Taste of the tropics at learning disability service

The Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress with residents, staff and SSL head of service Sara Keetley.
The Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress with residents, staff and SSL head of service Sara Keetley.

A group of Chelmsford residents with learning disabilities offered up a taste of the tropics on Friday as they hosted their annual open event.

Sanctuary Supported Living’s (SSL) Nickleby Road service, which provides supported housing for up to 21 residents, hosted the Hawaiian-styled day, which was attended by Chelmsford’s deputy mayor and deputy mayoress, Cllr Jon de Vries and his wife Maria.

The day opened with music and dance performances by residents, including renditions of My Way and Somewhere Over The Rainbow, before moving on to some words of welcome from the deputy mayor.

The event was attended by residents past and present, as well as the manager and residents of Livingstone House, an SSL service for people with learning disabilities based in Harlow.

After lunch, residents were given a fire safety talk by Muhammad Ahsan of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, attended a steel drum workshop and a presentation of certificates for residents’ achievements, from moving on to living independently to learning how to safely prepare food.

Nickleby Road local service manager Karuna Vora said: “Our residents played a key role in shaping this event, and it showed in some fantastic musical performances and a real sense of pride for all they’ve achieved.

“We’re very grateful to the deputy mayor and deputy mayoress for taking the time out of their schedules to come and visit on the day; it meant so much for our residents to be able to share their accomplishments with them.”

Deputy mayor Cllr Jon de Vries added: “I was delighted to be invited to visit Nickleby Road and see first-hand the achievements of its residents and how they’re benefiting through supported housing.

“It was a wonderful day; I greatly enjoyed seeing the musical performances by the talented residents.”

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