Residents and staff at Old Milton Road, a supported housing service for people with learning disabilities in New Milton, have been on a penguin-themed waddle in aid of Children in Need.
Residents at Old Milton Road learning disability service, part of Sanctuary Supported Living, initially struggled to understand social distancing. Inspired by one resident’s love of penguins and the film ‘Madagascar’, Local Service Manager, Alison Notman, began to encourage residents to follow the Madagascar penguins’ catchphrase and just ‘Smile and Wave’ when greeting people.
Since then, staff and residents have created large cut-out penguins, called Smiley and Wavy, who have lots of adventures, including helping residents to feel comfortable wearing masks. They even feature on their own YouTube channel!
Wanting to give something back to others after a difficult year, the residents recently decided to take Smiley, Wavy and all their social distancing penguin pals on a week-long sponsored waddle around New Milton, to raise money for Children in Need. Thanks to the generosity of the team at their local Lidl store, the residents had a trolley to transport them all in, as penguin feet are only small and get tired easily.
Alison Notman said: “I’m so proud of all the residents, staff and penguins who took part, they’ve done a great job waddling around town for Children in Need. I’d also like to say a big thank you to our local community too. Everyone who saw us was so supportive and joined in with the smiling and waving – we even got some people doing their own penguin impressions – and I’m really pleased that we were able to bring a smile to so many people’s faces. Thanks to their kind and generous donations, we’ve so far raised over £350 for a great cause.”