Calthorpe Community Garden
Volunteering at Calthorpe Community Garden
Recording at the BBC
Recording at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios
Filming Walking Smiles music video
Filming Walking Smiles music video
Writing Walking Smiles
Writing Walking Smiles

Links:

Apr 24, 2014

PIP Update April 2014

Darkness Comes To Castle Kingdom
Darkness Comes To Castle Kingdom

It seems like only 5 minutes since our last project report, where we talked about our Christmas Leisure Programme, and already the Easter Leisure Programme is upon us! As I write, a group of 12 PIP students are at the Tate Modern, enjoying the excellent weather and seeking inspiration for their next artistic project.

And what an artistic and creative few months it has been at PIP. Since February we have held 2 exhibitions of student artwork, 2 showcase drama performances and 1 overnight hike through Harpenden. So much has happened that I am afraid I can only give you the highlights, but here goes:

 On 19th February we held an opening event for our art exhibition of student artwork in Collyer Bristow Gallery in Holborn. The collection spanned several years of PIP’s finest student artwork, with some magnificent pieces, including student Tom’s colourful (and enormous) ‘Elephant’, which took a year and a half to complete. You can follow our link below to see ‘Elephant’ plus many more of the fantastic pieces of artwork we featured.

 We also held a second exhibition of the PIP Creative Arts Group’s collaboration with the London Print Studio on Thursday 3rd April. Students used a variety of printing techniques including silk screen, mono and lino printing, to create some fantastic work.

 Perhaps our most anticipated event in the PIP calendar is the PIP Theatre Company’s annual performance, which this year took place on 29th March at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Our largest audience ever joined us to watch the original story, inspired by the collections at the V and A, unfold. We even got to perform a 10 minute teaser (with a breathtaking cliff-hanger) at Cadogan Hall as part of the Hope Springs event held by Miller Philanthropy on 18th March. If you weren’t able to join us on the day, you will can watch the highlights on our Youtube channel (you will find the link below).

 PIP also had a new first in February, when we got our students directly involved in our fundraising efforts by working with young volunteers from organisation Woodcraft Folk to take part in a sponsored walk. Our students hiked 5 kilometres (all with very heavy backpacks), stayed overnight in the wilderness (well almost- we stayed in a scout hut), and hiked all the way back again the following day. We were so proud of our students, who not only did a fine job on the hike, but also raised an amazing £3000 for PIP!

 After all that excitement and hard work, we feel our PIP students have certainly earned a chance to relax on our leisure programme. Over the next 2 weeks they will be going to the cinema, watching cricket at Lord’s, swimming, gardening and much more.

 It is back to business at the end of the month, when our normal timetable resumes. However there is still plenty to look forward to for PIP, including an exciting collaboration with staff from the BBC, who will be donating their time and expertise to help us create an original PIP music video, which should be just about ready in time for our next project update……!

PIP Student Tom and the amazing
PIP Student Tom and the amazing 'Elephant'
Ready for the PIP Woodcraft Hiking Challenge!
Ready for the PIP Woodcraft Hiking Challenge!

Links:

Jan 23, 2014

PIP Update January 2014

PIP students take part in
PIP students take part in 'PIP's Got Talent'

Happy New Year from PIP!

 Everyone here at PIP HQ is looking forward to 2014, with staff and students busy planning for what will inevitably be another jam-packed year! In 2013 we got a new building and a new timetable, lots of new faces and a non-stop programme of events and activities- what will 2014 bring?

 Our new delivery space is now fully up and running, and our new kitchen is certainly the focus of activities. Our highlight was when the Healthy Cooking Group made us all a delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings! We held our official opening for the new space on 13th December, which gave our Dance and Multimedia groups a chance to showcase the fantastic work they have been doing, as well as a chance for PIP staff, students, friends and supporters to reflect on our journey so far.

 As promised in our last report, you can see some of our of photos from our working holiday in Somerset below. Our students took part in lots of activities, from working hard on the farm gardening and feeding the animals, to visiting Bath and taking the opportunity to relax in the wonderful Bath Spa. We also embraced the Halloween spirit with a pumpkin carving competition (you can see the results below), and learning how to cook pumpkin soup….in a cauldron!

 Back at PIP we really enjoyed our Winter Leisure Programme. PIP students took part in ‘PIP’s Got Talent’ and treated us to songs (in a multitude of different languages), dance and some excellent costumes. We also visited the Southbank Centre where we tried out ballroom dancing along to some excellent music. PIP was of course the first group on the dance floor, but we did mange to persuade lots of members of the public to join us. PIP staff also got into the holiday sprit by taking part in a 5K Santa Dash around London’s Victoria Park- this is harder than it sounds in a full Santa costume!

 However among all this fun we have been doing some hard work...honestly! Last week we were visited by a group of volunteers from HMRC, who generously gave up their time to deliver a workshop to our Numeracy group to teach them all about tax. This can be a difficult concept to grasp for those both with and without learning disabilities, so we would like to say a big thank you to the wonderful volunteers who made this session not only informative but also tremendously good fun!

