Praise for Midlothian day centre in prestigious American magazine

​The Cherry Road centre features in Harpers magazine. (Google Maps)​The Cherry Road centre features in Harpers magazine. (Google Maps)
​The Cherry Road centre features in Harpers magazine. (Google Maps)
A Midlothian centre which supports people with learning disabilities has been praised for its work in a prestigious American magazine.

The Cherry Road centre, in Bonnyrigg, features in Harpers Magazine, which is America’s oldest monthly publication, after a professor from Massachusetts, spent a week there.

Sara Henden, who is an artist and professor at North-eastern University described how people who are often ‘invisible’ in society were being supported with sensory workshops at Cherry Road.

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In the article, entitled ‘A letter from Bonnyrigg’, Sara said the day centre’s workshops are ‘unlike any I’d ever seen’ with individuals who attend given time and space to find what engages them through art and a range of props and experiences.

She said: “The sensory workshop is something outside of enrichment, something much more unpredictable, a multi-purpose room that can shift its shape a thousand times under the sustained improvisation of the people at hand.

“It’s an effort meant to loosen the day’s clock a little, let an emergent world arise for a short period of time, a source of discovery for both artist and guest.

"In many day centers and group homes throughout the world, mollifying, entertaining, and keeping disabled people busy is as good as it gets. Safety and security. But each encounter in the sensory workshop embodies a singular belief: that every human is a riot of adaptive capacity, no matter one’s outward form of communication”

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Harper Magazine was launched in New York in 1850 and covers arts, culture and politics.

The sensory workshops at Cherry Road are created along with Artlink.

Reporting on the article to Midlothian Integration Joint Board, Nick Clater, head of adult services said: “The article not only challenges us to rethink what inclusion and engagement really means in relation to people with learning disabilities, but also highlights the outstanding work being undertaken in this area by Cherry Road and Artlink, work that can have a life changing impacton all those involved.”

The full article can be read on the Harpers website.