THE CROFT CENTRE AFRICA EXHIBITION – Sunderland Minster, 19th to 24th November 2014

Poster 2

The Croft Centre, based in Ashbrooke, Sunderland, opened in June 2004. It is a creative and expressive arts centre for people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The centre provides people with a wide range of social, leisure, recreational, creative, educational and vocational opportunities both within the centre and the community. Individual programmes of activities reflect the person’s needs, wishes and interests. This unique and exciting project was developed in response to extensive consultation with ESPA’s residential service users and their families, as well as participants who reside with their families in the local community. The service primarily aims to extend the range of social, leisure and recreational activities available for the individuals we support and to compliment the excellent work of residential individuals who attend the centre.

Inspired by a recent visit to see Disney’s The Lion King touring production at The Sunderland Empire, participants at The Croft Centre have been exploring the animals of the Serengeti in a variety of creative and expressive ways. Starting with the up close macro study of patterns and textures of prints and skins, to taking a step back and identifying similarities between the animal’s features and their own and then concluding with a distanced appreciation of movement, posture and structural differences between themselves and the animals, the participants have explored feeling, expression and impact on others and the world around them.

The project has involved a lengthy process of catering for the participant’s needs with minimal demands whilst encouraging creativity. Participants have embraced the project, displaying tolerance and a range of understanding of a world that is quite literally thousands of miles away from what they are used to. The project has also been the first cross curricular collaboration at The Croft Centre, with tutors tailoring activities to compliment and build upon work and understanding developed in other sessions. Watch this space as we have a new and exciting collaboration to be announced in the new year!

The Minster Church of St Michael and All Angels and St Benedict Biscop (commonly known as Sunderland Minster) is a church in Sunderland city centre. The beautiful architecture and ornate ecclesiastical interior detail provides a picturesque if not contrasting backdrop to our exploration into the animals of Africa. The venue booking was secured thanks to facilitation by Creative Cohesion.

The Croft Centre is part of Education and Services for People with Autism Limited, or ESPA, a local charity which provides a continuum of high quality specialist residential, further education, day and domiciliary services designed to meet the needs of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Working closely with Sunderland Social Services, the charity has over 24 years experience of supporting individuals with an autism spectrum disorder, many of whom have additional or associated complex needs, to achieve positive outcomes in all aspects of their life.

The Croft Centre: 10 The Cedars, Ashbrooke, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR2 7TW.

0191 5659088

Registered Office : 2A Hylton Park Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR5 3HD. Phone: 0191 5165080



An outstanding organisation
Outstanding procedures for safeguarding
You couldn't wish for better staff
Charity Commission Care Quality Commission Ofsted Positive About Disabled People Investors In People Mindful Employer