Adults with learning difficulties

Watermans frequently works with adults with disabilities to deliver programmes designed to improve socialisation, self- esteem and independence for those with learning disabilities. Our range of activities helps to encourage and empower the adults who take part by giving them the opportunity to make friends and gain new experiences.


NAME:  Circus workshop and Animation workshop

CLIENT: Acton Lodge, Triangle and Community Access

TARGET GROUP: Adults with a Learning Disability (for Mild to Moderate needs)

LOCATION: Watermans Studios 1 and 2


Improved social integration through the enjoyment of an activity away from an everyday environment

Circus and Animation workshops took place at Watermans in Brentford which helped integrate the groups into a public building, and provided an opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to have a short break through visiting the centre. The enjoyment of the participants is noted by their support workers:

“They all seem to be very happy; when we came back they [said] ‘we’ve enjoyed it and we want to go back and have more!'” Selasi, Support worker

Reducing isolation of individuals through the development of social relationships with similar people

The mix of participants from different centres created the opportunity of meeting new people and developing new social relationships. These group projects required the participants to work together to complete tasks, helping them to develop team work and co-operation skills:

“I think one of the biggest things they have taken away from the animation is team work. There is quite a good team work element from the system of working in threes- one person doing one job, with one person checking and one person taking the photograph.” Dan, Support worker

An improvement in the technical skills of individuals through introduction to new activities

Watermans provides an innovative programme of activities that would not normally be a part of participants’ daily lives. This provided a chance for participants to develop an entirely new skill set:

“Mainly I think it’s developing their knowledge of how to link the different aspects in together: they are learning to view the computer as a tool, which they then use to take a picture of something outside of the computer. Building the link between the two was quite challenging for them at first” Dan, Support worker

Improved confidence and self- esteem of individuals through completion of a successful project

“These activities help them to become more confident leading into other activities; we definitely see it as a building block for them to take into other things” Dan, Support worker

“Many who at the beginning seemed quiet and introverted came out and were more full of energy/ enthusiasm by the end” Rohan Mehra

Development of useful social/ technical skills

Participants developed a range of social as well as practical skills including team work, cooperation, learning to use a computer etc. which they could use in their everyday lives.

“Kevin was using the computer some time ago and he had just a little bit of knowledge. But now he can boldly do his cartooning, drawing and the animation very well” Selasi, Support worker

Improved health and general well-being through physical activity

The physical aspect of the Circus workshop introduced participants to an enjoyable form of exercise which they incorporated into their weekly routine.

Watermans worked with the Primary Care Trust as well as NHS Hounslow and London Borough of Hounslow to provide these activities.