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By Heart of England Mencap, Aug 18 2017 08:00AM


A GROUP of daring fundraisers are jumping for joy – having raised thousands of pounds by taking the plunge in a charity skydive.


The group of 5 raised funds for different charities – including Heart of England Mencap where 4 of them work.


Katie Berry, Cate Mahon, Becky Davies, Jenna Haycock and Trevor Boot all successfully completed their jump at Hinton Airfield in Brackley on Saturday (August 12th.)


Through sponsorship they raised £1,500 for Heart of England Mencap, £1,270 for Fibromyalgia Action UK, £500 for the MS Society and £300 for Joey’s Legacy Boxer Rescue.


It was a giant leap of faith for Becky Davies, Management Accountant for Heart of England Mencap, but one she’d be happy to repeat again.


“It went really well – I loved it,” she said.


“I was really nervous in the morning but when you sit there and watch everybody else jumping, you start to calm. Once we were in the plane that was it – there was no going back. We fell 8,000 feet in 43 seconds but it feels far more like floating than falling; an amazing experience and I would definitely do it again.”

“The team did an amazing job,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, said.


“They have raised a really impressive amount for their chosen charities, including ours, and we are so grateful. They know just how much it will mean to our customers, enabling activities and equipment which just wouldn’t be possible without fundraising support like this.”


Heart of England Mencap supports around 200 local people with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.


Jumping for joy – skydiving fundraiser Becky Davies takes the plunge with her instructor.

By Heart of England Mencap, Aug 17 2017 12:46PM


MUD, SWEAT and quite possibly tears will be the order of the day when a team of ‘Mencap Mudsters’ take on the Autumn Wolf Run next month – a 10km challenge like no other.


The five-strong team of Di Yeoman, Suzanne Hotten, Nikki Drew, Chris Howkins and Jenna Haycock, who all work for Heart of England Mencap in Warwickshire, will be braving the elements and putting their bodies through their paces when they take on the event on September 3rd.


Happening at at Welsh Road Farm near Leamington, the Wolf Run is a 10km course over Woods, Obstacles, Lakes and Fields – with a whole lot of mud thrown in too.


The Mencap Mudsters will be fundraising for Heart of England Mencap, supporting local people with learning disabilities, and are hoping to secure as much sponsorship as possible.


“We've joined together and vowed to beat the Wolf Run so we can make a real difference in our customers' lives,” said Di Yeoman, Wolf Runner and Media and Marketing Officer at Heart of England Mencap.


“Having additional funds available means so much and enables them to do lots of fun and interesting activities that would otherwise not be open to them.


“A huge thank you in advance to anyone who can spare even just a small amount to help us reach our fundraising target of £500.


“We will all be suitably suffering for your donation as we take on the ancient woodland, deep water crossings, high climbing nets, log walls and the famously fast landslide along the way.”


To donate visit www.justgiving.com/teams/mencapmudsters and follow their story on Twitter - @hofemencap


The charity is also looking for volunteer marshals for the day – anyone who can help is asked to contact Cath or Di on 01789 298709.


Photo: Going wolf - the Mencap Mudsters will be taking on the Autumn Wolf Run to raise vital cash for Heart of England Mencap

By Heart of England Mencap, Aug 14 2017 09:15AM


A remarkable contribution to a local charity – spanning almost four decades – has been recognised with a special award and honorary role.


Audrey Rose will retire as a Trustee of Heart of England Mencap next year – having held the position since the mid-1980s.


Back then the charity, previously known as Stratford & District Mencap, supported around 20 local people with learning disabilities. Today it supports around 200, right across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.


Audrey’s daughter Janet was born with learning disabilities. When the family moved back to the UK in the early 80s, having lived all over the world, she was invited to join Stratford & District Mencap. She never left, joining the Board of Trustees and volunteering huge amounts of her time to help the charity as it grew and enabled the local learning disability community to access opportunities previously thought impossible.


“When my daughter was younger, despite having lived in France, she wasn’t allowed to take French lessons,” Audrey said.


“Things have changed enormously; people are now given an opportunity to develop their potential.


“There is still a way to go of course, particularly when it comes to people with learning disabilities being accepted in social situations. I would like to see that change. I also think the vulnerability of people with learning disabilities needs to be recognised more.”


In recognition of her extraordinary service, Audrey has been presented with a long-service award and will be made Honorary Vice-President when she retires in 2018.


Helena Wallis, Chief Executive of Heart of England Mencap, said: “Audrey’s outstanding contribution is one of the reasons why we wanted to recognise her work with us by making her a lifetime Vice-President.


“It is a reflection of the value of her contribution to the charity and to those that we support. The voice of families and carers is also significant in the work we do and Audrey has played an important role in representing carers in a range of formal and informal settings and being able to support other parents in a very complex and challenging world for those connected to someone with a learning disability.


“What is more outstanding is her capacity for understanding the needs of others and for caring. I know Audrey isn’t someone that openly promotes all these personal strengths, or does things for any type of accolade. Her involvement and commitment is a reflection of her remarkable passion and personal values. Whilst Audrey doesn’t see anything special in this - we absolutely do.”


When the charity began, it was very much focused on providing residential living for local people with learning disabilities. Over the years, its services have adapted and expanded considerably. Residential care is still provided, along with supported living, where customers can fulfil their wishes to be more independent, having their own flat, with access to communal areas and support workers when they need. Respite care is also provided, as well as complex needs day services. Pathway, the charity’s day activity service, offers a huge range of meaningful leisure and learning opportunities; from cooking to cycling.

With her new Honorary Vice-President role, Audrey will always be involved as the charity continues to respond to the needs of its customers.


“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.


Photo: Audrey Rose collecting her long-service award from Helena Wallis, Chief Executive, and Glen Von Malachowski, Chairman

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