Powers, purposes and the importance of The Point

This week Vicky met Manager at The Point, Clare Goff, who revealed all about her job role and the purpose behind the centre.

Clare Goff, Manager at The Point

What happens at The Point?

We are a day centre for physically disabled adults based in Little Breach, Chichester.

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Most members have conditions like cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. Some have disabilities caused by road traffic accidents. Our aim is to provide a peer group and social circle where everyone is equal. The emphasis is on empowering our members to get out into the community.

We have daily trips to all sorts of places, as well as activities and services like computer games, cooking and hairdressing.

It’s all about socialisation and learning life skills – we try to accommodate things that ‘normal’ people do on a daily basis.

How long have you been here?

I arrived thirteen years ago as the Activities Organiser. I had a few babies in that time and then when my manager, John, retired he gave me the chance to step into his shoes. It was a big chair to sit in, but because I have been here a while I know the background. Hopefully I can continue John’s work.

Do you have a good team behind you?

Yes! They are all extremely enthusiastic, highly skilled and fully qualified. The have different strengths. For instance, some are really good at baking, where as I generally try to stay out of the kitchen! It is a happy and lively place to work.

Do new members slot into The Point easily?

It can be daunting to start with. For many it will be the first environment where they are treated like independent adults and can choose what they do. We don’t dumb down at all here and we do a lot more activities than most day centres. That can take some getting used to, but people generally settle quickly and make friends. Friendships are made here that last a lifetime.

Is funding an issue?

Funding continues to be difficult. Clients’ fees cover the basic cost of keeping the centre running, but we have to fundraise for all the extras. We have two charity shops [at Rose Green and Pagham] and the Chairman of our Trust, Douglas, is our brilliant volunteer fundraiser. He does an amazing job, but we always need to fundraise.

When is The Point open?

The centre is open Monday – Friday. Many of our members don’t look forward to weekends, because that’s when they are isolated. They might not see anyone except a carer popping in and out over the weekend.

What sort of trips do you organise for members?

All sorts! We have a monthly calendar that includes everything from trips to places of interest to shopping, greyhound racing and theatre shows. Parents complain that their kids have better social lives than they do!

It’s a busy job. How do you recharge your batteries?

I’m a big netball fan and play a couple of times a week. I also enjoy a glass or two of wine in the garden!

Further information: www.scope-west-sussex.org.uk