QE2 Activity Centre started offering a day service in October 2010, as a sideline alongside activity sessions and activity holidays. Over the past decade the day service has grown and developed, and is now the main course of our operations.
The day service split into two parallel services – GreenHouse, with a focus on developing work and independent living skills and Gold, concentrating on a more therapeutic service. By 2019 we had two day service buildings, with a whole range of facilities (including sensory room and Changing Rooms bathroom) and we thought that was where it would stay.
The 2020 lockdowns, or more specifically the return from lockdowns, created a need for more space, so we started using our residential units, the A-frame cabins, as overflow. As time went on this new bubble, which we called Blue Bubble, wasn’t just an overflow, it was a whole new service.
During 2022 we have taken steps to convert the cabins to create five workspaces that meet the needs of the Blue Bubble day service. We have two workshops, a meeting room, a training flat and a hub.
The GreenHouse keeps developing, and this year we have stepped up production of GreenHouse Goodies – our jams, chutneys and other products, that we make to sell. We are also working with Hampshire County Council on a tree nursery project.
During 2022 we provided in the region of 5,700 day service places, compared with around 4,000 before the pandemic.
During 2021 a lot of our activity groups were unable to return because of the restrictions that were still in place. However this year we were pleased to welcome almost all of them back – plus a few new groups.
There has been a move to shorter sessions and smaller groups in recent years – each week our instructor team provides forty five activity sessions for children and adults with additional needs.
Activities include canoeing, kayaking, motorboats, climbing, archery, rifle shooting, zipwire and bushcraft. We are developing our Ropes Course and adding a new section of climbing wall, so that in 2023 there will be new challenges for our visitors.
We no longer holidays at the Centre, but during 2022 we took members of our day service team on three holidays away from QE2, to Sandy Balls, to South Devon and around the Solent on the Jolie Brise.
Early in 2022 we teamed up with Blue Apple Theatre to start providing drama sessions on a regular basis. There were several reasons for this – to increase usage of the Centre outside Monday-Friday 9-5; to broaden the range of activities available to Centre users; and because it’s fun.
In addition to weekly sessions at QE2 we organised a trip to the Globe theatre in London.
Independents Motor Cycle Club organised the Bigfoot ride-out in the Spring, with over 120 motorbikes descending on the QE2 Activity Centre, and four local students took part in the Devizes Westminster Canoe race in April to raise funds for QE2.
During 2022 Zurich Insurance, Shoosmiths, HSBC and Aviva have all donated staff time; Zurich taking our day service members to Beaulieu and Marwell, while staff from Shoosmiths, HSBC and Aviva came in to help with the construction of the Ropes Course. The Co-op Community Fund has adopted QE2 Activity Centre as one of its local charities for 2023.
QE2 Activity Centre has come a long way since its inception in 1978. In that time there have been many changes in the way we work and the service that we offer. From the start the purpose of the Centre has been enrichment – or “the improvement of quality of life” as our Constitution has it – and in that sense there is continuity. We are just constantly revising how we provide enrichment.
QE2 Enterprise is the umbrella term for day service activities of making and selling stuff. In 2023 we want to develop this, breaking down the process into its constituent parts – ideas, R&D, costing, sourcing materials, making things, marketing, selling, keeping account of stock and income & expenditure. The benefits – communication, physical development, work and employment skills, expressive arts & design, self worth – are significant.
To achieve this in the long term we need to improve our facilities, and to this end we have ambitious plans for a Craft Studio, purpose built workshops (and a small shop front) where our team members can get creative, get producing and get selling.
This Craft Studio is QE2’s Next Big Thing. We are at the start of the journey. Get on board.
Full details are provided in our Report & Financial Statement for the year ending 31st March 2022
Incoming resources 402,159
Grants & donations 61,848
Investment income 646
Staffing costs 296,344
Cost of providing charitable activities 115,492
Governance costs 4,457
Surplus of income over expenditure 48,240
- thanks to all the staff who work so hard to make every day special
- thanks to all the volunteers and committee members who give their time, effort and energy
- thanks to all the local companies who have made donations or given their time to support QE2 Activity Centre
- thanks to Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council for their continued help and support
- thanks to all the parents, carers and care workers who support our visitors
- most of all, thanks to everyone who has visited QE2 Activity Centre this year to take part in activities, holidays and day services
- We have received quite a lot of coverage in the Southampton Daily Echo this year, with stories about the naming of the Peter Gardiner, Bigfoot, the Devizes-Westminster, the Jolie Brise holiday, the Friday Club and our request for committee members. Thanks to Lorelei Reddin at the Echo for the support.
QE2 Activity Centre, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), provides activity opportunities for people with additional needs in the interests of social welfare with the object of improving conditions of life.
QE2 Activity Centre CIO was established in April 2018 but the Centre was founded (as Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Activities Centre) in 1978. Over the course of forty years the Centre has established itself as one of the leading providers of activity opportunities for people with additional needs
QE2 Activity Centre
River Hamble Country Park
Pylands Lane Hedge End
Registered charity no 1165893
Email [email protected] Telephone 023 8040 4844