Charly, one of Centre 404’s Support Workers at Leigh Road has put together this week’s blog post. Not only has Charly set up a healthy living café at Leigh Road but a few weeks ago she took some service users on a great night out clubbing.
Charly’s cafe opens on a Thursday at Leigh Road. The food is served at 6.30pm but the cafe opens at 4pm for the tenants to come help prepare the food and learn how to cook and what ingredients are in the food.
What we make is pre discussed in tenants meetings and all the food we make is 500 calories or less ranging from dinners to desserts. I collect all the money from the tenants and I prepare ‘menu cards’. On these I put pictures of what is in the food and the quantity needed and the steps on how to make the food. When it comes to buying the food I support the service users to the local shops to buy the food.
The last time Charly’s cafe was open we made chicken and peppers in whole meal wraps with sweet potatoes wedges and a side salad. This cost only £1.90 per serving and was only 450 calories.
At Leigh Road we are always trying to support the service users to make healthy options in what they eat and how they shop and with the menu cards they can take them home and make the dishes at home if they want to and each week add another menu card to the pack.
All the tenants are involved from start to finish. They plan what we are going to eat, help prepare the food, buy the food and of course always help clean up after.
Charly’s cafe is open to all and soon is going to be open more than once a week and will also be serving breakfast, lunches as well as dinners and desserts.
It was one of the tenants birthday in February and he really wanted to go out clubbing with some of his friends at Leigh Road so we looked through the internet together at local night clubs that are accessible for wheelchairs and have disabled toilets. We decided on a few and then I and another service user who was a wheelchair user went to the clubs to check them out for ourselves. We checked to see how accessible it really was and if we liked the venue. We finally decided on a club and headed back to Leigh Road.
Once at Leigh Road I put together a plan and sent it to my manger Maria. In my plan I put down where, when, how we will get there, prices and what service users are going and also staff. I pre-booked taxis for the way home and reserved tickets on the door.
Risk assessments were done and I.D badges were made and we waited for the special night which was the following weekend.
Friday night came and at 9pm all the guys were ready to head out. We went on public transport to Camden town and when we got to the door of the club the manger greeted us, took us inside and showed us the toilets and had a table ready for us and the nice man let us in for free.
We danced the night away, it was a 60—80’s theme and we were given free inflatable’s microphones and guitars. Around 12.30 the service users decided they had danced enough and our cabs was ready outside for us. Once we got back to Leigh Road all the service users went straight to bed. The next day everyone was excited about the night before and really wanted to do it again, so we got together and asked everyone at Leigh Road if anyone wanted come to the next rave and again surfed the internet and found a club that plays RnB and pop music. We have gone and checked the venue out and are very happy with how accessible it is and we are going out on 6th May for a another night full of dancing and singing.