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Building confidence, teaching skills and changing lives - Hainault's Link Place turns 25

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 May 2013

Louise Steadman brushes up her art skills at Link Place

Louise Steadman brushes up her art skills at Link Place

Archant

As a special mosaic was unveiled to commemorate Link Place's 25th anniversary, people with sensory and physical disabilities, showed their support and appreciation to a centre which has provided them the confidence and skills to "achieve again".

Deputy Mayor Cllr Elaine Norman (second from right) helped unveil a special mosaic for the 25th anniversary celebrationsDeputy Mayor Cllr Elaine Norman (second from right) helped unveil a special mosaic for the 25th anniversary celebrations

After opening in 1988, Link Place Personal Development Centre, in Bramston Close, Hainault, has changed many people’s lives by helping them to rejoin the “working community”.

Georgie Margiotta, manager of the day centre, which has 85 users, said: “I came from a care assistant role, and as soon as I arrived I fell in love with the ethos and the activities that are run here.

“It was like a breath of fresh air.”

After people are referred to Link Place, they have the opportunity to look around and decide whether they think they will benefit from the services offered.

Georgie, who has worked at the centre for more than 20 years, said: “Some people may just want to learn how to socialise again, and may want to take part in activities to build their confidence. We try to act as a stepping stone for people to get back into the working community, which can be very difficult in this climate. We hope we can help those with disabilities to train others with disabilities.”

Computer classes are among the most popular sessions available, as well as digital photography and health and wellbeing, which help users with posture and breathing.

Georgie said: “The centre gives people an opportunity to achieve again, whether it’s re-learning old skills or simple tasks for basic survival.

“There was a young blind girl a few years ago, who with some advice and motivation, became a fully qualified aromatherapist and moved into her own place. It felt so fantastic to have helped her.”

Service user Virendra Patel, 61, of Bramston Close, added: “People don’t realise how much they can achieve here. The encouragement you get spurs you on.”

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