Maxability: The ceramics studio...

Two students seated at table working on pottery pieces. One of male appearance with darker skin tone aged between 50 to 60 and one of Asian, female appearance aged between 40 to 50.

Last month, we went down to Maxability, a ceramics studio in Colindale, to learn about how disabled people can get involved.

Maxability was founded in 2009 by Anita and Emile Woolf, who created the charity for their son Carl, who was born deaf and disabled.

The studio is now a hub of creativity and community for local disabled and non-disabled people alike. We chatted with a few students about what they were making and why they enjoy coming to Maxability.

“I never thought I would try pottery, but here I am. I started coming here with a friend and have found it really fun. I like talking to the other students and the staff are all really friendly.”

Maxability Student

Their classes are inclusive, meaning everyone can learn at their own pace, while being immersed in a welcoming environment.

“We don’t categorise people. Everyone’s in it together, learning together”

Suzanne Smedley, Project Manager at Maxability.

Suzanne joined the team two years ago during the pandemic, when pottery classes included students being sent kits to work on at home over Zoom sessions with teachers.

Seated student of female appearance, with darker skin tone, aged between 20 to 30 watching the tutors’ hands moulding some clay. The tutor is standing, female appearance, white aged between 40 to 50.

Now, Maxability is back better than ever and hoping to welcome new students for the Autumn classes.

If you’re interested in joining, they’re holding an open day on Friday 16 September from 2-6pm, so go along to see the magic for yourself!

Maxability hold mixed ability classes, are wheelchair accessible and has an accessible toilet with a drop-down support rail. Many students arrive using Dial-a-Ride to accommodate wheelchairs and other access needs, and carers are more than welcome to attend classes.

All staff are trained in First Aid and Safeguarding for At Risk Adults to make sure their students are safe. Teacher to student ratios are high at Maxability, with no more than nine students in a class, meaning the teacher can assist and inspire every student.

Because the team at Maxability know how important it is that everyone has access to creativity and community, they offer concessions for a range of people.

If you’re interested in joining a course, do attend their open day or check out their website.

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