Keeping clients engaged and occupied while in the Centre is sometimes a full-time job. Although we have various options already on the go we have to keep ahead of the clients the whole time to keep them engaged. Left to their own devices many clients would just love to come in and read the paper with a hot drink and play pool endlessly! Sometimes we have to allow clients to do this if they are new into the Centre and we are building up trust with them. Also many times life might be very difficult for a particular client and we need to allow them to rest and just find their way through the day. To be fair we have a good number at Ben’s Centre who are wanting to do more and are always asking for something new to try, and some who need more coercing.It is to this latter group where it can be a challenge to keep occupied. As one client tries something new it is amazing how quickly others will follow. Last Thursday we had a group come in where only one person asked to do something! Unfortunately for these clients, Wendy had decided that they were all going to engage and began the task of motivating clients to do so. Mary, our volunteer on a Thursday had a number trying art and clients had an enjoyable and productive time. In the end all the clients were beevering away at something. As I was on reception that day I wished that we could have taken a before and after picture of the clients, as they came in and as they left. Most came in looking tired and down. Their whole body language could have been summed up as ‘fed up’. On leaving clients were walking taller and laughing and totally different to how they had come into Bens. Buying crafts and other things for clients to do is expensive. Clients have loved the latch hook kits which were made into cushions. Wendy managed to get these more than half price as they are quite costly. Clients now have expressed a desire to try tapestry but if any of you have bought any of these kits you will know that these too are very expensive. Well Wendy ever ready to find a way around this problem has discovered E-Bay! As I write Wendy has many bids on beautiful looking tapestries at a shadow of what they cost on the High Street. We are holding our breath to see how successful we are. Now Wendy has discovered E-Bay no doubt we will find many things that our clients will be able to use! The results far out way the cost we know but with ever decreasing budgets Ben’s has to find ways around this. With Wendy at the helm we know that ways will be found and they will be of the highest standard and the main beneficiaries will be our lovely clients.