“When David Marshall, aka ‘Daveyboy’, contacted the club back in November 2019 requesting a visit to the Waltham Forest Disability Resource Centre (WFDRC) in Leytonstone, it was a no-brainer,” said Community Liaison Officer Howard Gould.
The Centre recently celebrated 31 years in the area, is self-funding and provides exercise, games, fun and social activities for the local disabled community.
“Daveyboy was so enthusiastic with his request for some members of the Club to visit the Centre he was impossible to turn down. Not that that was ever going to happen!” continued Howard. “These are the perfect type of community visits; so enjoyable and really well received.”
The Disability Resource Centre is a user-led charity for disabled adults to meet, keep healthy and mentally active, and learn new skills and interests in an accessible and supported environment. The Centre runs a varied timetable of supported classes and activities, short courses, taster sessions and social events. People attend the Centre when they want – whether it’s once a week, several days a week or just now and again – to enjoy their chosen classes and activities.
Daveyboy’s own brother is a service user at the Centre and is wheelchair-bound but that doesn’t stop him from attending O’s home games regularly. “He sits at the front of the East stand with his carer”, stated Daveyboy, “and hardly misses a home game. He’s a huge Orient fan so when I told him you guys were coming, he was over the moon. In fact, you probably won’t realise just what a positive impact your visit today means to the group.”
The classes and sessions held at the Centre vary during the year, but recent examples include gentle exercise, table-tennis, fun dance, relaxation & meditation, community choir project, fine art, needlecrafts, Boxercise, karaoke and much more. There is also a monthly Disco Night and regular early evening social events.
Leyton Orient players James Brophy and Lawrence Vigouroux joined O’s boss Ross Embleton for some Boxercise and table tennis with the service users whilst also posing for the obligatory photos as well as presenting Centre Manager Peri with a signed Club shirt that will be proudly displayed on the lounge wall!
“I can’t quite believe you’re all here,” continued Daveyboy. “You’ve made it a special day.”
The Disability Resource Centre is used by people aged 16+ with physical impairments, people with learning disabilities and people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, depression, etc. and there is a varied schedule of fees for using the service according to people’s support needs. For more information, please call the Centre on 0208 534 1589