All posts by Amanda

Winter Extravaganza 2017

Keynsham and District Mencap Society beat the winter blues with our Winter Extravaganza  –  Charity Dinner and Auction.

On Saturday 4th February 2017 we hosted  our first independent Charity Dinner and Auction at the Saltford Golf Club in Saltford.  The event raised in excess of £3500, and was held in aid of the Society’s New Building Appeal.

130 guests arrived promptly at 7pm and were greeted with a warm welcome and a glass of prosecco, as the guests found their way to their tables live Jazz was performed exquisitely by Nicki Jefferis.  The men were very smartly dressed in black tie and the ladies looked stunning in their evening dresses.

11 auction items had been generously donated by local organisations and they included, hot air balloon ride for 2, donated by Rotork Fluid Systems.  2 tickets to the England V’s Scotland RBS 6 Nations Rugby Game, at Twickenham on 11th March, donated by Knightsbridge Personal and Corporate Solutions.  An overnight Stay for Two with Dinner Bed and Breakfast at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel, Newport, sponsored by Barratt Homes.  1 Day race meeting ticket for 2 Adults, courtesy of Castle Combe. A case of wine, sponsored by St Monica’s Trust.  3 Course Sunday Lunch for 2, at the Michelin Starred Pony and Trap Chew Magna, courtesy of The Pony and Trap.  A bottle of House of Commons Claret signed by David Cameron and Michael Gove, kindly donated by Bob Goodman.  A case of wine, donated by Toplink Envelopes Ltd.  2 tickets to a Bath Rugby Home Game with hospitality in the President’s Lounge, courtesy of Bath Rugby Club. Canal boat ride for 10 people with afternoon tea donated by Tim Warren and finally a round of golf for 4 people courtesy of Mike Penn at the Saltford Golf club.

The catering services were provided by Haywood’s Kitchen who are based at Saltford Golf club, they were very professional, friendly and accommodating, the sumptuous 3 course meal was delicious and washed down with refreshing house wine kindly sponsored by Persimmon Homes.

The evening also included a raffle, the generosity of local businesses was overwhelming, prizes included a gift voucher from Reflections Hair Salon in Keynsham, a family day ticket to Avon Valley Country Park, afternoon tea at the Pump Room Bath, a family pass for the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery, unlimited rides voucher for Weston-Super-Mare Pier, plus bottles of wine donated by regular friends of the society including Eveleighs Estate Agents.

Michael Ashbee of Davies and Way provided his expert services of auctioneer and he kept the guests buzzing and raising their bids.

Among the corporate guests at the Keynsham and District Mencap Society Charity Auction were iTeam Solutions from Saltford, VansGB of Bath and Toplink Envelopes Ltd.

The evening’s events were rounded off with some floor filling tunes courtesy of Delboy Entertainments, a regular DJ with Keynsham and District Mencap Society events, always guaranteed to play music to get everyone up dancing.

The event was called A Winter Extravaganza and it certainly lived up to its name, warming everyone up on a chilly February evening.  A great time was had by all,  and the question was asked ‘When’s the next one?   ..and ‘Next time I’m bringing two tables of guests with me!’

Checkout our facebook photo album for all the photos of the night courtesy of  Rachael Caitlin Photography.

Our big  2017/18 fundraising objective is to raise funds to enable us to obtain our own centre, this has become a necessity, as the individual clubs are held in numerous venues across Keynsham, Radstock and Bath, as the local area continues to grow it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the demand for the provision.  “If we remain as we are this will become a logistical challenge, therefore to enable us to keep costs down and continue to enhance our provision it seems prudent that we obtain our own centre which can facilitate our desire for additional sessions for our members, our own hall space, office space and extra storage needs. “ Said  Lisa O’Brien our Chair.

We provide essential support to over 150 adults and children for their social, emotional, and educational needs via our weekly social and sports clubs, one off events, minibreaks and holidays.   Members have a range of learning disabilities; conditions such as Downs Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Asperger’s Syndrome, and  Autism. Some of the members also have physical disabilities.  The clubs offer a fully inclusive programme of leisure activities targeted to different age groups all aimed at providing local people with learning disabilities the same opportunities as their peers.

Over the years our offering has grown, and we now run nine projects in total, four projects are aimed at children aged 5-18, a ‘Go Explore’ club for 18-25 year olds, specifically targeted at providing age-appropriate support and encouragement into adulthood while the 18+ Club, the cornerstone of its provision is the largest with a membership of 75 plus a waiting list. There are three vital sports groups, football, fitness and boccia all providing regular exercise, support and advice in order to promote a healthier lifestyle.

