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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, Jun 21 2017 03:09PM


AS THE sun shone down at the weekend – so did the spotlight – on a local charity supporting people with learning disabilities.


Heart of England Mencap was the nominated charity for this year’s annual Rosconn Group Stratford Boat Club Regatta.


The event took place on Saturday (June 17th), organised by Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club and attracting hundreds of competitors and spectators to the banks of the River Avon.


As the nominated charity, kindly supported once again by Rosconn Group, Heart of England Mencap set up stall next to the boat club, raising funds and awareness.


Games included hook-a-duck and a tombola, all helping to raise £135 on the day.


“We had great fun in the beautiful sunshine selling bubbles and toys and running our tombola and games to raise money,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, said.


“But actually, what was really important was the opportunity the Regatta gave us to raise our profile at such a big, local event.


“Some of our customers are already benefiting from our close links with the Boat Club having taken part in adaptive rowing sessions. Many more came along on the day to watch the races and help out – and that kind of involvement in their local community is really important, helping to break down barriers and the stigma that can still be associated with learning disabilities. We owe a huge thanks to the Boat Club and to Rosconn Group for giving us such a wonderful opportunity.”


Photo: Raising funds and awareness – Heart of England Mencap’s (left to right) Karen Rousell, Becky Davies, Wendy Strophair, Di Yeoman, Audrey Rose and Cath Errington.


By Heart of England Mencap, May 4 2017 09:00AM


Rosconn Group Stratford Boat Club Regatta to support Heart of England Mencap


HUNDREDS of spectators are expected to gather by the banks of the river next month, to watch competitors from far and wide compete in the annual Rosconn Group Stratford Boat Club Regatta.

The event takes place on Saturday June 17th and is organised by Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club.


The regatta has been taking place in Stratford since 1879. As well as Stratford’s own crews, the event draws competitors, able-bodied and adaptive, and their supporters from clubs such as Bewdley Rowing Club, Cardiff & Vale Schools Rowing Association, Evesham Rowing Club, Nottingham & Union Rowing Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Stowe Sculling Club, Warwick Boat Club, Becket School Rowing Club, Cotswold Rowing Club, Holloway Scullers, Leicester Rowing Club, Merton College, Monkton Combe School, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Northwich Rowing Club.


Racing is on the town stretch of the river from Holy Trinity Church to the Club grounds by The Tramway Bridge. As well as the rowing contingent, the regatta attracts a lot of interest from visitors to the town who come down to the Bancroft Gardens and the Recreation Ground to enjoy the racing, barbecue and the beer and tea tent in the Club grounds, which are open to all.


Racing starts around 8.30am and finishes around 6.30pm with 162 entries last year.


Paul Hazelwood, Stratford Boat Club’s Treasurer, says: “The regatta and also the Fun Regatta in July are very weather dependent events and without our sponsor Rosconn Group, we couldn’t risk holding the regatta. We are also amazingly lucky to have help from other river organisations such as the Avon Navigation Trust, the Sea Cadets, Avon Boating, the Environment Agency, Bancroft Cruisers, Canal & River Tours, the Countess of Evesham, and also the co-operation of those who make their living on the river.”


Heart of England Mencap – supporting local people with learning disabilities – has been chosen as this year’s nominated charity.


The charity already benefits from close links with Stratford Boat Club; Mencap customers enjoying rowing sessions in adapted boats, as Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, explains:


“It’s a real privilege to be part of this year’s regatta and we owe a big thanks to Stratford Boat Club and to Rosconn Group too, both brilliant supporters of our charity.


“Getting out on the water and trying their hand at rowing is something our customers have gained a huge amount of pleasure out of.”


“Anyone can get involved in rowing, regardless of physical disability, sensory or learning impairment,” says Mark Dewdney, Stratford Boat Club’s adaptive coach.


“Adaptive rowing means that equipment and training can be modified to meet the rower’s needs and abilities as closely as possible. We will listen and learn to help the participant to get the most out of the sport. There are many benefits to being involved in rowing; the sense of freedom, making life-long friends, and learning new skills whilst keeping fit and healthy. All this can be done on the water or indoors, just for fun or to compete in races.”


A group of Heart of England Mencap customers will be at the regatta on the day and it is hoped that there may be an opportunity for them to participate in a row-past


There will be plenty of fundraising fun and games riverside as well, from hook-a-duck to a raffle and tombola, all organised on Heart of England Mencap’s stand at the event.


Paul Stanton, President of Stratford Boat Club, says: “Stratford upon Avon Boat Club looks forward to welcoming competing crews, VIPs and guests and especially Stratford and Warwickshire residents and visitors to the town down to watch and enjoy what is going to be an action-packed day. Having Heart of England Mencap as the regatta’s nominated charity emphasises the importance that Rosconn Group and Stratford Boat Club attaches to being a working part of the local community.”


Daniel O’Donnell, Managing Director of Rosconn Group, says: “We are delighted that Heart of England Mencap has been chosen as the designated charity for this year’s regatta. We are proud to sponsor the event, it’s such an important local sporting occasion and it’s wonderful to support such a friendly club that encourages people of all abilities to take up rowing as a sport or just for fun.”


Other Gold Sponsors for the regatta include Burgis & Bullock, Bancroft Cruisers, The Rigby Foundation, Stratford Self Store, GroupComms, Macdonald Alveston Manor, Crowne Plaza Stratford, Daniel Buxton Photography & Digital Media Ltd and HL Barnes & Sons as a Bronze Sponsor. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact christopherbest03@gmail.com


For more information, go to www.stratford-rowing.co.uk/regatta-2017


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