Teesside Ability Support Centre

A group of adults from Teesside Ability Support Centre (TASC) tell their stories here as part of My Town My Future. In 2017 the centre celebrated its fiftieth year of providing adults with differing needs with life skills and the group wanted to share photographs and writing reflecting on their experiences at TASC.

The group created a poem together, scribed by Natalie Scott, as well as writing their own personal pieces.

Something for Everyone at TASC

It’s meeting new people,
sharing stories, having a laugh
with the friendly staff.

There’s something for everyone,
from cake baking to karaoke,
within these lovely walls.

At the Candy Bar there’s Derek
who keeps the till in check,
tidies things up and keeps
the shelves well-stocked.

Andrei paints his pictures
of local Teesside scenes.
Dark, smoking chimneys
and bright burning furnaces.

Sammy loves the dancing;
Zumba to be precise
and going in the hydro-pool
where her body feels so light.

In the garden, there’s Ronnie
growing tomatoes and beetroot
but avoiding the sneaky spiders
when they decide to come out.

Lynn’s there too: she stays
away from the spiders always,
but loves the smell of the flowers
and listening to the birds singing.

Lucy loves the TASC tree,
the browns and greens of the leaves,
the prickliness of the plants
and silence on the breeze.

Irene and Theresa remember
the good old days of work:
wool packing and metal cutting,
getting their hands good and mucky.

Come and join them
and you’ll be so lucky
because there’s something
for everyone at TASC,

yes really something
for everyone at TASC!

A poem by Derek, Sammy, Irene, Theresa, Lynn, Lucy, Ronnie and Andrei
Scribed by Natalie Scott at TASC, October 2017

Andrei – My Painting

Andrei's painting

I do my pictures in the Art Room.
It is always busy in there.
My painting has lots of colours:
red, white and grey.
There are clocks and boats
and the paint is speckled.
I like painting very much.

Poem by Andrei
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Derek – Retail and Cash

Derek at the Candy Bar

I work at the Candy Bar. I put on my uniform: apron, hat and gloves, sign the book, fill up the dishwasher, set it for twenty-nine minutes, empty the tea and coffee pots, then refill them.

Next, I check the stock on the shelves and in the drinks fridge, and serve the customers. Most of my customers are friendly. While I’m working I smell the coffee and the fresh fruit. Apart from the bananas it smells nice! I can feel the coins, notes and vouchers going into the till. I can hear the dishwasher working and people chatting.

Finally, once all the money is in the till, at 15:00 I cash up in the backroom. I can hear the money jingling when it goes into the bags. Then I write the date, the float amount and the money made into the money book, and take it to the office. It makes me feel good if we make over £40 in one day but if we don’t I feel a bit down inside. Most days though we make over this amount, so I’m very happy.

Writing by Derek
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Irene – Wool Packing at TASC

Bryan and Irene taking photos

In the main hall was a crowd of fifty learners and staff, and they were packing wool. I was with them. The wool was in colours of white, blue and pink. It felt soft and smooth in my hands. I imagined it would make some warm and comfy jumpers and scarves. We packed the wool then put it in the packaging ready to send to the shops. It was lovely learning to pack wool. It felt like working in a real factory.

Writing by Irene
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Lucy – In the Garden

Lucy's photo

A good TASC tree
in the garden picture:
browns and greens,
fresh, sweet flowers.

The plants are prickly
and the air is silent.
It makes me happy.

Poem by Lucy
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Lynn – In the Garden

Lynn taking photos

In the garden
I’m taking photos:
I hear the birds singing.

Poem by Lynn
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Ronnie – Garden King

Ronnie in the garden

I’ve always been a good gardener. I can’t do my own at home so it’s good to be at TASC where I can do the garden. I look after the tomato plants and make them grow better. The tomato plants are sprouting up now. The beetroot’s growing nicely too, and there’s garlic as well. The freshly picked tomatoes will be served up in a salad when they’re ready, along with the ones delivered by the fruit man. Tomato plants have a strong smell which sticks to your fingers. The stems feel smooth. When I’m in the garden there are lots of sounds going on round about because TASC’s on a busy corner. I hear dogs barking at the kennels, the sound of the traffic, people pushing trolleys into the hospital and putting rubbish into the bins. I love being in the greenhouse looking after the plants.

Writing by Ronnie
Title by Derek
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Sammy – In the Garden at TASC

Sammy's photo

I am going to TASC. In the garden we take pictures of a painting. It is so colourful with red, yellow, blue and a big smiling sunshine. I want to touch the painting. There are birds, plants and people in the garden too. I can smell the air and the flowers. It makes me feel happy taking pictures.

Writing by Sammy
Scribed by Natalie Scott

Theresa – What We Used to Do

Theresa's photo

I used to work in the workshop at TASC. I used to cut metal wires all the same length then it would be sent out of the centre to local businesses. It was to go behind fridges. The metal felt smooth and cold. I’m not sure if there were any sparks. I liked working there because I always got my hands mucky.

Writing by Theresa
Scribed by Natalie Scott