All these clubs provide fun activities that encourage social development with the chance to meet and make friends in a safe and secure environment whilst also enabling valuable respite for parents and careers.

“Not only do we want everything under one roof but we also want to expand even further and provide supplementary day time activities alongside the evening and weekend pursuits. By achieving this goal we can make even more of a difference to our members’ lives.” Lisa added.

2017 Calendars on Sale Now

2017 Calendars are now on sale from the office or your club leader they’re priced at £7.99 and each month is jam packed with photos of our members enjoying their favorite activities.  They would make an ideal Christmas present. Get in touch now to order yours.


Fundraising Quiz Night

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Oh what a night! The questions were prepped, the bar stocked, tables set with tea lights and tablecloths, all ready for our annual fundraising quiz on Saturday 8th October at the Saltford Hall. An incredible 92 people came along with pens poised and thinking caps on, it was sure to be a great night. This year we had an eclectic mix of keen quizzers, from current members and families, trustees, volunteers and staff to business supporters and new friends of the society. We raised over £1300 on the night via the door, raffle and bar sales. We successfully beat our previous year’s results hands down.

Huge thanks go to so many local businesses who contributed to our raffle, we had some fabulous prizes from Sainsburys, Reflections Hair Salon, The Old Bank, The Little Toy Shack, Trigaci, Somerdale Pavilions, Bonzo Lounge, Pomegranate, The Entertainer and Tesco.  It’s great to see so many local businesses supporting our cause.

Among our new friends who attended, we had a team of staff members from Sainsbury’s, they won the star prize which was a hamper of goodies kindly donated by Eveleighs Estate Agents.

There was a great atmosphere in the hall as questions were asked and heads were scratched, the music round played some old favourites “Was it Agadoo or was it the Cha cha song?” I heard someone say!!

A lot of hard work goes into organising our events and without the help and commitment of willing volunteers we wouldn’t get the fantastic results we did. So massive thank you’s to Ally on the bar Mac on the door,  Mary and Nicola who worked their socks of getting those nachos and salsa out, Jethro, Will and Barry were fab with the 100 club and the clearing of the empties, and generally helping to ensure everyone had a great time.  Who would have thought Cheesy Nachos would be so popular.

The  man of the hour was Nick Leonard who  stepped in at the last minute to be the quiz master for the evening, an activity he has never done before but he nailed it and hopefully he will come back again next year.

Just to top it all off, Will brought along a sign that he had made, and that took pride of place on the stage, it said in big bold letters ‘Mencap Quiz!’ It even matched the table cloths, fantastic! Thanks Will!

As a self-funded charity we rely more and more on our loyal supporters who attend our events, the more successful our events are, the more opportunities we can offer our members. If you are interested in being part of an organisation that can make a difference to local people with a learning disability then please contact us at we have lots of exciting volunteering roles and always welcome new supporters.  Please follow us on twitter @keynsham_mencapface book/keynshammencap


18th September 2016 Sponsored cycle walk push

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As the sun shone, brakes were checked, chains oiled, tyres pumped and legs and arms stretched as we all geared our-selves up for the Keynsham and District Mencap Society’s annual sponsored cycle, walk and wheelchair push.

Well done to those that achieved the 25 mile cycle, 10 mile cycle and 5 mile walk.  This is one of our most popular fundraising activities of the year and we had over 65 people take part on Sunday; this included members and their families, staff and volunteers; and we were also very pleased to welcome a few new families to the event.

Everyone had a fantastic day and came away with a great sense of achievement, we were very lucky to enjoy the facilities of the Bird in Hand pub in Saltford who once again after the event provided much needed refreshments of sausages and chips.  We were looked after extremely well by a team of awesome staff who were very helpful and accommodating, a massive thanks to Richard who remained attentive throughout the event.

We welcomed photographer Edward Evans who took some amazing photos that really captured the day, and these are all displayed on our Facebook page.  A huge thanks goes to Jamie Ahearne from  Sainsburys local in Keynsham  who provided water and squash for the water stations.  Thanks to Pat Shelley, Rebecca’s mum for helping at the registration post, David Johnson from Keynsham Walkers welcome who manned the water station and warned on-coming cyclists to look out for our purple clad participants, and finally our own trustees Sue Jeffrey and Andrea Westlake for attending to the thirsty camels who pulled up at  the station in Bitton.

We are confident that we beat our total raised last year, the final count is not in yet but we expect to have raised in excess of £4000, which is superb.

A massive thank you to everyone who took part and made it such a successful event, we need the support of our members and families to keep our provision running to the exceptional level it does, we really couldn’t do it without you, so here’s to the next one.

Don’t forget its our quiz night next so save the date for the 8th October.