The warm days of summer may be gone, but autumn brings with it a host of opportunities to indulge your creativity and get inspired. Whether you’re keen to get more active by walking, or even climbing, or if you want to bring the season indoors with arts and crafts, we have plenty of ideas for new activities to try this autumn.
With golden light, red and orange leaves and crisp, frosty mornings arriving in autumn, it’s tempting to capture the moments in a photograph. There’s something truly relaxing about focusing on nothing but the landscape around you, and there are no limitations to people with mobility problems. All you need is a camera (there’s no need for anything pricey) and an open mind. Try exploring areas near to your home that have plenty of trees and potential wildlife. Birds are a fantastic subject to start with. Look out for murmurations of starlings in the morning and evening. For more tips and advice on getting into photography, take a look at the Disabled Photographers’ Society website.
When you rely on the assistance of a curved stairlift at home, it can be difficult to find the confidence to try a new physical activity. However at organisations such as The Calvert Trust, you can get support to try even the most adventurous of activities, including canoeing, climbing and abseiling. The trust, with centres in Exmoor, Kielder and the Lake District, specialises in offering challenging outdoor adventure holidays for people with disabilities and works to build confidence and provide support to everyone. Families, individuals or groups are welcome to try any activity. Take a look at their website for more information.
Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, carrots and pumpkins are in abundance in autumn. While buying them in the supermarket to cook delicious, warming meals is absolutely fine, there’s a certain charm to picking the produce yourself. There are many pick your own (PYO) farms throughout the UK, offering visitors the opportunity to gather as many fruits and vegetables as they like. We caught up with the team at Craigie’s Farm Shop & Café near Edinburgh to find out more about their farm and PYO opportunities:
“At Craigie’s Farm Shop Edinburgh, you can eat, shop, ‘pick your own’ and let the children play outside. Being the closest farm shop to Edinburgh, you can enjoy a little bit of rural life outside the big city.
“When you visit Craigie’s Farm you can enjoy the fruits of our labour as well as those of some of the finest local producers in Scotland. At Craigie’s we showcase everything that Scotland has to offer not only with the food in our café but also in our fantastic farm shop. But it’s not all about eating! Come and enjoy our outside space too.
“During the autumn we have a wide range of fruit and veg available within the shop but you can pick your own apples, sunflowers, pumpkins and strawberries (if you can find the remaining few ripe ones).”
Craigie’s is accessible to those using mobility aids such as wheelchairs, but they do advise calling ahead if there’s a party bigger than 5 requesting a table.
Another hugely popular farm is Garsons, the UK’s largest ‘pick your own’ farm. Located in Esher, Surrey, the farm has a huge range of produce on offer, including beetroot, carrots, marrows, spinach, red cabbage and squash. Ben Thompson, director at Garsons, told us what makes picking your own produce a perfect autumn activity:
“When visiting a pick your own farm such as Garsons in Escher, it’s not just about selecting the finest ripe fruit and vegetables, but also about learning where fresh produce comes from, the seasons and the various varieties. All of which makes for a very enjoyable day, and one that we hope customers return again to experience.”
Garsons regularly updates its website to reflect what’s available to pick, however they warn that some areas of the farm have uneven surfaces, so do keep the weather in mind before setting off in a wheelchair or scooter.
Most PYO farms are open until the end of October. To find a PYO farm near you, visit the Pick Your Own Farms website.
One of the best ways to embrace autumn is by getting creative. Crafts incorporating crisp autumn leaves or even Halloween inspired decorations truly bring the season into your home. There are no limitations to arts and crafts, as all you need is the materials to get started.
Michelle, the brains behind creative lifestyle blog The Purple Pumpkin blog - recommends experimenting with crafts this autumn. “Autumn is my personal favourite time to get crafty and creative,” said Michelle. It might have something to do with the fact that it’s my favourite time of year!
“The colours in nature at this time of year really inspire me – the rusty shades of red, orange and gold are just beautiful, and I always make a wreath to hang in the house. It’s also a good time to think ahead a little bit towards Christmas, as the nights draw in, it’s nice to be inside, all cosy and have a go at making cards or decorations.
As the weather turns colder and the days shorter, it’s important to stay active socially. Volunteering is a great way to spend time with loved ones while helping those less fortunate, and to make new friends. Volunteering Matters is an organisation which helps people of all abilities to volunteer within their communities. We caught up with the company to find out more:
“We believe that everyone can play a role in their community and should have the chance to participate; we build projects and programmes to reflect this. We focus on the needs of four distinct communities; young people, disabled people, families and older people. Volunteering can have great benefits to both the volunteer and the beneficiary. This could include improved mental or physical health and wellbeing or reduced isolation, for example.
“We know, through years of successful work, that investing in people through the power of volunteering makes a tangible difference to the volunteer, the beneficiary and society as a whole.”
Volunteering Matters delivers over 180 projects across the UK in response to community needs. We asked them to tell us about some examples of volunteering activities for those with limited mobility:
“RSVP Knitting – Volunteer knitters attend their local knitting groups where they can purchase low cost wool and other decorative goods, and sit down for a knit and a natter. Some groups even provide transport for knitters who may not be able to get around so easily. The goods (such as jumpers or teddies) are then distributed to people who are in need of them.
“Sporting Chance – This project welcomes men aged 50+ regardless of their age or fitness level. Some of our participants were lonely and isolated, others at a loose end and bored after bereavement or retirement, collectively all of them were looking for ‘something to do’. Men can simply come in to a session and see what’s on offer or, if they have health concerns, they can access Sporting Chance through the G.P referral system at their local surgery. We are already making a difference; participants report weight loss, reduced medication, improved mood, improved mobility or an overall increased sense of wellbeing.”
If you’re using a straight or curved stairlift at home, it’s important to stay active physically and socially throughout autumn and winter. With so many exciting opportunities to embrace the great outdoors, we hope you’ll feel inspired to try something new this autumn.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.