This month’s themes have been Family Week, St Patrick’s Day, Spring and Easter.

Alongside our themes, we have fitted in some outings such as: Juke box Jam which was amazing not only that we got to see some James’ Place Members from other days, and members got a chance to meet and make friends but for one member in particular this helped them to move closer to a personal goal of visiting busier environments.  We have visited Romsey Garden Centre to pick their brains on how to progress with a project of ours as well as buying some seeds to plant up the garden.  We have finished our 5-week course of Munch Lunch Club, where our members enjoyed it that much and gained a huge level of confidence, enough to invite the organisers to lunch at James’ Place. We have visited James’ Place Andover to forge new friendships and reacquaint with old friends.

James Place members helping one an other, here one member is helping another member put his shoes on

It has been amazing to see how the members are starting to look after and take care of each other in our location community, members pulling chairs out for one another and helping friends to put on and fasten the shoes.  Staff have been practising their Makaton.

Family Day

We celebrated a loved one, either a family member or a carer. Members enjoyed decorating a biodegradable flower pot, planting a flower, and giving a home-made card.

St Patricks Day

We began the week decorating our Tiki Bar with Guinness signs leading onto each member being offered a taster of non-alcoholic Guinness something which was quite new to some members.  Our opinions differed some enjoyed the taste while others thought it was stinky! We each coloured Leprechaun masks and hide and jigged around James’ Place (Amy even did a cartwheel!) creating a fun video for you to enjoy on our Facebook page.


Spring has certainly sprung, we are busy getting our garden ready – Humphrey (our lawn mower) is feeling poorly at the moment but we will get him and the grass ship shape very soon, we have been impressed last years pansies are still colourful and flourishing. The last couple of weeks we have been turning our attention to our vegetable patch and planting seeds – when our outdoor dart board has not distracted us.


We are moving into Easter, Preparing our ever-changing Tiki bar and indoor displays.  Next week we have 3 Birthdays at James’ Place so we have declared Tuesday a Party Day.

During National Wheelchair Day one we drew straws to nominate a member of staff to spend the day in a wheelchair to help gain the perspective of a wheelchair user- on the back of her experience we are making some changes to our location. Her feedback is as follows:

A James Place member in the garden with a leprechaun mask celebrating St Patricks day.

March the 1st – My day in a wheelchair


Today I was selected out of our staff at Eastleigh James Place to the spend a day in a wheelchair due to today being National Wheelchair Day. To experience a snippet of how life in a wheelchair would be.

  • I was met by a member and Vickie outside the entrance of James Place. We had a little trouble getting through the entrance door due to the lip but figured it out with some perseverance. Being pushed around by a member I was able to put my bag away and my lunch in the fridge but was unable to hang my coat up due to it being out of reach.
  • We had a morning of arts and crafts where I had to ask others to get me things or ask to be pushed to get things due to the wheelchair not having wheels where I couldn’t move myself. Although, one of the members loved being able to push me around and was very helpful.
  • I felt quite unhelpful at tea and lunch break as wasn’t able to help with as much of people’s drinks or preparing lunches. This was more difficult as when I’m there to help members, but I needed help myself.
  • Overall, the day was eye opening to the struggle of using a wheelchair and experienced how different small tasks can become a lot more challenging from being in a chair. Also, how much your legs and knees can ache from being sat down all day. I found my day wasn’t controlled and dependent on my time but the time of other members and staff helping me instead.