Papal Nuncio enjoys an enthusiastic welcome at the Activity Centre

May 2012

Fun and games was the order of the day when the Vatican Ambassador took time out from his hectic schedule this week to meet disabled users of the Alan Shearer Activity Centre.

His Excellency, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, was overwhelmed with the enthusiastic and warm welcome he received from both young users and adults alike as he toured the free facilities.

From a walk through the sensory cave to the giant ball pool, the hydrotherapy suite to the woodland walk and dressing up games to cookery the Ambassador learned everything about the Centre.

He learned how to make cookies from delighted Live and Learn adult users and saw the activities children from  Hadrian and Thomas Bewick special schools enjoy during their regular visits.

Centre Manager Maxine Pearson said: "We were quite honoured to meet the Ambassador, not just the staff but our users too were full of smiles and enthusiasm for him. He is a genuinely lovely man and seemed very impressed with what the Centre has to offer local disabled people.

"The Centre is a lifeline for many disabled people and their families; His Excellency praised the hard work we were doing here and really enjoyed seeing the fun our users have during their visits."

His Excellency, Archbishop Antonio Mennini with Bishop Seamus Cunningham and St Cuthberts Care staff