A community group which gets adults with learning disabilities involved in the arts is celebrating its fifth birthday.
Ocean Arts has been inspiring creativity as a community interest company for five years and is celebrating the milestone by opening its doors for free taster sessions.
Throughout June, adults with learning disabilities are invited to give the activities on offer a go at the group’s base at CustomSpace, in The Captain’s Row, South Shields.
Director Martin Wray said: “We are creating the opportunity for people to experience all of our activities by coming along each week throughout June on a day of their choice and to discover the wide range of different opportunities we provide.
“Ocean Arts has long held its reputation for helping people to develop their feeling of wellbeing and to help them discover new skills.”
Activities on offer include healthy eating and cooking skills, citizenship, art, music, drama, horticulture and life skills, and people can choose any four to test throughout the month.
Martin added: “Ocean Arts has moved away from the traditional day centre model which we like to call ‘Serviceland’ and so have created a new model and approach to adult day care which puts each person in the driving seat directing their own choices.
“We have moved away from the traditional worn out style of ‘one size fits all’ care, by recognising the value and worth of each individual, designing activities which most suits their ambitions, aspirations and abilities, and by helping each person to design their own.
“In recent years we have provided once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for people with learning disabilities, having worked on projects with the BBC, internationally renowned artists, institutions like the British Library, the Imperial War Museum and the Cultural Spring.
“We are very pro-active in our search for new ventures that people can gain a meaningful experience that enhances their dignity and have been fierce advocates of the rights of people with learning disabilities and as a community interest company, we invest all of our income back into the community and the work we do.”
People hoping to take part in an activity can just turn up. The offer is open Monday to Thursday, from 10am to 3pm, throughout June.
For more information, go to www.oceanartscic.uk or call 0191 454 4659.