Thursday, 22 August 2013

In the beans

A busy, busy month!  Explorers Day Club is over for another year - well done to Lauren, Lucy, Beccy and Aston.  There's been canoeing, climbing, archery, motorboat, ropes course, zip wire, crabbing, pirates, partying, playing, painting and much more besides. 

The GreenHouse have also been busy this month, with a stall at Manor Farm, selling their wares.  There were vegetables from the allotment, jams and chutney, trugs and a very popular line in garden signage. Joined by the Gold team who had prepared some bath bombs and scented candles.  It was a great success - despite some dodgy British summer weather!

What else?  The new kayaks have proved to be a big hit, especially with Team Q.  Here they on a sunny day on the river:

We had three Hampshire Autistic Society Short Breaks during the month offering a number of families the opportunity to take aprt in activities.  Here's what one family had to say about it:

Just wanted to drop you a line and say what a phenomenal weekend we had, the kids loved every single minute from sleeping in the 'triangle' house, to getting drenched on the boat while you patiently discouraged our son from deliberately ramming the most expensive boat he could find.

you please pass my thanks to the instructors who were without exception brilliantly patient and understanding. Every session was relaxed, great fun and really well run. The kids, who were a bit nervy about some of the things, were gently encouraged to do things they thought they could never do.

The best thing for us was to be able to do something as a group without having to keep explaining our son's behaviour to bemused bystanders.

Thanks for the brilliant experience.

QE2 Activity Centre had it's own Highland Games too, hosted by Zoe and Hamish.  There was a programme of Haggis Wanging, Caber Toss, golf, Tug O'War and barrel rolling.  Next up Winter Olympics.



To join the GreenHouse or Gold, Team Q or Indies contact the QE2 Activity Centre 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

July 2013 - what's new

Wednesday 31 July

here comes summer!

the lack of updates during July is not because nothing was happening - it was because there was so much happening! Also the sun was shining most of the time. The Explorers Day Club is up and running - we've got a great staff team in place - Lauren, Lucy and Becky, plus volunteer Aston. Contact the Centre if you'd like to come along. Explorers is for children and young people with additional needs, aged 5-19. Lots of fun activities, adventure activities like canoeing, climbing, archery and motorboat; fun in the woods, arts & crafts and every day a session on the ropes course.

We've also had more help with the GreenHouse area: first of all a team from Zurich Insurance came in and cleared a pathway for the new allotment. This was hard work digging through well baked clay but the team did a fantastic job! The at the end of the month Jamie Lee (GreenHouse co-ordinator Lynda Lee's hubby) assembled a crew of top fencers to fence the area around the GreenHouse. More hard work, another great result! Thanks to everyone involved!

Finally, we have some new kayaks! A generous donation from the Wacky Racers, a group of local businessmen, allowed us to purchase a fleet of Perception Gemini sit-on-tops. Look out for them on the river!

Friday 21 June

Southampton Airport - community day

Volunteers from Southampton Airport Commercial Team came along to QE2 Activity Centre today for a day combining team building, helping the community and having some fun. Jen, Lizzie, Dave, Roma, Lynn, Kelly, Gemma, Amanda, Andy and Ian painted the exterior woodwork of the main Centre building (and that's a lot of woodwork!) and cleared the weeds from a garden bed. The walls positively gleam now! They finished the day off by taking part in some activity - riding on the zip wire and tackling the low ropes course.
Thanks, you guys!


reduce, reuse, recycle

Green Team hard at work recycling tin cans and aluminium foil. the GreenHouse - it isn't just gardening!

Tuesday 30 April

team Q's big adventure

Over the past few weeks Team Q have been preparing for their first expedition together. They had to learn about map reading, they had to learn how to cook outside, they had to learn how to put up tents, how to pack their rucsacs and more besides. In addition, some team members took part in a Food Safety Course and some took part in a Fire Awareness Course.
Last Friday they left the QE2 Activity Centre on foot, to the cheers of the GreenHouse members they left behind, heading for Bursledon Station. They travelled by train to the Forest and spent two nights in tents and the rest of the time exploring the New Forest. They returned home on Sunday afternoon exhausted but happy. Thanks to Jade and Graham for making it all work out so well.
Now, everybody is looking forward to the next expedition - a canoe trip to the River Wye at the other end of the summer. If you would like to join Team Q contact the Centre. Its an active day service for active people!

