Our biggest highlight in October has to have been seeing so many of our families back again and welcoming new ones when we reopened Lending SPACE after a short temporary closure while we had to relocate premises. We are now open again at Unit 19, The Maltings Business Centre, Stanstead Abbotts, SG12 8HG.
If you aren’t already familiar with Lending SPACE it is our free sensory resources library – but it is also so much more than that. Parents and carers drop in for a cup of tea and chat, often with their children who enjoy a stay and play in an environment where they can try lots of new toys and resources and just be themselves. We are open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings and love welcoming both new families and our regulars! Do pop in and see us!
October was ADHD Awareness month and as part of our commitment to supporting it we ran our first ADHD in Girls and Women Workshop.
Amongst other things delegates learned about key ADHD characteristics and behaviours, key gender differences, masking, risk-taking behaviour, puberty and friendships and relationships – all with a focus on girls and women.
It was also a wonderfully supportive, safe place for women who themselves have ADHD as well as parents/carers of girls and female young people with ADHD to share and normalise experiences.
At the end, everyone was asked what they celebrated about the ADHDers they were thinking about when doing the workshop. What came back was simply too wonderful to keep to ourselves and we wanted to share just a few of them with you.
We also had Dyslexia Awareness Week in October and in support of that we also ran our first Understanding Specific Literacy Difficulties workshop which got great feedback from the parents and carers who attended it – we will be running another one in the new year.
We ran lots of other free online workshops in October as well – equipping parents and carers with toolkits of strategies and approaches for supporting areas such as anxiety, sensory processing and mental health as well as furthering their understanding of autism, helping them navigate local and national SEND services and busting some myths around EHCPs. All our workshops (and our other events too) are always available to book on Eventbrite – but do follow us to get alerts when they open for booking as they are hugely popular and do ‘sell-out’.
Our talented teen and young adult artists embraced pumpkin season at this months online art session. Such beautiful decorations – we reckon these will take pride of place on the wall every autumn from now on!
Our Junior online artists took on the challenge of Spacemen this month and we just can’t get over what they came up with. Each one as vibrant, unique and individual as the young artists behind them. We absolutely love every single one of them but the Space Mermaid deserves a special mention – one of the many things that works so well about these sessions is how everyone has the opportunity to express their own creative take on the theme!
Not to be outdone, our graffiti artists enjoyed a spooky Halloween graffiti session! Such amazing works of art and talent on display here.
Lots of physical activity this month as well. There was a great turn out at our bi-monthly exclusive softplay session at DJ Jungle in St Albans. So much running, sliding, climbing and swinging to be done – everyone left tired and happy and looking forward to the next one!
We had another wonderful afternoon at Studio Fly Ware & Harlow for our monthly aerial gymnastics session. No experience required – but look at the amazing skills (and smiles!) on show under the gentle support and guidance of the team.
It wasn’t just our children and young people having all the fun this month either. We hosted one of our popular ‘Adults Only’ aerial gymnastics sessions at Studio Fly and what a fabulous evening of fun, relaxation and giggles it was too. We did the Mermaid, Peter Panned, Vampired, Chicken Winged and Cocooned our way through such an entertaining session and were once again reminded of the importance of making time for ourselves in our often all too busy lives. Again, no experience required!
We also had our regular cooking, lego, driving, animal encounters and more. There is never a dull moment at SPACE – we are looking forward to seeing what November holds in store.