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Words by Austin Gash, Governance Services Analyst

“Six of us spent Monday, 15 April, volunteering at Sahara Care, a care home in Ilford, East London. Sahara Care is a home for people with learning disabilities who may also have physical disabilities and complex behaviours. The home provides a supportive environment with people living together in a thriving community while maintaining their own independence and personal space.

They needed a room to be painted. Who better than Steph, Kish, Naomi, Mark, George and Austin – the Magnificent Six – to rise to the challenge? Before being appointed with this task, we asked residents what they wanted for the empty room and they requested a sea theme. In preparation, we all met up at a local café to throw our ideas on the table. As the table bubbled with food and creativity, it was clear the next four hours would reveal the true artist in us all. We agreed to paint two of the walls ocean blue, filled with all sorts of peculiar life.

The plan was to sketch and paint the peculiar yet realistic sea life on the wall first, leaving us with the job of adding the blue waves to our calming ocean community. For most of the Magnificent Six this was executed perfectly. However, there was one creature, created by Kish and undiscovered by humankind, which I’m sure will rouse questions forever more among those who visit the sea-themed room.

Nevertheless, we did our best to paint their request!

We would like to say thank you to Sahara Care for allowing us to express our vision, it was our pleasure.”

A wall in Sahara Care home painted blue with sea creatures and seaweeds, beneath an emergency alarm with a sheet and painting supplies on the floor