Choices 4 U, a service which provides day opportunities for people over the age of 16 with learning difficulties in South Gloucestershire, is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Service users and support staff were joined by Vice-Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Brian Allinson on Wednesday 13 March for a celebration event at Kingswood Active Lifestyle Centre, where Choices 4 U has been provided since its launch in 2009.

Choices 4 U provide support to enable people with learning difficulties to become more connected to their community, achieve learning and employment aspirations, and access meaningful social and leisure interests that promote good health and wellbeing. The overall aim is to help people lead a fulfilling life.

The service is run by South Gloucestershire Council and gives those with learning difficulties a range of activities to try out as well as helping them to learn new skills. Activities include:

  • access to lifestyle facilities and gym equipment to improve wellbeing
  • cooking sessions
  • money smart courses
  • Bollywood dancing
  • community safety courses supported by emergency services
    day trips out to places such as Weston-super-Mare.

The dedicated team work with more than 50 members across South Gloucestershire, and where possible support them into employment opportunities. At present, almost half of the members are involved in employment or training supported by the service.

Stasiu Kuchcinski, who is one of our longest standing Choices 4 U members, said:

“Choices 4 U is great and I enjoy attending the sessions very much. Since coming to Choices 4 U, I have been more active, I feel relaxed and welcome – it feels like home.”

Vice-Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Brian Allinson said:

“It was great to be able to join Choices 4 U’s tenth-anniversary celebrations and meet some of the people who benefit from the service.

“Choices 4 U provide valuable assistance to some of our more vulnerable residents. The support and encouragement the team provide is excellent and really shows through in the development of their members.”

Martyn Hinam, Centre Manager at Kingswood Active Lifestyle Centre, said:

“As an organisation that’s heavily invested in the local community, we’re passionate about our work with Choices 4 U and are proud that we’ve been part of their journey since the beginning. Having Choices 4 U at our Lifestyle Centres means that our customers and staff regularly engage with the service users, which helps them to feel connected to the community.

“It’s honestly been a pleasure to work with the Choices 4 U team, for the past ten years and we look forward to supporting them for many more years to come.”

Kingswood Active Lifestyle Centre is one of five lifestyle Centres and a dual-use Sports Centre operated across South Gloucestershire by the not for profit organisation Circadian Trust.

Find out more about Choices 4 U by visiting www.southglos.gov.uk/choices4u