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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 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, Jan 31 2018 01:40PM

THEY set out to put the fun back into fundraising – and four years on they’ve managed to raise a huge £20,000 along the way.

That’s the total which has now benefitted local people with learning disabilities thanks to the Friends of Heart of England Mencap.

The fundraising group began back in 2014, set up and chaired by Karen Rousell from Stratford, whose daughter Lottie has learning disabilities.

She wanted to support a charity close to her heart and put the fun back into fundraising - hosting events which people wanted to attend, raising money along the way.

And it’s a formula which has worked. Four years on and they’ve now raised a huge £20,000 for Heart of England Mencap, which supports people with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

The money has been raised through all sorts of events – from coffee mornings to a card nights or a clothes exchange, as well as sponsored challenges – including a hugely successful firewalk back in 2016 which raised over £10,000 alone.

“Their fundraising has enabled so much and we just can’t thank the Friends enough,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, said.

“Every penny goes straight to the people with learning disabilities that we support – funding everything from arts and crafts equipment to drama group costumes or iPads. It has enabled our customers to stage their own photo exhibitions and even to publish their own book, talking about their experiences.

“It funds discos, barbecues, day trips – really important social events for our customers with learning disabilities; things which really mean so much. Without the Friends, so much of this would just never happen.”

After four years the group also now has a new chair taking over from Karen – although she will remain an active member.

Anna Kingsley is the new chair. A member of the Friends and an experienced fundraiser herself – having done everything from a sponsored Zumba to a sponsored skydive to raise money for Heart of England Mencap and in memory of her son Theo who passed away in 2008, aged 6.

“Karen has done an incredible job setting up the Friends, getting members on board and organising some amazing events raising a really tremendous amount,” Anna said.

“I’m looking forward to stepping into her shoes – knowing she will be right there with us as we look to raise the next £20,000!

“It’s a great group to be part of – a great way to have fun with new friends knowing that everything you’re doing is really making a difference.”

The first fundraiser of 2018 is coming up on February 16th when the Friends host a Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at the Rosebird Community Hall in Stratford. Everyone is welcome to pop along between 2.30pm and 4.30pm for a cuppa and a cake – and to find out more about the group and getting involved too.

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

Photo: With a little help from their Friends – Karen Rousell, Wendy Strophair, Anna Kingsley, Yvonne Ferguson, Rachel Walker and Audrey Rose from the Friends of Heart of England Mencap


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