Fruitful pops up in Paddington

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On Wednesday 23rd May PiP students put on a tai chi taster class in the amphitheatre of Sheldon Square in partnership with the Dao Lu tai chi school and Paddington Central. Fruitful was there to serve their tasty juices to the masses with flavours including Paddington Pear and Zinging Zen.

In advance of the event, Paddington Central interviewed Fruitful co-ordinator Clare Twine. You can read the interview below.

So what is the Fruitful project?

Fruitful is the flagship project of local charity Pursuing Independent Paths (PiP). PiP supports adults with learning disabilities to live more independent lives. Being involved in Fruitful gives them the opportunity to develop skills in money management, health and safety and customer service. Importantly, it also offers a way to show the world their talent and what a valuable asset they are to any organisation.

How did the idea for the Fruitful project come about?

One of PiP’s core values is healthy choices. Fruitful embodies this perfectly and also with the increasing awareness of health and wellbeing we are seeing in everyday life. Fruitful gives the students the opportunity to discover the health benefits of the fruits and vegetables that go into the juices they make, what tastes good together and what does not and, with this new knowledge, they are able to advise others on the importance of being healthy.

What other activities do the people you work with take park in at PiP?

We offer our students (we call them that because they come to us to learn) a very holistic service at PiP, looking at their personal development as a whole. As well as making a conscious effort to make healthy choices, we work hard on supporting the students to keep active. They take part in football, swimming, cricket, dance, tai chi among others. Tai chi is a gentle form of exercise that helps with strength, flexibility and balance and is a great activity for encouraging mindfulness. This is why we wanted to take this opportunity to bring the PiP tai chi class to Sheldon Square in a space where anyone and everyone can get involved.

Fruitful’s slogan is ‘Good for you, Good for me’ can you explain what that means?

This slogan really does sum up the project perfectly. Using this event with Paddington Central as an example: its good for our students who are able to sell the juices they have prepared to people in the local community; to produce a product that people want to buy is a great accomplishment for the trainees and you can see how proud they are when behind the stall. For those coming along, taking part in the tai chi and grabbing a juice from Fruitful, they are getting to interact with people they may not ordinarily get the chance to and they get to feel good about supporting a local charity.

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