Who are The Waterside Gateway Club?
The SO45 Christmas Lottery draw which will take place on Christmas Eve is for 2 charities which includes The Waterside Gateway Club based at Oaklodge School in Dibden.
The Gateway Club are the National Mencap charity for adults with learning difficulties which gives members the opportunity to meet each other socially and enjoy a wide range of leisure activities in a safe environment.
The club currently have around 45 members of which some are from the original membership that started the club in 1984. Members must be aged 18 and over and are from the Totton and Waterside area. Meetings are held fortnightly at Oak Lodge School in term time and outside term time we also have outings and other small events.
Disabilities of the members vary from mild to severe and include Downs Syndrome, Autism and Asbergers Syndrome (a form of autism). Carers can attend if the member needs 1:1 care but at we are limited to the membership of 45 by the space available, the practicality of organising outings and the cost of insurance and affiliation.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE CLUB?
The Waterside Gateway Club gives members the opportunity to meet each other socially and enjoy a wide range of craft and leisure activities in a safe environment. Activities include arts and crafts, quizzes, talks, music and dancing, sports (indoors and out) as well as special events such skittles, outings and theatre visits. Their arts and crafts include making seasonal cards, calendars and decorations.
WHAT OTHER EVENTS DO THEY HAVE?
Over the years the club has undertaken many other activities such as the Special Olympics (southern region) when it was held at Portsmouth, events with other Gateway clubs such as Brockenhurst and New Milton and integrated events with local Youth clubs such as a Pool Tournament. Our outings include trips to Longleat Safari Park , Legoland Windsor, Chessingtons, Thorpe Park , The Isle of Wight, Monkeyworld, Canal boats, the Swanage railway and many more.
The Waterside gateway club was formed in 1984 with help from Further Education and a committee of parents with sons and daughters with learning disabilities. Shirley Johnston was the instigator from Further Education and the committee was chaired by Charles Bundy with treasurer Mr Sayer. Other founder members included Celia and Malcolm Drake (Celia is still at the club and looks after the tuck shop which provides refreshments during the evenings) and the first leader was Kevin Cleary, a sports teacher at Totton College. At the start the club had 20 to 25 members and met fortnightly on a Tuesday at Oak Lodge School.
The Club has always been self-funded and members, leaders and committee members were and are involved in raising funds.
The Waterside Gateway Club is always looking for enthusiastic people to volunteer to work with our members. You have to be 16 years and up. Also, the club simply wouldn’t run if it wasn’t for its fundraisers who find new and fun ways to raise money so that members are able to enjoy themselves and gain new experiences within a safe environment.
If you would like to show your support or volunteer here is how you can get involved!
Volunteer your services as a helper on club night Have you got a skill you could share with members? Join easy fundraising & show your support to them. You can choose from 2000 retailers including Amazon and Argos and when you shop you can donate as well.
For more information on the Waterside Gateway Club visit www.watersidegateway.org.uk