All posts by Amanda

Another Great Fund Raising Event



We had our annual sponsored walk, cycle, wheelchair push yesterday and once again we had a very well attended event.  60 people turned up to take part in distances of either 5, 10 or 25 miles. Some people arrived with the expectation of doing as much as they can in the amount of time they felt comfortable, a few people managed to go that little bit further than expected, which was great news, a real sense of achievement was gained by everyone, especially Daniel Coll who kept going and achieved the 5 miles.

We welcomed some new cyclists to the day; One of our 18+ members, Stephen Gray attended for the first time and he had not been on his bike this year; and last year he went on very reluctantly. Liz, Stephen’s mum tried to get him involved several times at Warmley Wheelers and he had not wanted to try out any of the bikes. So to cycle 10 miles was a great achievement. “Following the successful ride today I am going to take him out more regularly” said Liz and “On our way home he said ‘Wow nice bike’.”  “It was great to be part of the fund raising today” Liz added.

Huge thanks goes to Kim Cole our Super Saturday leader, her sons Dean and Ben  and her friends and family who are our regular supporters of the event, their enthusiasm stands out and helps to encourage the other participants. 

Barry Hollyman very kindly lent us the use of his PA system which was a welcome relief for our Chair Lisa O’Brien as it meant she didn’t have to shout too loud when it came to the certificate presentation that was held in the garden at the end, especially after pushing her son Jon the full 5 miles in his chair, “The chair alone weighed 3 stone”. Exclaimed Lisa.

We had great attendance from our Trustees Russ Pocock, Kit Kettel and family who took part in the walk and Sue Jeffrey and Andrea Westlake who manned the water station at Bitton.  The staff at Bitton were also very accommodating by allowing us to site a water station; as they had a very busy event taking place themselves.

Fundraiser Amanda Leonard and Keynsham Juniors leader Nicola Hodges ensured everyone could sign in at the start, and received their certificate with the correct achievement, (fingers crossed) and then served the food at the end. The day went smoothly and some fab photos were taken throughout the day, you will find them on our Facebook page. 

It was good to see some of our volunteers taking part and getting involved, they already give up their time to help out at our various clubs but to also attend on a Sunday, raise money, and for some like Niall Tomlins to get on a bike for the first time in a while was just amazing, thank you.

The bird in Hand once again were superb, providing hot refreshments for everyone who took part.

All that’s left to say is thank you to everyone who helped out, took part, and of course who sponsored the participants.

Over the next couple of months as the money comes in we will let you know how much we raised.

So until next time…which is Saturday 11th November, our annual quiz night, this time at the Scout Hut Keynsham.  Look out for more details coming soon.

Please vote for us to be our new project “Music Man”

Great News! Our nomination to receive funding from the OneFamily foundation has been approved and will go forward to the voting stage.

We need funding for a new project that we want to launch in September; The  Music Man Project.  12 members would benefit from this project when it launches, providing them with a forum to be able to express themselves through the involvement of music.  This is a project we have every confidence in becoming very successful and it presents a platform in which our members can raise their profile within the local community whilst at the same time expanding our facilities accessible to our community.

This is a public vote that is now open and will remain open until 6th September.

Please log on to  and vote for us to be awarded crucial funding.

The projects with the highest number of votes within our category will be awarded the prize fund.

  • Anyone over the age of 18 can vote for our project
  • All voters must register to the OneFamily Foundation in order to cast their vote


By clicking on the link and voting for us you can help to make a difference and secure much needed funds to set up our Music Man Project.

The Music Man Project gives creative artists a platform to raise awareness about the incredible difference music can make. Emotional well-being, basic skill development, self-discipline, teamwork, co-ordination, communication and social skills are all significantly enhanced through the study of music.

It’s really simple to do and takes just 5 minutes all you have to do is search for our project, Music Man , don’t worry your details are safe then vote away!

  • Click on the Sign in to vote button
  • Sign up via the green button
  • Enter your details
  • Check your email for confirmation
  • Click on Vote now Button

Please share this message with all your contacts who in turn are our supporters too!!

Fun at the Fete


This Saturday (5th August) a summer fete was held at the scout hut in Keynsham to raise funds .  This time there was a twist, the event had been arranged solely by the society’s Student Volunteers,  Molly Hale (student volunteer) is a keen fundraiser, and along with her friends and fellow volunteers organised a summer fete to raise money for the Society. They prepared everything themselves, spoke to local businesses for support, organised some great activities and obtained excellent raffle prizes. 

Molly is a volunteer at our Thursday night 18+ Club and the Keynsham Juniors club on Tuesdays she is 16 and has been involved in raising funds for local charities for quite a while, she’s taken part in sponsored runs for Cancer Research, for a local child with additional needs and table top sales for the children’s ward at the RUH, she really is a true inspiration.

