Innovations are a provider of leisure, learning and employment opportunities for vulnerable adults and has been in operation since April 2003. We work with people to achieve a more independent and worthwhile quality of life, empowering them to accept their right to social inclusion.
We presently have 8 resources throughout County Durham and Sunderland and we aim to provide the highest quality provision for individual development through assisting the people who attend (Service Users) to realise personal aspirations and abilities in all aspects of their lives.
Prior to coming to Innovations, potential service users will have the opportunity to find out about the different activities we have on offer and can arrange to have a taster day where they can choose suitable and appropriate activities. During the initial enquiry stages we will establish the likes, dislikes and preferred activities of those considering coming to Innovations. Once an individual commences Innovations they (and their family/carers, etc) will have the opportunity to express what hobbies & interests they have when devising their care plan.
Innovations offer a wide range of activities which enable service users to develop their existing social skills, daily living skills, confidence, self-esteem and physical fitness. These can be arranged specifically to meet identified individual needs whilst promoting social inclusion within the wider community. All service users are encouraged to try new activities and experience the benefits of participation.
Activities include swimming, cycling, golf, walking, seaside trips, multi sports, dancing, music therapy, reiki, education courses, cinema, shopping trips, aquariums, drama and arts and many more.
By encouraging service users to experience a wide range of activities it not only develops their social skills but it also develops their confidence and self-esteem to eventually go on to other challenges.
At Innovations we work closely with Education in the Community supporting both tutors and those who wish to participate in courses such as:
Skills for life awards
Arts & Craft
Shopping on a budget
Basic IT Skills
These personalised learning programmes are designed so choices from a variety of vocational subjects as well as personal development learning to help progress to further training or employment.
National qualifications are built from units of credit- small bite sized pieces of accredited learning. This enables people to build a qualification that meets the learners needs and to help them progress to further training or progression in personal development.
Innovations open up opportunities for people from different areas to meet and share common interests and expand their social network. Most people who attend like to meet at their local resource each morning to chat to others and discuss what they would like to do.
We actively promote social inclusion by accessing local community resources including the sports centres and gyms; colleges, community centres, theatres, dance schools etc.
We also organise social events such as discos, fundraising events, coffee mornings and talent shows.
In addition we support and encourage service users to take on some responsibility throughout the full process of the social functions including the planning and evaluations.
Personal Development Service
The Steam n’ Coffee Shop, located within the Junction, is Innovations professionally run coffee shop that offers training to equip adults with disabilities the necessary skills and experience to develop their hospitality skills. Offering a wide range of food and drink, it is a welcoming place where all can come and relax.
What We Offer
The aim of this activity is to encourage creativity which is a useful skill in life and gives individuals the opportunity to create something unique out of materials. It is essentially a positive way for service users to express their thoughts and ideas. In addition, it helps individuals to make choices as they will have to decide on which tools to use, how to decorate their crafts and how to use them once finished.
“Reach for the stars” is a film making project for individuals with special needs who are encouraged to become involved within the arts culture. Individuals explore themes, ideas and stories that are planned in a relaxing environment. The course encourages team work, both in front of and behind the camera giving individuals confidence, improved communication and responsibility. The film making course is a fun activity, enjoyed by all who attend.
Innovations facilitate and provide a flexible package of materials and support services to help people develop. Some of the other courses that we are currently providing include:
- Independent Travelling
- Hospitality Training
- Football Coaching
- Food hygiene
- Health Care
- Health & Safety
- Sports Leadership
- Recycling Projects
- Healthy Eating
- Independent Living Skills
- Domestic Training
- Performing Arts
- Hair and Beauty
- Reiki and Wellbeing
- Environmental Awareness
After assessing individual needs we will then be able to identify if a person would require an intensive package of support that is even more flexible within its delivery. It is sometimes better for some service users who tend to have high support needs to go directly from their homes to activities of their choice.
Such people will benefit from our outreach service which is a tailored support package where people are collected from their homes and do not require a building based service. Innovations therefore ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to access and take part in activities within the community.
The main hall is used daily to allow us to provide a range of activities for the service users, from net games, archery, and sensory sessions to bingo, hip hop and much more. The hall is also used throughout the year for performances by the drama and performing arts groups. In addition various events are held. Examples include fairs, Art exhibitions and charity events such as Macmillan Coffee morning etc.
In addition to the hall, where the majority of the larger activities are held, the Junction also has a smaller room used for other activities. A movie club, relaxation & beauty sessions, quizzes, stars in their eyes and other smaller activities. This room is also used as a development training room, in which staff regularly undergo the training that is required of them to perform within each of their job roles.
Steam 'n' Coffee Shop
The Steam ‘n’ Coffee shop is located within the junction, and is open to everyone, including the general public. The Coffee shop is open from 9:30am until 3:30pm, Monday to Friday.