On the 18th of September on what was a lovely sunny afternoon, eleven members were made very welcome and enjoyed a very pleasant visit to Acorn Village at Manningtree. This is home to around sixty adults with learning disabilities, some of whom are residential, others going home each night or at weekends. The aim of the village is to encourage the residents to make their own decisions and choices, also for them to lead a full and fulfilling life. Self development is encouraged with assistance always on hand.
Whilst we were touring round we met several of the residents, one or two of them being real characters, another proud to show us her pet guinea pig which she takes around on a lead. Some of the residents were busy working on preparations for the Winter Wonderland Christmas Market coming up in November. This work was taking place in the recently purpose built art and craft unit. They also have a theatre, a recording studio, and a state of the art sensory room. To aid their fund-raising they sell many of the art and craft items made by the residents, some of whom are very talented in this area. They also have a second hand book shop covering many and varied titles. I think most of us came away with at least one book.
Once our tour was over we had tea and cake in The Acorn Coffee Shop, this being another place where the residents often help with the daily running. It is open to the public and has a good menu choice at very reasonable prices.
We were all impressed by the happy, calm and relaxed atmosphere of the whole village.
You can find out more about Acorn Village on their website: http://www.acornvillages.com/