Phil Conn is Project Manager for Oasis Aquila Housing's drop-in centre Basis@336. Oasis Aquila is one of Fulfilling Lives core partners and an employing organisation for the programme. Here, Phil talks about the new Dinner Club at Basis which has been organised by our Experts by Experience group.
Since opening the project in 2011 we’ve been acutely aware that Basis has unique access to those who visit the service, they want to be there and they trust us. These two things give us a great opportunity to support those who desire change so we’ve tried as much as possible to bring services and support to them in an effort to remove obstacles that exist, particularly for those experiencing multiple complex issues.
Basis was designed to be a place where people feel a sense of belonging and although we’re only open as a drop in service Monday to Friday from 9am-2pm I’ve always been keen to see the space used by groups and services outside of these times.
It’s a familiar and safe environment for more than 800 individuals each year so why not utilise that to its full extent?
We’ve offered the space up a number of times to groups and services over the years with varying degrees of success so when Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead’s Experts by Experience group approached me with the idea for the social dinner club I didn’t hesitate, it fits perfectly with our vision for the project.
The first few weeks have been great and although there hasn’t always been loads of people turning up there’s a great energy and atmosphere and word is getting round.
When Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead’s Experts by Experience group approached me with the idea for the social dinner club I didn’t hesitate, it fits perfectly with our vision for the project.
I’m certain that pretty soon it’ll be packed out and the team will appreciate these quieter weeks to get into the groove. The dinner club adds great value to what we’re trying to achieve as an organisation and as a service so we’re really proud to be partnering with the Experts on this project.
Our Experts’ Dinner Club runs every Wednesday evening, from 5pm-7pm at Oasis Aquila’s Basis@336, Gateshead High Street (NE8 1EN). Find out more about the Dinner Club and who to contact for any questions in our Experts section here.