Thursday 25 April

what's on in May

Another busy month coming up!
  • This weekend Team Q is off to the New Forest for a camping expedition. Have fun, guys! (And well done with your fire safety awareness course today).
  • On Saturday morning Solent Sportsability (a parent led sports club for children with disabilities that meets fortnightly) will be in for a motorboat trip, some crabbing and multisports. During May they have a couple of sessions of multisports and ropes course.
  • Our Friday Club meets every (you guessed it) Friday between 7:00 and 10:00 for sport and social activities. They also have regular events and outings. This month they have a disco and party for members on Friday 17th May.
  • The QE2 Activity Centre has been working with Hampshire Autistic Society since May 1978. This month we have a family activity day on Thursday 30th May with climbing, archery, canoeing and motorboat. We are also running eXtreme weekend starting Friday 31st May. These events are open to those with autistic spectrum condition and their families and should be booked through HAS Outreach Department on 023 8063 3951 or e-mail
26th April Friday – 28th April Sunday
Team Q
@ QE2 Activity Centre
New Forest camping trip
27th April Saturday
10:00 - 12:00
Solent Sportsability
@ QE2 Activity Centre
Motorboat and multi sports session
11th May Saturday
11:00 - 1:00
Solent Sportsability
@ QE2 Activity Centre
multi-sports session
17th May Friday
19:00 - 22:00
Friday Club
@ QE2 Activity Centre
Disco & party for club members
25th May Saturday
10:00 - 12:00
Solent Sportsability
@ QE2 Activity Centre
ropes course & multi-sports
30th May Thursday
10:00 - 4:00
Hampshire Autistic Society
@ QE2 Activity Centre
Family activity day
May 31st Friday -
June 2nd Sunday
Hampshire Autistic Society
@ QE2 Activity Centre
eXtreme short break
If you want to come along to any of these events please contact the Centre by email or on 023 8040 4844.
Tuesday 23 April

easy fundraising

Did you know you can help the QE2 Activity Centre by browsing and shopping online? Go to to find out more. It doesn't cost you anything extra but each time you browse or make an online purchase from a partner retailer the QE2 Activity Centre will receive a donation. Not a big donation but lots of tiny donations turn into something bigger! Every mickle makes a muckle.

Friday 5th April

the GreenHouse

Last week the QE2 Activity Centre celebrated its 35th birthday. That’s three and a half decades of providing activity opportunities for people with disabilities. Over the last two and a half years we have been providing a new kind of service – the GreenHouse day service. This started in October 2010 with just a handful of Green Team members but has grown so that now our day services provide around 40 places per week.

The value of the GreenHouse was spotted early on by Southampton Airport Community Trust who invited us to bid for a Big Idea grant. We had a big idea – we wanted a new building for the Green Team. So we thought about what we wanted, what we needed and asked our team members what they wanted and we put together a bid. We wanted a building that was big enough for the Green Team (a Team that we expect to grow further), with a decent sized kitchen, with toilets and washing facilities, with all the facilities that the Team needs. We wanted a building that the Green Team could be proud of.
We told Southampton Airport Community Trust what we wanted, why we wanted it and what a difference it would make; they listened and they said yes. We asked local building company Foreman Homes for help in putting together the plans and putting up the building we wanted for the price we could afford (obviously the building we wanted cost more than we could afford!). Foreman were very accommodating and managed to shave the costs so that we got the best building we could.
Today we opened the new day service building

The success of the GreenHouse project is due in no small part to Lynda Lee who has provided an imaginative and varied programme with a great deal of enthusiasm even on the coldest and wettest of days. Together with Robyn, who runs the Gold day service, Graham, who runs Team Q, plus Jade and Oana, who help with all the day services, we have a great staff team!

 We are indebted to Southampton Airport for their support which has allowed QE2 Activity Centre to put up this building and provide a day service facility that we can be really proud of. Thanks!



World Autism Awareness Day
Family Activity Day
for all families of a child with a disability

plus Tabla drumming workshops and fun & games in the woods!

Activities for the whole family ~ £10 per child (no charge for accompanying parent/carer). Starts at 10:00 and goes on until 4:00. Contact the Centre to book a place.

March 22

everybody loves a barn dance

Thanks to everyone for coming to our 35th Anniversary Barn Dance - and thanks to everyone who helped prepare things for the evening! Thanks especially to the CornRigs - our musicmakers - who did such a fine job of getting everyone involved.
It was a hay ride!

