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Give us a WAVE!

we're all valued equally

we're all valued equallyFortis Green buzzed with energy, the sound of live music filled the air and creative activity oozed out of the Birchwood centre when it was transformed recently into Wave café for an afternoon.

Wave, which is founded on the belief that We’re All Valued Equally, is a local movement aiming to change attitudes towards disability in our neighbourhood. The cafe was run by Wave club which is a group of young people (aged 16 – 25) with and without disabilities, who meet to socialise and work together on community events and campaigns.

wave cafeThe café provided a place where those of all abilities could enjoy and contribute to the creative activities taking place, which included designing a leaf to add to our ‘tree of life’; painting a communal mural depicting a ‘river journey’ and facepainting.  All of this while listening to great music from the WTW community jazz band; local blues duo Emily Bleakley and Charlie Hulme and classical pianist Lawrence Estrey. There was an amazing array of home-made cakes and stylish ‘mocktails’ – freshly mixed on the spot – all served by Wave members and friends.

cafe for disabled and able-bodied peopleThe café showcased a photo exhibition by local photographers Dave Hogan, Maria de Fatima Campos and Fiona Yaron-Field.  All the work displayed presented a very different view of individuals with disabilities.  The stunning images together with quotes expressing the thoughts and experience of Wave members, provided moving and inspiring food for thought.

The afternoon also provided an opportunity to gather views and support for a campaign that Wave is developing with support from Mencap.  The ‘Stamp of Approval’ campaign will enable Wave Club members to review how accessible local shops, cafes, schools and venues are for individuals with disabilities, to publicise the most welcoming places and offer simple advice for improvements where desired.

Wave was started by mothers of children and young adults with learning disabilities, who all attend St. James Church in Muswell Hill. The group is underpinned by Christian values and we welcome members of different faiths or none.

art activitiesBernice Hardie, is one of the founding members:

“This is our second Wave café and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and putting such energy into the event.  We had a fantastic time – it was an afternoon of celebration and fun, a testimony to the contribution and teamwork of Wave members, friends, supporters and visitors”.

In addition to the Club for young adults, Wave has two partner groups.

Wave Church is a monthly church service especially tailored to meet the needs of adults with a learning difficulty (which meets at Northbank on Pages Lane, usually on the first Sunday of the month at 4pm).

cake standThe Challenge Group is aimed at parents of pre-school children with additional needs and offers a weekly playgroup that meets each Friday morning during term time, between 10am and 11.30 at St. James Church Centre. Alongside emotional and spiritual support, parents are pampered with homemade cakes and a free massage.

For more information about Wave club go to www.waveclub.org.uk;  for info about Wave Church and Challenge go to www.st-james.org.uk  or contact the church office on 020 8883 6277.



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