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Things Tae Dae 10th anniversary prom

Cumnock’s Things Tae Dae group celebrated its tenth birthday in style with a prom for members and invited guests at Townhead Community Sports Hub.

The prom, which had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic, was an opportunity to celebrate the group’s successes. The members entertained guests with a performance of Auld Lang Syne with Makaton signing, which had been taught to the group by Jane Slider who is a parent of one of the group’s members, and a video was shown that encapsulated the highs and lows the group have experienced together over the last ten years.

Maureen Preston, Local Area Co-ordinator with Vibrant Communities, who runs the group said: “The prom was a real celebration, everyone enjoyed getting dressed up and thoroughly enjoyed the party. It was also an opportunity to look back on our journey, which began over ten years ago with just 12 people. Things Tae Dae grew to more than 60 people attending regularly just before the pandemic started.

“It was important to me that the group members took a lead role in directing our activities and the overall direction of the group, and I think this played an important part in making the group a success. Our members make decisions as a group so everyone feels involved in all activities and group outings.

“The group would not have thrived without our dedicated team of Caroline and volunteers John and Allison and of course parents, carers and friends of Things Tae Dae who always give their time so generously.”

Things Tae Dae is an active group of around 60 adults who have learning disabilities. They meet weekly to do crafts, listen to music, play games and take an active role in their local community carrying out regular litter picks. Their community work featured on the BBC’s My Kind of Town, Cumnock, BBC Scotland - My Kind of Town, Series 2, Cumnock.

Before the pandemic, the group also took regular trips visiting local tourist attractions and thoroughly enjoyed their trips to Blackpool. The group are starting to plan more excursions now that life is starting to return to normal.

The expressive Arts have played a big role in the group’s success. Annual performances during Learning Disability Awareness Week were a highlight and some of the members are involved in the dancing group ‘Happy Tappers’. The groups has also performed a powerful and thought-provoking live drama about Hate Crime, which was also made into a DVD. The play focused on someone’s real-life experience of hate crime. They also worked with East Ayrshire Leisure and Police Scotland putting on an incredible performance of ‘The Greatest Showman’.