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On Monday Ingestre Hall hosted the annual SRES 'Sandwell residential education services' training day. This was a brilliant coming together of all four of sandwells residential centers. The day was celebrating the significance of our residential expiriences highlighting the difference that we make to young peoples lives. 
Once everyone had arrived and streched from the long journey from Plas Gwynant, Frank Chapman (and the not so far Edgmond Hall) we began with a emersive 3D Virtual Tour of Ingestre Hall and a few words from Richard Oakes, Head of Service. 
Next came a tour of the building for those who had never visited us before – this was a no doors locked tour, where every cupboard, door, gate and cubbyhole was unlocked and accessible. Our Senior Tutor, Richard Poynton, managed to find three cupboards which he had never been into before – quite a feat for having worked here for thirteen years! It was a great opportunity for everyone to scour the building and find something inspirational and a question to which they needed an answer; who maintains the paintings? Where did all the furniture go when the family left? Where are the stairs to the Earl’s Balcony? And so on! Some we could answer, and some we couldn’t! 
Then, it was over to Chris (Education partnerships manager) , who is a great link to the outside world of schools, going into schools and convincing staff and parents to send their children to any one of our four centres, on a residential experience. With his Powerpoint, who could refuse? It was so lovely to see the smiling faces of the children who attend our centres whether they’re jumping into freezing cold water or throwing themselves off a cliff, or peeling back the first attempt at a lino print, performing in front of their friends or trekking up a hill; their sense of achievement is palpable whether its something they’ve dreaded doing, or were feeling apprehensive about coming away from home, it’s the reason we do what we do; we make a difference. 
After a quick lunch it was time for the SRES team to be exposed to a life in the day of a child visiting ingestre. This resulted in some hilarious Art, Drama, Music and Dance being created with everyone getting involved and loving every minute of it. As well as having fun this was an enlightening opportunity for the people who make our residentials so special to be taken on a trip of their own.  
In just an hour and a half, we had a fashion parade of brown paper costumes modelled on the portraits around the building, a unique piece of drama focusing on a residential theme, a captivating dance where we bared witness to our bosses pirouetting! And finally a whole song, with visiting staff performing vocals and instrumentals respectively. 
Most of our visitors went home at this point, feeling like they had had a really great day, participating and learning, whilst some lingered on into the evening and overnight before heading back to the hills and the centres they call home. 
A fantastic day; one to repeat soon! 
Tagged as: creativity, SRES
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