February 26th

dates for your diary

Thursday 28th February: Election day! go to Just Home Improvements facebook page and vote vote vote for QE2 Activity Centre. Go on do it now!!
Saturday 2nd March: Solent Sportsability at QE2 Activity Centre - multi-sports session for children with disabilities and their families. Cost £5 per family; 11:00 - 1:00
Saturday 16th March: Solent Sportsability at QE2 Activity Centre - climbing & multi-sports session for children with disabilites and their families. Cost £5 per family. 10:00 until 12:00.
Saturday 16th March: Taster Sports Day at Fleming Park, Eastleigh - organised by EDLAG, come along and have a go at Cricket, Judo, Dance, Inclusive Cycles, Music, Drama, Drumming (with Creative Arts, great stuff), Indoor Fishing (I don't know how that works), Wheelchair Rugby. Cost £2 per person and you need to book in advance on 023 8068 8473. This is open to children and adults with disabilities - bring the family!You need to be there at 12:30 to register and check out the QE2 Activity Centre information stall; activities from 1:00 until 3:45. Plus certificates.
Friday 22nd March: It's the QE2 Barn Dance! CornRigs will be playing and everyone will be dancing (except Phil who really doesn't do dancing). This will be a celebration of QE2 Activity Centre's 35th birthday as well as a celebration of the completion of the works on the Sports Hall and the new GreenHouse day service building. So get on down and join in our celebrations.
Sunday 24th March: Family Activity Day: climbing, archery, canoeing and motorboating for children with additional needs and their families. 10:00 until 4:00. £10 per child - parents go free. Limited number of places book now.
Tuesday 2nd April: World Autism Awareness Day - Chill out day 2: Music and activities at QE2 Activity Centre to mark WAAD. 

February 22nd
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport visits QE2 Activity Centre

Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Baroness Browning, a vice president of the National Autistic Society, visited the QE2 Activity Centre today, accompanying Maria Hutchings, the prospective Conservative candidate for Eastleigh Borough.

pictured: at the top, left to right: Meeting the Green Team - Mark, Oana, Amy (hiding). Kevin, Maria H, Baroness Browning, Tim, Maria M, Phil and Lynda (standing in a hole). Bottom left - freezing by the river; right - Maria and Maria meeting members of the Gold Day Service
A little bit of politics - an excerpt from Hansard, reporting from the House of Commons on 5 Feb 2013 : Column 258 Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): My hon. Friend the Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire (Simon Hart) raised the issue of using outdoor pursuits in education. Will the Minister give a commitment to work with the Department for Education to achieve that?
The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Hugh Robertson): I think at this stage of the evening I might just say, “Indeed, yes. Trust me, it will be done.”
In conclusion, and before I go off and make my final speech of the evening outside the Chamber, I will finish by confirming that through many of the initiatives in place, the Government recognise entirely the important role that informal outdoor activity and sport-related activity play in supporting tourism and the health and well-being agendas. There is a unique opportunity to market this country, and we have seen the effects already, with an increase in visitor numbers post-2012. The hon. Gentleman and others can be assured that outdoor pursuits will play a key part in that process.
Question put and agreed to.

8.32 pm
House adjourned.

February 15th

Barn Dance 22nd March

To celebrate 35 years of the QE2 Activity Centre this March we will be holding a Barn Dance!!
Not only will be celebrating 35 years of providing activity opportunities for children and adults with additional needs, we'll be celebrating the completion of the day service building and the completion of all the work on the sports hall.
It has been a great year for the Centre with all of this work going on, plus the GreenHouse day service going from strength to strength AND setting up the Q and Gold day services. Let's celebrate!
Tickets for the Barn Dance cost £7 and a Ploughman's Supper is included. There'll be a band and caller and the whole evening is sponsored by BP Hamble. It all kicks off at 7:00 and winds down by 10:00. Tickets available from the QE2 Activity Centre. Come on down!

February 15

Team Q - the seQuel

The boys are back in town!


February 8


A couple of weeks ago Joe and Tim from Team Q went with Centre staff Lynda, Jade and Oana on a Food Safety in Catering course. They had a very interesting day. learning about the importance of food safety, microbiology and food poisoning (how to avoid it, rather than how to do it), cleaning and disinfection, pest control, hygiene control in the kitchen personal hygiene and legislation.
Well done Oana, Tim, Lynda and Jade (plus Joe, not pictured).
Well done also to Helga Baker who was awarded the Service to Health Award by Eastleigh Borough Council at the Eastleigh Sports Awards this week.

February 4

Gold day service - 1 month old

The Gold day service has been up and running for a month now - they've been busy as you can see from the pictures below: cooking, climbing, eating cake, boating, washing up, archery, woodwork and much more. Contact the Centre if you're interested in joining.


24th January

altogether now . . .


Looking good!!! Well done Kerry, Nick and Graham!


22nd January

Put out more flags


18 January

Friday 18th January - Snow day!

QE2 Activity Centre and Manor Farm Country Park closed because of treacherous road conditions. Contact 07758 826392 for further information


7 January 2013

Going for Gold

the Gold Day Service started today, adding to the range of opportunities that QE2 Activity Centre provides for the local community. This service is for adults with learning disabilities offering a mixed timetable with a varied, stimulating programme including indoor activities from music & movement to arts & crafts, plus adventure activities including motorboat, archery and ropes course, as well as spending time in the Manor Farm Country Park woods and the QE2 Activity Centre gardens.

care will be taken to provide activities that are appropriate, challenging but achievable, at a level and pace suited to each individual

If you are interested in trying out Gold, or our other day services the GreenHouse and Team Q, contact the Centre.


