Monday, 22 December 2014

Happy holidays visited QE2 Activity Centre in October.  Here's a video.  To book your holiday at QE2 Activity Centre contact the Centre as soon as possible!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Paddles up!!

Team Q canoeing at Swanage, September 2014

With 2014 drawing to an end we've been having a look back at all that has been achieved by our day services during the year.  We first started offering day services in October 2010 and since then have built up three distinct strands: the GreenHouse, Gold and Team Q. Each of these has its own programme, its own focus and its own identity.  The staff that run each strand - Lynda, Robyn and Kerry - bring their own ideas but all share the same values - that a day service is a place where people are valued, where opportunities occur, where lives are enriched.  The idea of a day service where people sit all day and watch tv is anathema.

You can see the results of this way of thinking.  You can see how far some people have changed their behaviours in the Gold Day Service; you can see how the people who use the GreenHouse have gelled and become the Green Team; you can see the achievements of Team Q.

We have been part of the community: working with Zurich Insurance and Southampton Airport for community volunteering days; held a MacMillan Coffee Morning; had a market stall at Manor Farm; we've visited Romsey Rapids, New Forest Wildlife Park, Winchester Science Centre, Sprinkles, the pub,the Isle of Wight and walked all over our local area.

We've grown stuff - a 25kg pumpkin for example!  made stuff - more reindeer than you could shake a stick at - cooked stuff - Andy's lunches rival Masterchef.

So, Lynda, Robyn, Jade, Andy, Kerry and Toby take a bow - you're doing a great job.  There's going to be changes in the future, we'll be taking on new staff as our day services grow and develop but I know that the same values will continue and QE2 Activity Centre day services will go from strength to strength.  And well done Dan, Georgie, Billy, Mark, Lenita, Robert, Paul, Chelsea, Trevor, Mitch, Naomi, Cheryl, Cran, Joe, Susanne, Gemma, Mathew, Tim, Ayrton, Paul, James, Adam, Adrian, Will, Daniel, Mateusz, Elena, another Joe, John, Jamie, Amy, Craig, another Craig, Kevin, Paula and Nick.  It wouldn't be the same without you!

Changes in local authority provision of day services are causing concern for lots of people.  As closures are announced there is a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty about what the future might bring.  QE2 Activity Centre is committed to providing excellent day services; there are a few spaces available so get in touch by email or phone as soon as possible.

Day services will be closed over Christmas to allows staff a well deserved break and some planning and training time and will re=open on January 7th.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

If more people could be like James the world would be a better place

QE2 Activity Centre will be increasing its fleet of boats in the coming months thanks to the generosity of friends and family of James Male.

James, the much loved son of Graham and Lorraine, brother of Zoe and partner of Adele, was part of the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki, a 40ft Beneteau yacht, that was lost in the Atlantic in May this year.  James was not just a keen sailor but also enjoyed canoeing, kayaking, climbing and snowboarding and was a dinghy, jet ski and powerboat instructor. His parents describe him as "a great ambassador for young people, taking the rough with the smooth but always smiling and having a positive outlook to life."

Here's a little more: "He was strong willed, independent, positive, determined, supportive and a strong morality.  He was enthusiastic, a natural leader, level headed, creative, conscientious and an adventure seeker - once met, never forgotten.

"If more people in the world could be like James, the world would be a better place."

QE2 Activity Centre is proud to have been chosen by James' family.  Their donations will help to provide equipment, primarily a set of sit on top kayaks, which will enable children and adults with disabilities to take part in  boating activities at the Centre.  To make a donation in memory of James Male visit the Centre's MyDonate page here or send to the Centre, marking your donation James Male.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

December Diary Dates

It's that time of year again!

Friday 5th December:    Christmas Carol Concert

Monday 8th - Friday 12th December  Christmas Bushcraft Week.  Final week of the year for QE2 Activity Centre activity groups.  There'll be a lot of mince pies eaten around the campfire this week!

Monday 8th - Friday 19th December:   Christmas Shop at the GreenHouse.  The place to buy jams and chutneys, reindeer and birdboxes.  Put your orders in now!  Last few t-shirts available to buy.

Tuesday 9th December:      Gold Day Service to Romsey Rapids

Friday 12th December:       Friday Club Christmas Party and Disco

Saturday 13th December:   FASS Adventurers 1:00 - 4:00 more Christmas Bushcraft

Monday 15th December:    Green Team trip to InTech

Tuesday 16th December:    Green Team trip to Owl and Otter Sanctuary

Thursday 18th December:  Team Q trip to the pub

Friday 19th December;        QE2 staff, volunteers and day services Christmas Lunch

Saturday 20th December     closed for the holidays

January opening:

Mon 5th - Tue 6th January:closed for staff training

Wednesday 7th January:     back to work for the GreenHouse and Gold.

Saturday 10th January:       FASS Adventurers Drop-in Club

Monday 12th January:         Indies return, activity groups return.  All back to normal!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Run or Dye

(l-r) Kat, Stacey, Adele, Joanna, and Cat

In October Joanna Maher and a group of friends, Kat, Stacey, Adele and Cat took part in Run or Dye, a 5k race at Southampton Sports Centre.  A race with a difference - everytime you complete a kilometre you covered in coloured dye!  

