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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

By Heart of England Mencap, Dec 15 2016 01:13PM

WHILE you’re Christmas shopping – could you afford to buy one extra present?

That’s the question being asked by Heart of England Mencap as the charity launches a festive fundraising appeal, asking people to support the launch of an Accessible Book Club for local people with learning disabilities.

The charity needs to purchase two bumper sets of ‘Books Beyond Words’ to get started.

“The books are picture stories, perfect for adults with a learning disability who prefer to read using pictures rather than words,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, said.

“They are a great way to build communication and understanding, and friendships between our customers too.”

The charity is aiming to purchase two bumper Book Club book sets, an iPad application and training for staff, so that people with a learning disability can get the most out of Books Beyond Words.

“Just £10 will buy a book, one extra gift which will make a big difference to someone living near to you.”

To support the appeal, you can donate £10, or any other amount, by going to www.heartofenglandmencap.org.uk/donate or by texting MECP12 £10 (or whatever you can afford) to 70070.

Donations can also be sent by post: Heart of England Mencap, Suite 1, Clifford Mill, Clifford Chambers, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 8HW.

Heart of England Mencap works with more than 200 people across Warwickshire and Worcestershire, offering a range of support - from residential care or respite facilities to supported living and empowering leisure and learning activities.

By Heart of England Mencap, Mar 18 2016 03:24PM

THINK turning 60 and skydives and zumbathons might not be the first things that spring to mind.

But they are just two of the challenges Anna Kingsley has set herself to mark her milestone year – fundraising along the way in memory of the son she lost at the age of just 6.

Anna, from Newbold-on-Stour, will aim to complete 60 tasks before her birthday in September – not least the zumbathon and skydive, both to fundraise for Heart of England Mencap.

Anna’s son Theo died in 2008. Although he had a range of complex learning disabilities, Theo’s death was sudden and unexpected. Since Theo died - the day before Anna’s birthday - his mum has fundraised for many causes in his memory, from the British Heart Foundation to the Welcombe Hills School where Theo was a pupil.

Theo transfixed by the water feature at Webbs

Anna has also fundraised for Heart of England Mencap and become a ‘Friend’ of the charity – donating a box of musical equipment in 2014 to be used by those attending Mencap’s day activity group, Pathway.

Music was one of Theo’s loves – and now Anna is set to fundraise for a special project incorporating another of Theo’s great joys – water features. Anna will hold her Zumbathon in April, followed by plans for a skydive in August, all to raise money to go towards garden equipment and a water feature at Pathway’s Stratford base on the Alscot Estate.

The Zumbathon is happening at Ettington Community Hall on Saturday April 9th. Running between 2pm and 4pm, the idea is to complete a two-hour Zumba marathon. Zumba teacher Angela Stanley is giving her time for free, meaning all proceeds from the ticket sales can go towards Anna’s fundraising for that very special project.

Theo and his big brother Alexander, pictured in 2008

She said: “Theo loved water - he would get so excited splashing about in it. We used to take him to Webbs at Wychbold to play in the water feature there. To be able to gift a water feature to Heart of England Mencap in Theo’s memory would be so symbolic of him – something which we know would have given him so much pleasure, and which would give others that same joy.”

Having lost Theo the day before her birthday, Anna didn’t want to plan a big party to mark her 60th. Instead, with the support of her husband Reg Monk and 16-year-old son Alexander, Anna drew up her list of 60 tasks with a year to go and set about ticking them off.

As well as the fundraisers, Anna has set herself physical challenges, from swimming a mile to walking 60. She will aim to visit her 60th National Trust property too – and try her hand at skills totally new, surfing being one of them.

Ready to Zumba - teachers Angela Stanley (left) and Wendy Sumner

“It’s surprisingly hard to come up with 60 things,” Anna added.

“But I’m almost half way through. The skydive is going to be a huge challenge for me near the end of my mission – I struggle with escalators!”

Tickets for the Zumbathon on April 9th cost £6 - please contact Anna via email if you would like to take part - annak56@hotmail.co.uk

For more information on Theo and his legacy, please visit www.theo-monk.co.uk


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