After over 20 years as a Support Worker, Anita Wellsteed recently decided to take the plunge and start her own not-for-profit organisation, The Rainbow Hub, supporting disabled adults and children in Swindon. Anita has chosen BizSpace Swindon to create her safe and secure space, where she says “people with additional needs can visit and find a pot of gold at the end of their rainbow.”
The Rainbow Hub is a peaceful location for these individuals to get out and about, receive support, join in specialist activities and learn new life skills. Once settled at BizSpace, Anita plans to implement sensory areas throughout her unit, with soft play sections and other equipment designed specially for those with disabilities to enjoy safely.
‘Warriors’ - the people who benefit from The Rainbow Hub - can be accompanied to sessions by their carers, parents or other family members. Anita said “I will find a way to support any of my members reach their goals, and we will support families in any way possible - people sometimes forget but they matter too.”
“I want to help our Warriors set goals that are individual, attainable and meaningful for them, as well as make sure they have a great time and are able to unleash their creativity in a safe space.”
“This is what inspired me to start The Rainbow Hub,” said Anita. “The people I have supported over the years have supported me too - I am continuously learning from each and every one of them, and it’s astonishing what working with them has taught me about myself. After being a Support Worker for so long in different fields, my later years were spent working predominantly in Learning Disability and Specialist Behaviours... And, well, here we are!”
The Rainbow Hub is initially running on a strict booking-only service due to COVID-19, but Anita has high hopes to grow this capacity in the coming months and years. The goal is for The Hub to eventually have multiple separate units for children and adults, allowing for more catered activities and specialist respite facilities for that age group.
“To kick things off here, we’ve started a handprint wall,” said Anita. “You can see my own handprint [on the photo here], accompanied by the date I decided that BizSpace Swindon was the place for us. This wall will soon have the title ‘The Warrior Family’, and whoever visits and wants their handprint on the wall can do so. We hope the mural will expand around the whole unit as our family grows.”
The Rainbow Hub has also created ‘Paint a Brick’, where visitors and their guests can paint a design on a brick that’s on show in the space. Anita stressed that “The Hub is their safe place and we want all our Warriors to feel at home here. That’s why they’re a literal part of the furnishings.”
“My experience so far at BizSpace has been totally positive. I have found everyone to be helpful and thoughtful, and it’s very evident that all the businesses I’ve met here so far are eager to help! Already I’ve utilised services from my neighbours within the centre, including electrical changes and t-shirt printing.”
“I can’t wait for what is ahead for The Rainbow Hub. Right now I am predominantly running through our Facebook page and we’re in the process of building a website too. We hope to grow our space here to be able to cater for many more disabled adults and children in and around Swindon.”