How It Started
Don and Joan opened Jamats Activity Centre in September 2010. The Centre is for Adults with learning difficulties and Special Needs. We are very proud parents of two sons, James and Matthew (Ja Mats).Our eldest son James is 30 years old. He has Severe Autism and Learning difficulties. When James left education at the age of 20, it was important to us for him to have the opportunity to continue to learn and develop. We soon realised there wasn't a lot of facilities in the Gloucestershire area which prompted us to look into opening a centre ourselves. We wanted to create an activities centre that provided opportunities and fun within a learning environment with lots of space.
Our days are focused on small groups of adults that sometimes find the larger groups overwhelming. We feel that with smaller groups, we can fit in with the individual needs and wants, rather than them trying to meet ours. With this in mind, we focus on learning, and life skills, through Art and Crafts, Sensory, Writing , Number work , Fun , Exercise and Games. We love everyday at Jamats, we believe in what we do. We want to care, provide and be trusted to be and do the best for everyone that attends Jamats. As parents of a son who needs people in his life that will do the same we are totally committed.
Don worked for a local aircraft company for 25 years before creating Jamats, It was a big decision but was made a lot easier through being passionate about the prospect of trying and aiming to make a difference. I love coming into work in the mornings. I am greeted on a morning with a smile and such enthusiasm for the day a head from Jamats members and staff. I love working with my wife Joan. We have been married for 35 years, and I feel we make a really good team.
Joan has worked in care for many years, then went on to be a area manager in a personal development centre for 10 years. My first love however is being a mum. My two boys ( well strapping men!), are creating their own lives now, however James needs to be understood and needs people around him that give him time and show him patience. I believe all young Adults that have learning difficulties , and special needs should have this opportunity. I love working with Don as we both know what is important. We will both always aim for positives to shine through every day at Jamats, have lots of fun, everyone to belong , to grow and prosper. We have been told many times that Jamats has such a relaxed, comfortable , family feel. We love that!