May I begin by apologising I have become a little sloppy in posting a weekly blog entry you can tell Sue is not here (who usually writes our blog.) Ben’s has been extremely busy client numbers are at the top range of what we can safely manage, which is good but means our clients are the main focus of our attention at the moment and the admin has to be squeezed around the activities of the centre. A week ago we offered clients the opportunity to go into Derbyshire for the day, we arranged a trip to Lady Bower and Derwent Dam. Although many clients talked about coming with us on the day just 2 attended, however they got lots of one to one time with staff and the volunteers who attended.

Our aim was to promote health, increase well being enjoying the countryside and take part in some gentle exercise walking along part of the dam. As you can see from our photos we encountered a huge group of ducks that we fed, they did make us giggle. The ducks were well organised and are keen for day trippers to feed them in an orderly and prompt manner they tugged at our trouser legs to quicken proceedings and if that failed jumped up to pull the bags of seed out of our hands. If you held your hand out flat they took the seed from your hand, which was a funny sensation and made one smile. Just to laugh and be light hearted with each other watching the ducks climb over each other to get the corn was a delight and lifted our spirits.

We walked on past the Derwent Dam we talked about the Lancaster bombers who practised in the war with the bouncing bomb and we strayed into physics about how the bomb worked, the thickness of the concrete at the base of the Dam wall and the possible weight of 2 billion gallons of water. Unfortunately the dam wasn’t overflowing with water and when we walked around the other side of the Dam wall we were all disappointed that the level of the water was less than 1 foot from the top of the Dam. It is a spectacular sight and sound when the Dam is overflowing. We also had the opportunity to view a number of different birds, which we all really enjoyed although we could do with some help to identify them, eventually with the aid of photos and a bird book back at the centre we identified 7 species.

We have decdided to rerun the exact trip in March; lots of clients came in after the trip with tales and explanations of how they had missed our day out so we’ve decided to give everyone a second chance to join in. It’s a good life lesson, which they are rarely offered. We are all hoping this time the dam may well be overflowing!