3 January 2013

Happy new year

As 2013 kicks off it's all go at the QE2 Activity Centre! We're only days away from the start of the new Gold day service on January 7th, activity groups start again on January 14th and Solent Sportsability sessions start on January 19th. The Green Team are already on the go - and building on the new GreenHouse building is going well. Centre staff are busy with paint brushes and tools preparing the Centre for the new season.

If you would like to attend activities at the Centre there are plenty of options:

  • You can book day activities for groups Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • book activity sessions for individuals on Mondays and Fridays
  • book activity holidays for groups or accompanied individuals all year round
  • book non-activity residential short breaks all year round
  • book onto one of our day services - the GreenHouse, Gold or Team Q
  • come along to Friday Club evenings
  • come along to Saturday morning Solent Sportsability sessions (up to age 16) - information below
  • come along to family activity days during school holidays - information below
  • sign up for the Explorers Day Club during August (up to age 19) - information below
  • sign up for Team Q Summer scheme (age 16 and older) - information below
  • come along and celebrate our 35th Birthday with a Party and Barn Dance on Friday 22nd March

Solent Sportsability

Parent led sports club for children with additional needs, meets Saturday mornings 10:00 until 12:00 at QE2 Activity Centre. The club meets fortnightly from January 19. Every club meeting will be an opportunity to take part in a range of sports led by parents; on alternate meetings there will also be QE2 Activity Centre led sessions.

  • 2nd February - multi-sports session 16th February - archery & multi-sports
  • 2nd March - multi-sports session 16th March - climbing & multi-sports
  • 13th April - multi-sports session 27th April - motorboat & multi-sports
  • 11th May - multi-sports session 25th May - ropes course & multi-sports
  • 8th June - multi-sports session 22nd June - canoeing & multi-sports
  • 6th July - multi-sports session 20th July - motorboat & multi-sports

Family activity days

these days are for the whole family to come and take part in activities at QE2 Activity Centre. Those marked HAS are co-organised by Hampshire Autistic Society. Bookings will need to be made through HAS Outreach Service in the New Year.

  • February 21st Thursday land based activities
  • March 24th Sunday land and water based activities
  • April 2nd Tuesday HAS WAAD Day activities and music
  • May 30th Thursday HAS land and water based activities
  • August 2nd Friday land and water based activities
  • August 9th Friday land and water based activities
  • August 16th Friday canoe expedition
  • August 23nd Friday land and water based activities
  • August 29th Thursday HAS land and water based activities

HAS short breaks

Those marked HAS are co-organised by Hampshire Autistic Society. Bookings will need to be made through HAS Outreach Service on 023 8063 3951 or e-mail

  • April 2nd Tuesday HAS multi activity short break
  • May 31st Friday HAS eXtreme short break
  • August 4th Sunday HAS multi activity short break
  • August 7th Wednesday HAS eXtreme short break
  • August 12th Monday HAS multi activity short break
  • August 16th Friday HAS multi activity short break
  • October 27th Sunday HAS multi activity short break

Explorers – summer play scheme

Activity based play scheme for children with additional needs and their siblings. Monday – Thursday during the school holidays, starting July 29th.

Team Q Summer

Activity based summer scheme for adults (post 16) with additional needs during college holiday period. Monday to Friday adventure week with day activities plus one night of New Forest camping.

Team Q and GreenHouse

  • April 27 - 28 team Q camping and hiking in the New Forest
  • July 22 - 26 GreenHouse residential activity week
  • August 12 - 16 GreenHouse Fresh Produce and Craft sale at Manor Farm
  • September 6 - 8 team Q camping and canoeing on the River Wye

Friday Club

  • February 15 Friday Disco & party for club members
  • March 14 Thursday Sleeping Beauty on ice - Mayflower Theatre
  • March 22 Friday Barn Dance - CornRigs at QE2 Activity Centre
  • May 17 Friday Disco & party for club members
  • June 22 Saturday Summer outing including meal at Hare & Hound
  • June 28 Friday Summer concert with Eastleigh Town Band
  • August 4 Sunday Barbecue & Swim party
  • August 16 Friday Disco & party for club members
  • October 25 Friday Halloween party at Eastleigh Irish Club
  • November 15 Friday Disco & party for club members
  • December 6 Friday Christmas Carol Concert
  • December 13 Friday Christmas Party at QE2 Activity Centre

QE2 Activity Centre Friday Club, run by parents and volunteers (now in its 35th year!), meets every Friday between 7:00 and 10:00. Contact Ted & Helga for more details 01489 784633

That'll do for now!