Supporting people with learning disabilities






Grapevine members have seen some amazing live music performances from tribute acts like ‘Ben’ Michael Jackson; Bon Jovie; Freddie Mercury and Robbie Williams to theatre shows like Dirty Dancing; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The Railway Children; Mamma Mia, Aladdin and Kinky Boots. Other outings in this category would include trips to the cinema; river boat cruises; restaurant meals and visits to theme parks.

We always include trips to historic venues and often incorporate a private tour or workshop to add value to our visit. Places we’ve been to include Bletchley Park; the Tower of London; Tower Bridge; HMS Belfast; Hatfield House; Hever Castle, Greenwich Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory; Cutty Sark; Hampton Court Palace, Epping Ongar Railway; Stow Maries WW1 airfield and Ingatestone Hall to name just a few.

We regularly hold art and craft workshops where members can make anything from modern art sculptures and puppets to seasonal decorations and cards. The art workshops at Club Grapevine on Tuesday evenings are a particularly popular activity. Drama workshops also encourage creative expression and allow members the opportunity to act out different scenarios to help improve their confidence.

The Dance Group on Monday evenings has always been well attended. Members are taught by an experienced dance tutor and regularly perform at public events. Other activities include a fitness class at Club Grapevine, multi sports, team games and self defence.  During the summer, we visit outdoor activity centres where we take part in kayaking; raft building; swimming; high/low ropes and climbing; zip line and orienteering.

Menu planning, budgeting, and shopping are all incorporated in our Cookery Skills workshops where members learn how to prepare a 2-course meal. The highlight of the summer is always a fully supported 2-night mini break for around 20 members. In the last four years we have stayed at venues in Kent, Essex, Suffolk and Hampshire. The enjoyment and confidence gained from these experiences is unequalled.

Activities and Events

Grapevine Essex aims to motivate its members and improve their quality of life by providing exciting opportunities for them to take part in social events as well as sporting, creative, cultural and educational activities.

Over 30 specially organised, supported events and activities are organised each year during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays. Additional fundraising activities and special events also take place throughout the year.

The fees for attending events are in addition to the annual membership charge but the overall cost is subsidised by grants, donations and our own fundraising efforts. Grapevine Essex has low overheads compared to other similar organisations and we pay very careful attention to maintaining a fair and reasonable pricing structure for members' attendance at our events.

Members are supported in groups of up to 8 by a team of qualified staff and volunteers. Please note that Grapevine Essex staff and volunteers don’t provide personal care; members with additional needs requiring 1:1 support that cannot be provided in a group situation should attend with their essential carer. Essential carers benefit from preferential rates. All carers are welcome to attend any outing or event (subject to availability) at the cost specified on the booking form.  

Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle, April 2016

The Events Programme for Easter 2019 is now available to download. Please contact us for price list and booking form.