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By Heart of England Mencap, Nov 21 2017 11:02AM

Castle Galleries donates star lot!

THE ORGANISERS of a charity auction are hoping to ‘score’ big thanks to a star lot which has been donated to the cause by a local gallery.

Castle Galleries in Stratford has generously given Heart of England Mencap a limited edition photograph of Pele – footballer of the century – to go under the gavel at its auction this weekend.

It’s a lot worth more than £500 having been signed by the man himself. It’s also accompanied by a special Pele book.

The auction takes place in Leamington on Saturday (November 25th) – all to raise money for Heart of England Mencap and the local people with learning disabilities which the charity supports.

Proceeds will be used to purchase sensory equipment for Heart of England Mencap’s Complex Needs Centres, including the Fordsfield Centre in Leamington, where the auction itself will take place.

Equipment will also be purchased for Brookbank in Stratford, where auction organiser George Anderton works.

George – a keen auction-goer – was approached by Castle Galleries with the amazing donation.

Gallery Manager Jason Lawson said: “We have known George for many years and we’re delighted to be supporting this auction for such a worthwhile cause.”

The auction has also received the support of Warwick Castle, the RSC and Stratford ArtsHouse, all donating tickets, as well as members of the public taking the chance to have a clear out for charity or donating promises – from help with the ironing to washing cars.

“We have had such amazing support and we can’t thank Castle Galleries - and everyone else who has been in touch to support us - enough,” Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, said.

“Now we just need as many people as possible to come along on the day and get bidding for some really amazing lots!”

The auction is happening at the Fordsfield Centre in Bury Road, Leamington this Saturday (November 25th). Viewing starts at 11am on the day, with the first lots going under the gavel from 12pm.

Auction paddles cost just £1, with hot drinks and bacon or veggie baps also available.

Hoping to score big – Di Yeoman, Media and Marketing Officer for Heart of England Mencap with auction organiser George Anderton (back left) and Jason Lawson, Manager of Castle Galleries. They are pictured with the limited edition Pele photograph and book.

By Heart of England Mencap, Sep 12 2017 02:12PM

Heart of England Mencap opens new garden at Alscot

FROM sensory beds to specially created murals, the customers of Heart of England Mencap now have a new outside space to spend time in and reflect.

A previously disused space next to the charity’s day activity base on the Alscot Estate, just outside Stratford, has been transformed into a vibrant walled garden to be used and enjoyed by the local people with learning disaibilities which Heart of England Mencap supports.

There are pots and borders filled with flowers, as well as raised sensory beds full of aromatic lavender and herbs, all ready to be tended by customers and used on cooking courses too.

The walls are decorated with a series of striking murals, created by Heart of England Mencap customers as part of a special art project. Working with the artist Lucy Bergonzi they came up with their own ideas of what to portray and then got to work using specialist waterproof paints.

The result is a stunning series of 8 pictures, all representing something very different, but with real meaning. There are farm animals, representing the voluntary work customers undertake at Mary Arden’s Farm, as well as murals paying tribute to customers who have passed away – from a New Zealand flag to remember Gillian and her roots, to a Wolves emblem to remember Russell’s love of his football team.

The garden also has a bench dedicated to the memory of customer Robin Vick; a place where his friends can sit and reflect and remember him.

“It’s a really special space which will have so many uses,” Jake Thornton, Programme Manager for Mencap’s day activity service Pathway, said.

“We’ll be able to enjoy gardening here and bring so many more activities outside as well, and it’s also a place where our customers can simply sit outside, to have their lunch, enjoy the flowers and nature, and remember their friends as well.”

Heart of England Mencap is very grateful to a team of teenagers who spent time volunteering with the charity over the summer as part of the National Citizen Service scheme, lending their green-fingers to get the garden open.

Funding from Stratford Town Trust has also been instrumental – funding the art project and murals as part of a £12,695 grant to support day activities.

The new garden was unveiled on Friday (September 8th) at a special Open Garden Morning, where customers, staff and supporters enjoyed tea and cake.

Photo: Heart of England Mencap customers Russell and Brian in the new garden, in front of some of the murals, with artist Lucy Bergonzi

By Heart of England Mencap, Dec 10 2015 03:28PM

FROM cooking to gardening or from maths to singing, local people with learning disabilities are getting the chance to try all sorts of activities thanks to a grant from Stratford Town Trust.

The Trust has awarded £12,695 to Heart of England Mencap to support activities at the charity’s Pathway group, a day service offering meaningful leisure and learning opportunities to people with disabilities.

The money will be used to support everything from a maths club to cycling clubs, as well as gardening, dance and a ‘mindful meals’ cooking course.

The grant has also funded a singing group, currently running at Pathway, based on the Alscot Estate just outside Stratford.

Teacher Glynis Fletcher has been getting Mencap customers in fine voice on Tuesday mornings throughout November and December, encouraging interaction, expression and plenty of smiles.

Claire Bowry, Grants Manager at Stratford Town Trust, went along to join in.

She said:”It was great to see the singing session in full swing and to see the difference this grant from the Town Trust is making to local lives. We are very proud to support Heart of England Mencap and the customers they support across Stratford.”

Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager at Heart of England Mencap, added: “We are very grateful to Stratford Town Trust for this substantial grant. Pathway offers a range of empowering leisure and learning opportunities for our customers: adults and young people with learning and physical disabilities. We very much focus on abilities rather than disabilities and on empowering our customers to live the life they choose. These activities, funded by the Town Trust, have all been suggested by our customers and we are so pleased we can now make them happen.”

In fine voice – (back left) Claire Bowry, Grants Manager at Stratford Town Trust, joins Pathway Co-ordinator Jake Thornton (far right), music teacher Glynis Fletcher (front) and HofE Mencap customers for the singing session.


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