The service users at Eastbourne's Shinewater Court are a creative bunch and they have been busy making Mother's Day cards with the help of volunteers from Tesco in the Langney Shopping Centre.

Tesco have been a long-term supporter of Shinewater Court, a residential purpose-built centre, providing accommodation and support for adults with complex physical disabilities. It forms part of the nationwide network of support services provided by The Disabilities Trust.

Tesco Community Champions Irene Smithers, Nikki Carter and Coo Buckley volunteer at Shinewater Court on a regular basis. Last year, Shinewater Court won the popular Bags of Help scheme worth £12,000.

Anita Cobb, Service Manager at Shinewater Court said: "Contributions like this not only help us to raise money, but they also make a big difference to our service users and staff, in helping to organise fun activities."

This creativity is also supported Compass Community Arts - Eastbourne-based charity that works to provide high-quality creative projects to enrich lives and our local culture.

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'The Shinewater Collective' is a group of service users from our Shinewater Court centre in Eastbourne, East Sussex who meet on Monday mornings with artists from Compass Community Arts. Since September 2016 the artists have been focused on developing their methods, styles and techniques in painting and have several examples hanging across the centre.

The service users love being in the Collective because there is a lot of freedom and it is more personal than other art classes. There is a wide choice of materials available in the art room that they can experiment with; so they might see and think about things during the week and can make a picture about it on Mondays. It is fun and challenging, with lots of exploration and different techniques are used.

There's a real chance for self-expression which can reap rewards as many of the service users say that they feel more relaxed after the Collective sessions. They get a chance to do things they wouldn't normally be able to do; as well as being listened to.

Andy, is very proud of his paintings: “When I painted the colour out of the white, the shapes came out of the picture themselves. This was highlighted by the sand when that was added. I felt that I’m on the road of something. My intention is to bring a bolder 3D effect into my work. I’m looking at spraying the canvas black, by painting a shadow, scene and using the sand."

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John's says: "I like using spray paint. It is a clever idea that I would like to see elsewhere at Shinewater Court."

Hannah likes painting as she has: "a really good artistic flair influenced by electronic music. I like doing paintings of animals as well because I used to have a cat and a dog and I think that animals are really interesting to paint."

The Collective will be exhibiting in Shinewater Court on 14 June 2018.

As well as being creative with art, the people at Shinewater Court are also able to use the assistive communications technology provided at the ‘ConnectAbility Hub’ which was opened last October.

The Hub is also open, free of charge, to the disabled people in the local community; giving them a chance to trial equipment that will enable, or make it easier for them to shop, bank and communicate with family and friends, all of which enhance their independence.

To make a booking to visit the ConnectAbility Hub at Shinewater Court, please call Anita on 01323 769196. A booking can be made by an individual, family member, carer or professional via the phone or the referral form.

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