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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

By Heart of England Mencap, Jun 15 2017 10:19AM

ADAPTIVE rowing, bush craft and a theatre trip – all activities set to be enjoyed by local people with learning disabilities this summer thanks to Solihull bank staff.

A team from the local branch of Santander have presented a cheque for £280 to Heart of England Mencap, supporting people across Warwickshire and Worcestershire with learning disabilities.

The money was raised during a corporate event and will be used to support a summer of fun at Mencap Pathway, the charity’s day activity service.

It’s a cause which is very close to the heart for Tracey Bantock, Branch Director at Santander in Solihull, with Tracey’s son supported by Heart of England Mencap.

A team of 10 from the bank – including Tracey – also supported the charity last autumn when they took on a firewalk to fundraise, handing over a huge £4,000 to enable an accessible book club to be set up.

“The support Tracey and everyone at Santander has shown is just incredible,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, said.

“We are a small, local charity and every penny we receive from fundraising just like this goes straight to our customers; supporting the activities and equipment that they choose. From all of us – thank you so much.”

Photo: Funding a summer of fun – (left) Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap with Tracey Bantock, Branch Director for Santander Solihull and Mencap customers Russell Harriman, Brian Steele and Glenn Merryfield

By Heart of England Mencap, Jan 19 2017 12:47PM

BUSINESSES are being asked if they could donate time or money to improve the lives of local people with learning disabilities.

Heart of England Mencap is contacting companies across Warwickshire in the hope of securing sponsorship and corporate support.

The charity works with more than 200 people across both Warwick and Stratford districts, offering a range of support - from residential care or respite facilities to supported living and empowering leisure and learning activities.

Fundraising Manager Cath Errington says: “We focus on an individual’s abilities and not their disabilities and that’s at the heart of everything we do.

“As a charity we are limited by money and resources and what we are saying to local companies is ‘could you help us to do even more in your community?’

“That could be by donating funds, services, goods or volunteers – and you’ll be making a very real difference to local lives. We work with more than 200 people, and each of those has a network of carers, family and friends. By supporting us, you can reach a huge number of people.”

Any level of support is greatly appreciated – from donating seeds for the charity’s allotments to providing a minibus to support a day at the seaside.

Companies are also asked to consider cash donations, encourage employees to fundraise for HofE Mencap, or volunteer for a day. Sponsorship opportunities are available too – to support transport or even the charity’s plans for a fleet of adapted bikes and a local track.

“We have lots of ideas for both cash and in kind contributions,” Cath added.

“By working with us, we can help you to reach out and engage with a wider network, and make a real difference to the lives of people in your local community.”

Heart of England Mencap is very grateful to a number of companies who provided support in 2016, amongst them were The Rosconn Group, providing sponsorship for the Raft Race, as well as National Grid, Vodafone and Santander, whose employees spent time fundraising or volunteering with the charity – creating everything from new garden areas to Christmas parties.

“Spending time with people with varying degrees of disability was a welcome challenge and really highlighted the value of our time there and our own personal influence on the residents,” one Vodafone volunteer said.

“It was a very rewarding day and I would happily volunteer again.”

To find out more about getting involved, please contact Cath Errington on 01789 298709 or email cerrington@heartofenglandmencap.org.uk

Photo: Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap and Di Yeoman, Media and Marketing Officer.


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