Community Lives

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Our Community Lives service offers stimulating activities where you can develop skills, find companionship and improve your well-being.

We can help you live the life you enjoy to the full, with lots of activities and advice!

Having the chance to mix with other people, visit different places and learn new things can help stop you from feeling bored or isolated. Knowing the importance of people feeling like they are a part of their local community and not being restricted to a traditional day centre, Community Lives offers customers the opportunity to take part in activities in their local area including art classes, sporting activities and drama projects. Groups also collaborate with local projects and organisations to help improve the community they live in.

We work with a variety of people, all with different physical and learning disabilities, as well as older people. Making sure the activities are tailored to them is incredibly important and by working with other local groups and services, we’re able to do just that. We want everyone to learn something new, whether that’s increasing confidence, becoming more independent or learning skills to put to use in the workplace. Our aim is that everyone comes away feeling like they’ve achieved something

We provide plenty of opportunities to join in with what’s happening in your community, with our service designed to meet different needs and interests every day of the week. We focus on helping you meet your personal goals through our person-centred support.

Our team will help you with all of your support needs, from medication to personal care or emotional support, so that you feel safe and comfortable while you are with us.

Find out more about our Community Lives services here


Our Community Lives service offers stimulating activities where you can develop skills, find companionship and improve your well-being.

We can help you live the life you enjoy to the full, with lots of activities and advice!

Having the chance to mix with other people, visit different places and learn new things can help stop you from feeling bored or isolated. Knowing the importance of people feeling like they are a part of their local community and not being restricted to a traditional day centre, Community Lives offers customers the opportunity to take part in activities in their local area including art classes, sporting activities and drama projects. Groups also collaborate with local projects and organisations to help improve the community they live in.

We work with a variety of people, all with different physical and learning disabilities, as well as older people. Making sure the activities are tailored to them is incredibly important and by working with other local groups and services, we’re able to do just that. We want everyone to learn something new, whether that’s increasing confidence, becoming more independent or learning skills to put to use in the workplace. Our aim is that everyone comes away feeling like they’ve achieved something

We provide plenty of opportunities to join in with what’s happening in your community, with our service designed to meet different needs and interests every day of the week. We focus on helping you meet your personal goals through our person-centred support.

Our team will help you with all of your support needs, from medication to personal care or emotional support, so that you feel safe and comfortable while you are with us.

Find out more about our Community Lives services here


  • Boyn Grove Community Lives team find new way to celebrate customer achievement

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    The team at Boyn Grove Community Centre have been celebrating customer success this week. In the first of a series of award sessions, customers received a pin badge which tracks the progress they are making, along with a certificate.

    Victor Doyle, Senior Activity Support Organiser, explained:

    “All of us are continually learning and developing and we wanted to share and celebrate the success of our customers. Some of them have been making a huge effort for a long time and having their efforts acknowledged really means a lot to them. It has been brilliant to be able to have bespoke badges carved to help as a visual reminder of what they have achieved.”

    The team, who work alongside people to develop their skills and interests, record each success in different areas of interest. The categories include:

    • Health, Wellbeing, and Exercise
    • Friends, Relationships, and Community
    • Independent Living and Life Skills
    • Volunteering and Vocational Learning
    • Arts, Dance and Music

    Vicki Holt - Optalis Community Development Manager added

    “We wanted to find a way to celebrate and acknowledge the progress each person makes on their journey to their goals. These might be small steps over a period of time, but each of those milestones really do matter.

  • Easter Fair

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    Community Lives volunteering and being part of the popular Easter Fair run by Clewer & Dedworth Community Events - Official Page including the ever-popular stall by ArtAble!

  • Community Lives Team collaborates with Maidenhead FC to hold 'Walking Football' sessions

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    Community Lives Team collaborated with Maidenhead FC hold 'Walking Football' sessions

    A new collaboration between the Community Lives Team and Maidenhead FC offering ‘Walking Football’ sessions for the people we support.

    The Community Lives team have been working Maidenhead Football Club, Magpies in the Community, to offer football for all! An exciting new collaboration has given people with a range of support needs, the opportunity to meet outside and enjoy some healthy exercise. Working in partnership with the people we support, Maidenhead FC and the Community Lives Team, have created a fun and lively football session.

    There are very few opportunities for those who have additional needs to access ‘mainstream’ exercise such as going to the gym, keep fit classes and football, and Vicki Holt, Community Development Manager for Community Lives at Optalis is always looking for new ways to offer opportunities to the people we support. Vicki Explains:

    The walking football group is slower paced, safer, and less aggressive than the ‘full speed’ version, but it still provides some powerful benefits. We were really excited to work with Maidenhead FC to establish this activity.

    Team member Julian said : "I like scoring goals and I get to see my friends."

    And Adham, indicated that he likes the coaches and learning football skills.

    The ‘Walking football’ sessions held at the football club have been attended by a regular group of men, supported by men. This has helped instil a sense of comradery, which has had knock-on benefits. The rapport between the group members and coaches has given people the opportunity to be themselves. The environment and atmosphere support the group to have fun exercise and enjoy the support and encouragement from each other.