To be honest the team were covered in coloured dye before they even started!

The team were running to raise funds for the QE2 Activity Centre in memory of their friend James Male.  James was a  keen sailor and canoeist who was one of the crew of the yacht Cheeky Rafiki which was lost in the Atlantic earlier this year.

Says Joanna: 'Although we are definitely not runners we all did really well and all finished in under 40mins.   Knowing that the money was going to something so loved by James made every bit worthwhile and we would 100% do it again! Such a fabulous event.'

The money raised will go towards adding to QE2's fleet of kayaks. 

Thanks, you guys!

Christmas Carol Concert

 QE2 Activity Centre invites you to a fund raising Christmas Carol Concert


Eastleigh Town Band

on Friday 5th December 2014 at 7:30 pm


Tickets £5
(includes light refreshments)

available from the QE2 Activity Centre or on the door

Sunday, 26 October 2014


This Thursday - another in the series of family activity days will be taking place at QE2 Activity Centre for Southampton families with children with additional needs.  Activities available include climbing, archery, ropes course and bushcraft.

Starting at 10:00 in the morning and carrying on until 4:00.  Its only £10 per child for the day and parents go free! 
You have to book in advance so contact the Centre now on 023 8040 4844 or email

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


September has been a busy month at QE2 Activity Centre.  Team Q went away for their second expedition of the year.  Following their very successful trip to the Isle of Wight at the beginning of the season they headed on down to Swanage in Dorset.  They found time for fish & chips, cockles and mussels and the amusement arcade but also went hiking, had a trip on a steam train and kayaked to Old Harry Rocks.  Where to next year?

The Gold Day Service got together with Team Q and paid a visit to Beaulieu Motor Museum.  

The GreenHouse organised a very successful Macmillan Coffee Morning.  There was a fine assortment of cakes, and a good number of friends and family showed up to share them.  The morning raised over £170 for Macmillan, a very worthwhile charity.  Well done to the Green Team, everyone who provided cakes and all those who came along to support us.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Team Q Expedition

On the eve of Team Q's expedition to Swanage next week here's some pictures from their argosy to the Isle of Wight in April.

get set



In April Team Q set off on their Isle of Wight Expedition.  It was a journey that started on foot, continued by boat, on foot again and then on the bus, followed by a ferry trip.  And that was just to get past Gosport.  

A second ferry trip took the Team from Portsmouth across to the Isle of Wight where another walk led to Kite Hill and a welcome campsite.

The following day Team Q moved on to East Cowes where there was time for some fun.

Lots of fun!


After a second night under canvas it was time for Team Q to pack their bags and set off home.  There was still quite a journey to go.  Next step was the ferry back to the mainland.

A ferry, a bus and a train back to Bursledon.

and finally . . . 

a walk home alongside the Hamble River.  Well done, guys - and have fun on your Swanage trip.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


As usual a long gap between posts doesn't mean that there's nothing happening at QE2 Activity Centre - it means there's too much happening at QE2 Activity Centre!

At the end of June instructor Nick Cann married Jess (who eagle eyed viewers will recognise as being freelance instructor Jess) at Hamble church.  The whole QE2 team turned out to wish them well.  There has developed a tradition of  summer weddings at QE2 Activity Centre; two years ago it was Kerry and Klayr, last year Graham and (a different) Kerry, now Nick and Jess.  Who knows what next summer wil bring!

Meanwhile back at the Centre we're having a busy summer.  Our day services are flourishing with the GreenHouse, Gold and Team Q all getting up to all kinds of fun stuff.

Family activity days run in conjunction with Southampton City Council have been popular and we even made an appearance on BBC South Today.  This was in connection with a story that local authorities are cutting services for children with disabilities and one of our regular visitors was asked to give his point of view.  James (that's a young James in the screen grab below) told viewers how important it was that children with disabilities and autism had the opportunity to take part in short breaks - and what a blow it would be for local authorities to take this opportunity away.

QE2 Activity Centre gets lots of support from the local community.  For many years we have been helped out by Eastlands Boatyard at Swanwick who provide us with a free pontoon berth for our motorboat.  Another boatyard has come to our rescue this season:  the pontoon in Manor Farm Country Park was damaged by storms early in the year and we've not been able to use it since Easter.  Deacons Boatyard at Bursledon have kindly allowed us to use their spiffy new marina for embarking and disembarking the motorboat.

Without this kind of support it would be impossible for us to offer motorboating.  So, a full blown THANKS YOU GUYS to Tim at Eastlands, Luke at Deacons and all their colleagues.  Thanks also to the other boat owners who always make us welcome.

Team Q - coppicing

 Say it loud, we're Gold and we're proud!

 it's not all beer and skittles at QE2 Day Services

 Remember when this was a swamp?

A big thanks to all the staff for yet another wonderful family holiday. Pretty sure without your skills patience and facilities we all would be unable to have a holiday together. Home now with happy children and a glass of red !!

Zurich staff hard at work

pure joy wins out again