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By Heart of England Mencap, Oct 17 2017 01:55PM

Lots needed for charity auction


DONATIONS are needed - to go under the gavel in a charity auction happening in Leamington next month.

It’s all to raise money for Heart of England Mencap and the local people with learning disabilities which the charity supports.


Proceeds from the auction will be used to purchase sensory equipment for Heart of England Mencap’s Complex Needs Centres, including the Fordsfield Centre in Leamington, where the auction itself will take place.


But first – good quality lots are needed to go under the gavel.


“This is a new fundraiser for us and we’re really hoping to raise enough money to buy new sensory equipment for our centres supporting people with complex needs in both Leamington and Stratford,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap said.


“But for our auction to be a success, we really need people to donate items to go under the gavel on the day. We’re after any small, good quality items – from handbags to furniture, toys to collectibles. Perhaps it’s the perfect chance to have a clear out and know that everything you donate will be making a real difference to local lives. We are open to auctioning ‘pledges’ as well – so if you’re not able to donate an item but could donate your time, we’d love to hear from you.”


Donations can be taken to the Fordsfield Centre, Bury Road, Leamington, or you can call Lorna on 07929 032524, or Liz on 07791 371421 for more information. Please note no electrical items can be taken.

The auction was the idea of George Anderton, a keen auction-goer who works at the Stratford complex needs centre, Brookbank.


It will take place on Saturday November 25th at the Fordsfield Centre in Leamington. Viewing starts at 11am on the day, with the first lots going under the gavel from 12pm.


Auction paddles cost just £1, with hot drinks and bacon or veggie baps also available.


Photo: Going going gone – George Anderton, Cath Errington and Lorna Haynes from Heart of England Mencap get auction ready.

By Heart of England Mencap, Sep 25 2017 09:46AM

MORE than 120 local people with learning disabilities gathered for a special ‘Carnival of Celebration’ on Monday (September 18th).


The event – which took place at Ettington Community Centre – was organised by Heart of England Mencap, welcoming its customers from all over Warwickshire and Worcestershire.


It was the biggest gathering ever hosted by the charity, which has multiple services to support people with learning disabilities, across Stratford, Shipston, Leamington, Southam, Warwick, Studley, Evesham and Malvern.


The carnival ran all day, with plenty of fun and games both indoors and out. There was a disco, live music, Escape Arts workshops, punch and judy show and jester, as well as giant inflatables and outdoor games, from the coconut shy to the tin can alley. A buffet and luxury ice creams were also served up.


The carnival was funded by money raised back in 2015 at Heart of England Mencap’s Hollywood Ball.

Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap, said: “It was a really great day thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, customers and staff as well. We had an idea for a new annual celebration of our charity and all those who make it what is is, and our carnival was the result of that. It was a brilliant chance to bring a huge number of our customers from many different services in many different places together, to have some good old fashioned fun. We look forward to doing it again next year!”


Photos:

1 – Soaking up the carnival sun – Yvonne Ferguson, Helena Wallis and Hayley Hemmings.

2 – Making masks with Escape Arts

3 – Enjoying the disco

4 – Customers and staff line-up for luxury ice creams

By Heart of England Mencap, Sep 12 2017 02:12PM

Heart of England Mencap opens new garden at Alscot


FROM sensory beds to specially created murals, the customers of Heart of England Mencap now have a new outside space to spend time in and reflect.


A previously disused space next to the charity’s day activity base on the Alscot Estate, just outside Stratford, has been transformed into a vibrant walled garden to be used and enjoyed by the local people with learning disaibilities which Heart of England Mencap supports.


There are pots and borders filled with flowers, as well as raised sensory beds full of aromatic lavender and herbs, all ready to be tended by customers and used on cooking courses too.


The walls are decorated with a series of striking murals, created by Heart of England Mencap customers as part of a special art project. Working with the artist Lucy Bergonzi they came up with their own ideas of what to portray and then got to work using specialist waterproof paints.


The result is a stunning series of 8 pictures, all representing something very different, but with real meaning. There are farm animals, representing the voluntary work customers undertake at Mary Arden’s Farm, as well as murals paying tribute to customers who have passed away – from a New Zealand flag to remember Gillian and her roots, to a Wolves emblem to remember Russell’s love of his football team.


The garden also has a bench dedicated to the memory of customer Robin Vick; a place where his friends can sit and reflect and remember him.


“It’s a really special space which will have so many uses,” Jake Thornton, Programme Manager for Mencap’s day activity service Pathway, said.


“We’ll be able to enjoy gardening here and bring so many more activities outside as well, and it’s also a place where our customers can simply sit outside, to have their lunch, enjoy the flowers and nature, and remember their friends as well.”


Heart of England Mencap is very grateful to a team of teenagers who spent time volunteering with the charity over the summer as part of the National Citizen Service scheme, lending their green-fingers to get the garden open.


Funding from Stratford Town Trust has also been instrumental – funding the art project and murals as part of a £12,695 grant to support day activities.


The new garden was unveiled on Friday (September 8th) at a special Open Garden Morning, where customers, staff and supporters enjoyed tea and cake.


Photo: Heart of England Mencap customers Russell and Brian in the new garden, in front of some of the murals, with artist Lucy Bergonzi

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