Clients Create is unveiled!

Optalis’ first ever exhibition was unveiled at the Mall Gallery in Wokingham this month.

The installation displays Optalis’ own customers’ works, including:

- 10 paintings and drawings by Suffolk Lodge Care Home residents (all of whom have a form of dementia) and;

- a freestanding piece by customers from Westmead Day Service (who have a physical disability and/or a neurological condition). The word Optalis was split into 7 and each client decorated one in the way they wanted. Again, this was during sessions which Patrick ran over 6 weeks.

In addition, there are five photos on display of Out and About trips from 2013 (an Optalis service used by people with a learning disability and/or physical disability)

Clients Create was officially opened by Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr UllaKarin Clark on April 1, who was on hand to say a few words and spent a great deal of time talking with customers and their families.

Local artist Patrick Harte, who has been running arts sessions across both the Westmead and Suffolk Lodge sites in recent months, has also provided some support to make the exhibition a reality.

Marketing and Communications Manager, and organiser of the exhibition, Fi Shailes, said: “There are so many creative activities happening across our sites that I really wanted to give our customers the chance to show off what they’ve been working on, and bring it to the public’s attention. Optalis isn’t about providing traditional services all the time. We aim to allow people to express themselves through activities, and enhance their wellbeing through offering opportunities for socialising.

“Whilst the arts sessions has allowed the people we support to take part in something very fun and imaginative, it’s also provided some therapeutic benefits. As well as being a good social activity, it allows for creative expression; something customers may not have had recent access to before they began using our services.”

The exhibition runs at the Mall Gallery, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1WH until Wednesday April 30, 2014.

More information from Fi Shailes (0118) 974 6792 or email:

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Volunteers thanked for their help

Staff from Optalis’ Day Service held a special presentation at the Acorn Community Centre to thank the 20 volunteers who help support the service.