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Wow!! If I had to sum up my thoughts on this week in one word it would be PROUD! As you know, last Saturday we catered for First Choice Homes’ Customer Festival at our new town centre cafe ‘The Atrium’ and we officially opened for business on Monday! Over the past 7 days we have served over 800 meals and over 20 of our young people have proven themselves to be invaluable team members serving to the staff at First Choice Homes. It really is great when a plan comes together and I am very proud of our young people and our dedicated staff team of cooks and job coaches who have come together this week and have pulled it off in style!

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The feedback we have had from the staff has been overwhelming. Everyone is thrilled with the service and high quality food that we have provided and this wouldn’t be possible without our young people who have prepared food, waited on tables, washed up and offered a snack trolley around each floor of the First Choice Homes building twice daily. They are an inspiration and I feel confident that many of them will successfully move into paid employment or independent volunteering as a result of their invaluable training at our new cafe..

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I have to say that after making at least 100 cups of coffee using our state of the art machine and being over at the cafe all week I, along with the rest of our team, am exhausted – but we all have a huge smile on our faces. A personal highlight was when Mrs Nelson came over to the cafe to present 24 cupcakes that our new ‘Medtia Girls Group’ had produced. We took them out on the trolley run and we sold out within an hour! A huge well done to the young people who helped make and decorate these lovely cakes! Unfortunately I didn’t get to try one (Slimming World would not permit) but they looked fantastic. We have also been providing 20+ hot meals per day to the young people based at Medtia and it is safe to say that they are going down a storm!

Our young people at Horizons have also had a memorable week! Shelly’s group have had some amazing ‘wow moments’….Tuma did some amazing work walking around the supermarket for the first time with one to one support. George has enjoyed cooking, making rhubarb and custard, and Paul has had an amazing week with his friends. Their favourite activities were going bowling..

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..and having fun on the bikes at the park in the Ability Wheelz session..

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Gary’s group have had a very busy week including running a coffee morning over at the Link Centre to raise money for Macmillan..

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They also had a big celebration when Mollie had her 21st birthday..


After the fantastic achievements of Great Britain’s Paralympic team and the inspiration given to the group, they decided to create a ‘positive thinking’ wall where they will be putting up inspirational quotes given by influential disabled people throughout history. Here are some pictures of the team developing it..
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The group have also enjoyed a recent visit to Media City on the tram..

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This week has seen the opening of the new Oldham branch of Dr Kershaws charity shop – our volunteers were there to greet the Mayor and we will bring you the pictures next week.

Hayley’s group have had a great time at the Learning Centre this week, relaxing in the sensory room..

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..getting creative..

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..baking (of course!)..

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..and tidying up afterwards!

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..before braving the rain for Ability Wheelz..

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Jeff’s group have started up a monthly bowling session! They had great fun at Hollywood Bowl this week – the bowling centre has had a refit and looks great. The young people enjoyed the changes and are looking forward to next month’s session..

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The group have also enjoyed visits to OCL for swimming..


..a trip to Ability Wheelz..

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..a dance session..

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..and kept up with their work on the grounds..


Our Future Finders are now well on their way with placements. Many of the young people have helped out at The Atrium this week and the students are settling into working life well at Oldham Leisure Centre and The Premier Inn.

This week we focus on our Digit4ll Pathway! Here is Mr Bright’s report for you all..

This week has been a really exciting week for the Digit4ll, our IT pathway, with a visit from a very special guest. Dawn Green from the Karten Network came in to see the exciting enterprises we are developing on the first floor of the Medtia building. The Karten Network donated funds to Digit4ll to invest in industry-standard video production equipment for our green screen recording studio and video editing suite. Dawn was keen to see the impact the new technology was having on our students and we are very pleased to report that she was not disappointed…the students were fantastic!


Brandon and Jordan (dressed to impress, as ever, in their smart Digit4ll suits and ties) formally greeted Dawn at the door and delivered a professional presentation that even Steve Jobs would have been proud of. Whilst being blown-away by this professional presentation, the rest of the students were spread out across the different hubs; the printing operators were printing canvas orders, the camera operators were recording in the green screen studio, the design team were editing video footage, some students were having a technical workshop and Tia, our newly appointed photographer, was snapping away. It was such a proud moment for me to see our vision of creating a working environment finally come to fruition. Every student displayed such a high level of professionalism and independence, they were a credit to the New Bridge Group..


Over the couple of hours Dawn spent with us I barely spoke a word. Dawn was given a tour by Brandon and Jordan and any questions she had were brilliantly answered by the students. When asked what were the positives of the IT Pathway, Jordan answered, “Meeting new people like you and wearing suits so we get to look smart for work” whereas Brandon replied: “Experiencing work situations and knowing how to make profit so we know how to earn money in future.” The best question of the day though, came from a student when Eliot asked Dawn if she knew Steven Universe. Completely shocked when Dawn didn’t know who he was, Eliot asked her, “How can you not know Steven Universe if you work at the Cartoon Network?” We all had a chuckle, even Eliot, when Dawn explained that she actually worked at the Karten Network.

All the staff are immensely proud of our IT pathway and we are all excited to see how the students build their enterprises over the coming months. Watch this space..


I have re-read this blog and again remind myself what an impact Medtia Square is having on our young people, it’s just brilliant.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square

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1 Medtia Square, Phoenix Street, Oldham, OL1 1AN

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