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By Heart of England Mencap, Jul 20 2017 12:20PM


A TEAM of dare-devil fundraisers will be taking a giant leap of faith next month when they complete a charity skydive.



The group of 6 are raising funds for different charities – the MS Society, Alzheimer’s Society and Joey’s Legacy Boxer Rescue – as well as Heart of England Mencap, where they all work.


Katie Berry, Cate Mahon, Tammy Crofts, Ali Arnold, Becky Davies and Jenna Haycock will take on the skydive at Hinton Airfield in Brackley on August 12th.


And the nerves are yet to set in.


“It all started with me doing 30 things to celebrate my 30th birthday,” Katie, Activities Coordinator for Heart of England Mencap’s day service Pathway, said.


“I just walked into the office one day and said who wants to skydive with me, and they volunteered. We’re not feeling the nerves just yet, but that may change on the day! We’re all raising money for charities very close to our hearts, including of course Mencap, so that will be at the front of our minds.”


It’s the first skydive for all of them except Jenna, who has jumped – and loved it – once before.

For details on how to sponsor the dare-devil fundraisers follow Heart of England Mencap on Twitter - @hofemencap


Donate to Cate Mahon for Heart of England Mencap

Donate to Ali Arnold for the Alzheimer's Society

Donate to Becky Davies for Heart of England Mencap or Joey's Legacy Boxer Rescue

Donate to Katie Berry for the Multiple Sclerosis Society


Photo: Leap of faith – Cate Mahon, Tammy Crofts, Ali Arnold, Becky Davies, Jenna Haycock and Katie Berry


By Heart of England Mencap, Jun 27 2017 10:39AM


PEDAL power was in full gear at the weekend when cyclists took on the very first ‘Ride for Bikes Hilly Challenge’ to raise money for Heart of England Mencap.


Thirty cyclists took part in the event – a challenging 60km ride around Warwickshire and the Cotswolds – on Sunday (June 25th).


They have helped raise £1,000 for Heart of England Mencap, to extend its fleet of adapted bikes to allow local people with learning disabilities to enjoy the benefits of cycling too.


The event started and finished at Meon Vale Leisure Centre.


It was the first in what is now set to become an annual flagship fundraiser for the charity, supporting people with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.


Fundraising Manager Cath Errington said: “We owe a huge thank you to everyone who supported this event, our sponsor Rosconn Group, and most importantly to all of those cyclists who took part.


“Thanks to them we have managed to raise £1,000, which to a small charity like ours, makes a very big difference. It will allow us to expand our fleet of adapted bikes and have a real impact on the people we support.”


As well as the 30 cyclists who completed the 60km on road, a team from Heart of England Mencap also completed 60km indoors, taking turns on a static bike, with Chief Executive Helena Wallis taking them over the line.


She said: “Cycling is something our customers get a huge amount of joy out of – but adapted bikes are very expensive and we are only a small charity.


“We are starting to build a small fleet of bikes thanks to previous fundraising, grants and donations –but we still need so much more. Hand cycles for example enable people in wheelchairs but with strength in their arms to experience to joy of cycling. Side by side bikes allow workers to ride with a customer, meaning that even those who don’t have much physical strength can still benefit from the experience. We want to buy regular bikes as well, so that friends and family can join our customers for a fun day of cycling.


“The idea now is to expand Ride for Bikes so that our fundraising can continue, we had some really positive feedback on the event from those who took part and we’re very excited about its future.”

Ride for Bikes was generously sponsored by Rosconn Group and supported by ShoeMed and Personal Vitality.


Daniel O’Donnell, Rosconn Group’s Managing Director, said: “‘It’s been a privilege to sponsor this year’s Mencap Ride for Bikes Hilly Challenge and great to know that we’re helping to raise money to buy adapted bikes to enable local people with a learning disability to enjoy cycling too.”


Information on next year’s event will be announced soon, anyone interested in providing support or sponsorship is asked to call Cath on 01789 298709.

By Heart of England Mencap, Jun 23 2017 10:22AM

A TEAM of volunteers from Santander UK have been digging deep to help transform a garden area enjoyed by local people with learning disabilities in Southam.


Staff from Santander spent the day helping Heart of England Mencap on Thursday (June 22) as part of the bank’s Discovery Days scheme, which encourages staff to take a day out of the office to volunteer with a local cause. In 2016, more than 6,000 members of staff took part in 556 projects across the country, including refurbishing local schools, hospitals and helping with community projects.


The team spent the day at Bull Yard in Southam, a residential supported living service run by Heart of England Mencap. The volunteers tidied up the existing garden, replenishing pots and flower beds, repairing a broken shed roof and painting and sanding garden furniture to restore it.


Helena Wallis, Heart of England Mencap’s Chief Executive, said: “Our gardens are important to us; having that outdoor space for our customers to enjoy and relax in, or even get involved in planting and nurturing. But with all that space comes a lot of maintenance – and we are so grateful to the team at Santander for choosing to spend the day volunteering at our charity.”


Rob Clark, Divisional Transactional Banking Director at Santander, said: “We chose to take on a third project with Heart of England Mencap to continue to support the work it does to help those with learning disabilities. It is important to continue to give something back to a charity that does so much to help the local community. We know from the projects already completed the work we do makes a difference to those who use the centre, making it a more pleasurable place for them to relax and enjoy.”


Heart of England Mencap supports individuals with learning disabilities, working across Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Services range from day activities to residential care, with supported living, short breaks, respite and outreach also a key part of the charity’s work.


For more information call 01789 298709 or go online at www.heartofenglandmencap.org.uk


Photo: Digging in – volunteers from Santander bank with Heart of England Mencap customers and staff at Bullyard

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