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By Heart of England Mencap, Dec 27 2017 03:16PM

Volunteers spread Christmas cheer at Heart of England Mencap


SANTA has been given a helping hand in Leamington and Warwick – thanks to a team of volunteers who gave up their time to spread festive cheer to local people with learning disabilities.


The Christmas spirit was spread by a team of volunteers from Warwick-based National Grid, who spent the day with Heart of England Mencap on Friday, December 8.


The team began their festive day helping out at the charity’s Christmas Coffee Morning at the Fordsfield Complex Needs Centre in Bury Road, Leamington.


And their day of spreading seasonal joy didn’t end there – they then spent the afternoon in Warwick, helping out at a Christmas Party being held at Pathway - HofE Mencap’s day activity group which meets at WarwickSpace.


Teresa Langlands, one of the volunteers from National Grid, said: “We were delighted to spend the day supporting Heart of England Mencap and helping bring Christmas cheer to its customers.


“This wonderful charity makes a huge difference to people with learning disabilities in the county.”
“This wonderful charity makes a huge difference to people with learning disabilities in the county.”

Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, added: “We’re so grateful to National Grid for really getting our staff and customers into the Christmas spirit. We are also hugely grateful to Asda – which donated £500 to support the party.


“For a small charity like ours this kind of support makes such a huge difference and has a big impact on local lives.”


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


Photos:

A - ASDA Community Champion Jo Butler gets festive with Heart of England Mencap.

B – National Grid volunteers Teresa Langlands and James Dowding with Mencap customer Jane Boucher


By Heart of England Mencap, Dec 18 2017 01:42PM


LOCAL people with learning disabilities got well and truly into the festive spirit - at a Christmas party they have a team of ‘Santa’s little helpers’ to thank for.


The Christmas spirit was spread by a team of ten volunteers from Warwick-based National Grid when they spent the day with Heart of England Mencap on Friday, December 15.


The team began their festive day wrapping Christmas presents and joining in with some carol singing at the charity’s day activity service Pathway, in Atherstone-on-Stour.


Some volunteers stayed at Atherstone for the rest of the day, while others headed over to Pathway in Studley to make decorations and food.


And then they all came together – with their decorations, food and presents – for a Christmas disco at Alcester Rugby Club that evening.


Donna Lee, one of the National Grid volunteers, said: “We were so delighted to spend the day supporting Heart of England Mencap and helping bring Christmas cheer to its customers.

“This wonderful charity makes a huge difference to people with learning disabilities in the county and our volunteers really enjoyed being a part of this fantastic work.”


Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, added: “We’re so grateful to National Grid for offering its support – and not for the first time. Our customers all enjoyed such a fantastic festive day.


“For a small charity like ours this kind of support makes such a huge difference and has a big impact on local lives.”


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: Christmas spirit - Heart of England Mencap customer Josie Shingler (front right) and National Grid volunteer Donna Lee (next to Josie) pictured with fellow customers, volunteers and staff during the day of Christmas fun.

By Heart of England Mencap, Feb 13 2017 02:32PM


THE VOICE of the learning disability community will be heard like never before, when Heart of England Mencap starts broadcasting its very own radio show next week.


Radio Mencap is a new hour-long show taking over the airwaves between 11am and 12noon every Friday on Welcombe Community Radio.


It will be devised, presented and run by local people with learning disabilities supported by the charity and its day activity service, Mencap Pathway.


The show will come live from Tyler House Hub, where Welcombe Community Radio now has a broadcast studio, supported by Stratford Town Trust.


A mixture of music and talk, Radio Mencap will include pre-recorded interviews and features out and about at local events, as well as live studio time.


Helping to run the show is Val Rainbow, Arts Coordinator for Heart of England Mencap, and somewhat of a seasoned pro.


“I have done community radio in the past – but this is hugely exciting, we don’t know of anything else like it,” Val said.


“We’ll be going out and recording interviews, doing a weather report, coming up with our own jingles. Our customers at Mencap Pathway are really enthusiastic – this was their idea, and this is very much their show.”


It has all been made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of one man.


Last April, Gary Stokes, from Long Compton, took on the Coventry Way Challenge, aiming to raise as much as possible to support Heart of England Mencap by getting sponsorship to run the gruelling 40 mile route.


Gary had spent a day volunteering with the charity through his employer, Warwick-based National Grid.

He knew the Pathway customers he met wanted to set up their own radio show – and set about trying to fundraise the £1,500 needed to make it happen, to pay for staff, studio time and outdoor broadcast equipment.


Gary completed the challenge and reached his target, helped by match-funding from National Grid.

Now he’s been back to Heart of England Mencap to meet the radio team and see them in the studio.


“To see what my fundraising has actually made possible is just incredible, and not something you usually get to do,” Gary said.


“It’s so rewarding to see how excited everyone is about the show - and I can’t wait to tune in and listen.”


“We can’t thank Gary enough,” Val added.


“Pathway is all about providing meaningful activities for our customers, and the chance to get involved in our own radio show; the skills, confidence and enjoyment that will bring, is just fantastic.”


To tune in to Mencap Radio – go to www.welcomberadio.co.uk

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