    Although football is important to David, another member of the group, it almost comes secondary to the social aspect as this is where David’s true personality shines through, with his obvious pleasure in seeing and meeting old friends.

    David says “I like to see my friends, we all laugh."


    Richard's Story

    Since his stroke, Richard uses a walking frame and has had low confidence. However, this didn’t stop him from playing football. The sessions have really helped his mobility.
    He can dribble the ball some distance now and with support and encouragement from
    his peers, he really enjoys taking part. He is much more enthusiastic and is visibly proud of his achievements, his smile says it all. The group’s support and encouragement for each other, means so much to him. Staff who support him at home as well as Community Lives have seen an improvement in his confidence and mobility.

    Being part of a group has created an environment where people can thrive. The Coaches have built positive relationships with the group members and see each person as an individual. Coach James, who supports the session each week, describes the benefits people are already experiencing :

    "A massive improvement over the weeks, not just physically but their social skills. There has also been an improvement in their strength and hand-eye coordination."

    Helen Park Community Development Officer at Maidenhead F.C says:

    "This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to develop our partnership with Community Lives and provide the opportunity for individuals to take part in health and wellbeing activities in a safe environment. It’s great to see everyone getting involved, developing their skills, and having fun. It’s important that activities are available to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds and this is a great example of supporting community groups and making a difference."

    The groups have been inclusive with everyone able to contribute and take part regardless of their ability and support needs. Vicki Holt concludes:

    "The opportunities that Maidenhead F.C. have given us has been amazing. Collaborating has been so positive and motivating for the staff as well as the people we support. The social interaction and being part of the community, being with like minded people. We all feel the same things regardless of ability and background, that is what we hope to achieve, to share this. Not forgetting, the friendships we have formed."
    This collaboration is one of many projects the Community Lives team have been developing to continue to offer stimulating activities where people can develop skills, improve well-being and play an active part in their communities.

  • Community Lives joins a Tree Planting Day at Ockwells Park

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    A group from Community Lives joined a Tree Planting Day at Ockwells Park on Saturday, 15th January.

    The group had a great morning supporting their local community and doing their part for the environment. The team planted an impressive 25 trees, as part of the Queen's Canopy to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

    This was the first of many events to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee that Community Lives hopes to be part of.

  • Customers From Community Lives Enjoy An Invigorating Dance Workshop

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    Customers from Community Lives services at Oakbridge and Boyn Grove centres were invited to a Dance Workshop run by Alice from 4Motion CIC in Windsor.

    The group were surprised to discover that they could learn and perform a completely new dance routine in under an hour! It’s amazing what can be achieved when you’re having fun.

    Everyone had a great time and left feeling really energised and excited at the possibility of working with 4 Motion in the near future.

    Huge thanks to Alice for her energy and to Elaine and the team at 4 Motion CIC who made it possible


    Music - TONES AND I - DANCE MONKEY

  • ArtAble and Quirky Crafts groups make a positive impact with their art

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  • Jackie scoops award for winning Community Lives logo competition

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    As Julia Harris, Head of Non-regulated services and her team began their next steps in their new venture, developing Community Lives, they realised that they wanted a logo to help promote the exciting new opportunities and established activities the services offer. People we support, were invited to take part in a challenge to design a new Community Lives logo.

    People from across the Community Lives services rose to the challenge. Jo explains, “We had a big folder of entries, we sent all of them to David Birch, CEO and Helen Woodland, Director of Provider Services to judge.” From all of these, Jackie’s creation stood out and will be adopted as the new logo for the service.

    The team arranged a small celebration with an afternoon tea, where Jackie was presented with her prize. Jackie described how she designed her logo.

    “I choose people because I like friends. I sat down and did it with Jo. I used the “O” from Optalis for my design. When Jo told me, (I had won) I couldn’t believe it.”

    Alongside the competition, people were asked to share artwork based on the theme of “what Community Lives means to you”. Encouraging people to share the activities they enjoy most and what they cherish about their home and neighbourhood.

    Jo explained,

    “We are going to use all the submissions to put together a group masterpiece, a collaborative piece of work that everyone has had the opportunity to be involved in.”

    Julia explained,

    “We were not looking for the most artistic design but the one that best shows how we are all part of the same community.”

    The Community Lives logo will now appear on all of our materials and social media posts to make it easier for people to recognise our ongoing transformation.


    Please note:

    While people with disabilities are exempt from wearing masks, our team encourages those we support to do so whenever possible. Our customers may not always be able to follow our advice.

  • Live music event at Boyn Grove Community Centre

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    The customers from the Dementia Unit and Learning Disability services were surprised with a live music event at Boyn Grove on the 28 May 2021. People were able to enjoy a live gig from the talented Rob Castell and his band through Norden Farm Centre for the Arts.

    Music is a powerful and enjoyable activity for so many people. It provides a number of positive outcomes including encouraging interaction and helping to develop the personal and social skills of each participant. Everyone had a great time with the surprise, and there was a lot of foot tapping and dancing!

Page last updated: 18 May 2022, 10:18 AM