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By Heart of England Mencap, Feb 9 2018 12:15PM


GREEN tokens have signalled a green light for adaptive rowing sessions for local people with learning disabilities.


Waitrose has presented a cheque for £375 to Heart of England Mencap – money raised through the green token scheme at its store at the Rosebird Centre in Stratford.


It will be used to fund an adaptive rowing course for the local people with learning disabilities which Heart of England Mencap supports.


Run by Stratford Boat Club, the adaptive rowing sessions will take place on the River Avon in Stratford later this year. They enable individuals with disabilities to get out on the river – using boat stabilisers and other adapted equipment.


Kate Buttrick, Activities Coordinator for Heart of England Mencap, said: “Adaptive rowing is an activity our customers have had the opportunity to experience before, and gained so much from. We’re so grateful to Waitrose and to all of the shoppers who put their green tokens in our collection box. This money will now enable us to further our rowing programme, and to offer the opportunity to more customers. There are so many benefits, from the physical aspects to the new skills and confidence it brings. And there’s a huge amount of enjoyment too.”


David Reid, Store Manager of Waitrose in Stratford, added: “It’s great to see how the Waitrose Community Matters scheme is able to help local people across the community and lovely to hear how much enjoyment Heart of England Mencap customers will get out of adapted rowing this summer.”


By Heart of England Mencap, Feb 9 2018 12:12PM


SOUTH WARWICKSHIRE’S first dedicated sensory space is now ready to welcome the wider community for tailored therapy.


Sensory Place, operated by Heart of England Mencap, opened in Leamington in 2017 - being used initially to benefit the local people with learning disabilities which the charity supports.


Now, the benefits of sensory therapy are being opened up to the wider community – to support adults and children with any physical or learning disability.


Individuals and care providers are able to book in for tailored sessions with the centre now open five days a week from 10am to 3.30pm.


Sensory Place can be found at the Fordsfield Centre in Bury Road, a complex needs day service run by Heart of England Mencap.


Funded by a £67,000 grant from Warwickshire County Council, it is the first sensory space of its kind in south Warwickshire.


It offers an atmosphere of relaxation and provides people with cognitive impairments and other challenging conditions the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences.


Providing this stimulating environment can increase concentration and focus attention, develop or reactivate senses of hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste, heighten awareness and improve alertness, improve coordination and motor development and promote cognitive development by increasing brain function.


“All of this helps to build confidence and encourage improved communication,” Lorna Haynes, Head of Community Day Services for Heart of England Mencap, said.


“Our Sensory Place has been designed to remove the obstacles present in day-to-day life which limit access to experiences and enjoyment for people with complex physical and learning disabilities.”


The equipment available includes an Interactive Sound and Light Floor, Fibre Optics, Bubble Tubes and Multi-Media Projection.


And the benefits are already being seen.


For one young man who is highly anxious a lot of the time, it’s a calm space he can use in the mornings to listen to relaxing music, helping him to carry that sense of calm throughout the day.


One lady has been using the space to build on her ‘switch work’ - a form of communication and an aid to support her to make choices. She is able to press a switch to turn on the bubble tube for example, developing her skills and enabling that ability to choose.


Another lady, who is reliant on her wheelchair, uses the waterbed at Sensory Place – supporting her with her posture, giving her time in a different environment and providing a safe place to be out of her wheelchair for a while. She will also lift her head up to look at the bubble tube - giving her physical benefits, and is better engaged while using the sensory space - making more eye contact with her support workers.


“We have seen so many benefits already for our customers,” Lorna added.


“Now we want to reach out across the community to make sure everyone knows those benefits are available to all.”


Sessions cost £7 for 30 minutes or £10 for 1 hour. Group and themed sessions are also available and the sensory room can be used to conduct training.


For more information and to request a Welcome Pack with details of how to book your session please call on 01926 460228 or email sensoryplace@heartofenglandmencap.org.uk


Photos:

A – Heart of England Mencap customer Charlene Hayward

B – Heart of England Mencap customer Charlene Hayward and team leader Marie Divers


By Heart of England Mencap, Feb 7 2018 12:00PM

THE FRIENDS of Heart of England Mencap will be putting their hearts into their first fundraiser of 2018.


The group will be holding a Valentine Afternoon Tea in Stratford on Friday February 16th.


It is taking place at the Rosebird Community Hall between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.


Everyone’s invited to drop in for a cuppa and cake for just £2.50. There will also be an opportunity to pick-up a pamper goody bag for just £2.50 extra.


The Friends of Heart of England Mencap has raised a huge £20,000 to support local people with learning disabilities over the past four years.


Chair Anna Kingsley said: “This is a chance to come along and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake or two while raising money to fund equipment and activities which directly benefit the local people with learning disabilities who are supported by Heart of England Mencap.


“It’s a great chance to come and meet our Friends group too and find out all about our future fundraising and events. We’re always looking for new members and new ideas, an opportunity to meet people and have fun whilst fundraising.”


For more information please call 01789 298709 or email Anna56@icloud.com

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