 Looking forward we have lots of exciting events on the horizon. 19th February marks the beginning of a month-long showcase of artwork created by PIP students, at Collyer Bristow gallery in Holborn. Shortly after this our students will be taking part in their very own sponsored fundraising event for PIP- the PIP Woodcraft Hiking Challenge. PIP students are teaming up with volunteers from the organisation Camden Woodcraft Folk to take part in a gruelling hike, culminating in an overnight stay in the wilderness (well, in a scout hut), before doing the whole thing again on the return journey. Finally on March 29th we will be holding our showcase event- the PIP Theatre Company’s Annual Performance. Their original production, Darkness Comes To Castle Kingdom, will be performed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and tells a story inspired by the museum’s collections. We hope to see you there!

Our not-so-spooky holiday hallowe
Our not-so-spooky holiday hallowe'en pumpkins
It
It's all hard work on the farm in Somerset!
Holiday students having fun at Cheddar Gorge
Holiday students having fun at Cheddar Gorge
PIP Student Danny meets Hallow the horse
PIP Student Danny meets Hallow the horse
The PIP Santa Dash Team 2013!
The PIP Santa Dash Team 2013!

Links:

Oct 23, 2013

PIP Update October 2013

Our riders getting ready to hit the trails
Our riders getting ready to hit the trails

The past few months at PIP have been hectic, as we knew they would be. We are coming to the end of our exciting expansion project, and almost have our new space up and running. The expansion means we are doubling our delivery space, so we can deliver a wider variety of sessions to more students. We want to make every minute of their time at PIP as meaningful for each student as possible!
 
We have also been busy delivering 2 big fundraising events so far this Autumn. On 21st September the wonderful R Band put on a fantastic concert for us in central London. The venue was packed full, the atmosphere was fantastic, and the event raised us £3000!
 
Then came our biggest fundraising event of 2013- PIP’s second annual Mountain Bike Challenge. Following the success of last year’s event, the pressure was on to make the  2013 Mountain Bike Challenge even bigger and better, and we certainly delivered. 40 sponsored riders took on a gruelling (and extremely muddy) 18 mile course through the beautiful Chiltern Valley and along the River Thames. Despite a week of nervous weather-watching from the PIP office, it was a beautiful warm day with only a couple of rain showers to slow the riders down!  The day finished up with an excellent BBQ (our thanks go to Bosley Patch farm for putting together the amazing food), and a few beers at our host site Lovibonds Brewery in Henley-on-Thames. So far we have raised an incredible £11,000 from the Mountain Bike Challenge 2013- thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, riders and donors who made this event possible. The money that we have raised from these events will go directly into supporting our students with learning disabilities.
 
Back in London at W9 we have been getting to grips with our new timetable, and lots of new sessions. The students’ favourite is Action Hour every Friday, where they learn lots of practical life skills. In the past few weeks we have had a very clean and tidy PIP! We also have a Transition Group for the very first time, which has been helping students to work together to take their first steps into the world of work. The group has been practising their interview skills, finding out what it is like to work in an office, and have even learned about the importance of dressing smartly when you are looking for a job. The group has committed to dress smartly for every Transition Group each Wednesday, so we are seeing lots of dapper students in suits and ties!
 
Looking forward, we will very soon be taking PIP’s students on a working holiday to Paddington Farm in Somerset. Last year’s working holiday was excellent fun, and this year promises to be even better. We will be posting plenty of photos in our next report, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Students having fun on holiday in 2012
Students having fun on holiday in 2012
The R Band draws a crowd
The R Band draws a crowd
PIP students get ready for apple picking
PIP students get ready for apple picking

Links:

Jul 19, 2013

PIP update July 13

PIP dance group in action
PIP dance group in action

The summer is upon us, but PIP is busier than ever. Instead of a relaxing summer break, PIP will be preparing
for a very exciting development- our expansion in September!

We are taking over the building next door, which will double our delivery space and allow us to support many
more adults with learning disabilities to achieve their potential. Over the summer we will be busy with building works to turn the two separate buildings into one holistic delivery space. To complement our new space, we will also have
a brand new timetable from September onwards, which will allow us to focus on better meeting the needs of each individual PIP student.

It has been a very full few months at PIP, with students taking part in a whole variety of community based
activities, including running market stalls in Portobello Road and Church Street Markets to sell our wonderful ‘PIP Products’ (including t-shirts, tote bags and mugs designed by our very own students). Last week our Dance Group
took part in their first public performance as part of Paddington Festival; they performed a routine to a packed crowd and ran a dance workshop for members of the public with our dance tutor Theo from Union Dance. We highly recommend clicking on the link below to take you to our Youtube page where you can watch
films of the performance and workshop!

Looking forward to September and beyond, we have a number of exciting events, including a concert from The R
Band (who are reforming after 10 years and flying over from Milan for one night only) on Saturday 21st September, and our second Mountain Bike Challenge in Henley on Thames on October 19th.

Please do get involved and support our much-needed expansion and development by donating to PIP- our new
GlobalGiving fundraising target is £7000, and we are already halfway there!

PIP
PIP's Market Stall selling PIP art
Mystery of the Red Hat Theatre Show
Mystery of the Red Hat Theatre Show
Live Theatre for Disabled Performers
Live Theatre for Disabled Performers

Links:

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Project Leader

Bill Feeney

London, London United Kingdom

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