She’s just finished her GCSEs and before she completely chilled out for the summer she worked on making the summer fete a huge success.

Molly and her friends demonstrated hard work and dedication with the organising of this fete, we are completely self-funded therefore we do rely heavily on the backing of our supporters whether it’s local businesses, volunteers, staff, and members and their families, the enthusiasm of everyone involved bolsters the fact that what we are doing for the community is supported. 

A massive thank you to Molly, Leah, Jemima, Alysha and all their friends who organised and ran the event. At a time when young people are so frequently demonised for their behaviour, it was fantastic to see so many give their time and energy to raise over £500 for the Society.” – Lisa O’Brien Chair.

It was team effort on the day as not only did the volunteers get involved but society ambassadors Barry Holllyman who was the resident DJ, Suzie Lewis and Paul Southard enjoyed helping out on the Raffle and Tombola Stalls.

Local businesses who supported the day included, Sportscene, The Lounge barbers, Bonzo Lounge, G+D free, 73 degrees bicycle shops, Kodak, Bath ink and toner, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Stone Roses Florist, Pomegranate, Fish bar, Keith’s barbers, Entertainer, Greggs, Blades, Leisure centre and Reflections Hair Salon who all generously donated raffle prizes.

Thank you to everyone who helped on the day and came along to support us, it’s was a really good day. – Molly Hale, Student Volunteer.

“Molly and all our volunteers are a great asset to our society, their enthusiasm, energy and kindness inspire our members both young and old. Without the dedication of our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to offer local people with learning disabilities the same opportunities as their peers”. Lisa O’Brien.  

We have a few more photos on our facebook page, please take a look. 

Come and join us at The Keynsham Music Festival on Sunday 2nd July 2017

We will be raising money and just as important; raising awareness of our charity within the community with a tombola stall. It’s the Keynsham Music Festival’s 25th anniversary so it’s sure to pull in the crowds and promises to be an awesome event that we’re really excited to be part of. If you have a spare couple of hours and would like to help us out please get in touch with Amanda or make your way to the Keynsham Memorial Park on Sunday 2nd July, we will be there from 11.30am till 9.00pm. Be great to see you! Of course no tombola is complete without an array of must have prizes so if you have any unwanted gifts, toiletries or food stuff please bring them into the office by Friday 30th June. All donations greatly received.

Festival of Fun at Bath City Farm 21st May 2017

Wellies were an option but we really didn’t need them; after a week of rain the sun shone on the right day.  Bath City Farm were great hosts for our family festival of fun they were very accommodating and nothing was too much trouble.  

We raised just over £500 on the day and everyone who attended enjoyed the fab music that Barry Hollyman played from his disco.  The barbequed to perfection burgers and sausages went down well with a cool refreshing drink.  

We had an overwhelming amount of support from willing volunteers who, without their help and enthusiasm we would not of had such a successful day.  

There was something for everyone at our festival of fun, from face painting, to beat the goalie, the teddy tombola, hook a duck and lucky dip, not forgetting the bouncy castle. 

We welcomed around 100 people to the farm that day and everyone enjoyed a taste of summer in the idyllic setting that the farm has to offer.  

Clown Bert entertained the crowds with his tantalising magic, silly  jokes and awesome balloon making, the kids thought he was ace.  

Once again we were supported by local businesses and had some great raffle prizes that included vouchers for spa days, hairdressers and simply carpets, toys and much more. 

Although our events are important fund raisers for the society that isn’t the only reason we enjoy holding them; it’s also a chance to meet up with friends and have fun.  We hope those that came along had a great time and will spread the word and bring more friends to our next event. Check out our Facebook page for the photos. 

Crowd funding appeal to send 12 people to watch the Special Olympics in August 2017.

Our members committee have put forward a suggestion for a group of our members to have the opportunity to go to the Special Olympics that are being held in Sheffield in August.  We took some members to the Games in 2013 and they loved it and were really inspired by it. This would be a fantastic opportunity for 12 of our members, who are keen to watch their peers take part in accessible sporting activities.  The Games welcome over 5,000 family members and friends to the stands to cheer on and celebrate the athletes, we would love for our members to be part of the excitement of this fantastic event.  For some this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, a trip like this will encourage our members to think about healthy living and exercise, it is an incredibly important part of the charity activity; educating members on the importance of looking after themselves physically, whilst making it fun and engaging. Therefore we have set up a crowd funding page on two online fundraising providers.  

We would be really grateful if you were able to help make this happen, we have set a target of £750 to enable their travel and accommodation costs to be subsidised, if you would like to donate you can do so  via our JustGiving or Localgiving pages.  


Start fundraising with JustGiving

Airbus Community Award 2017 – Runners up for second year in a row

A massive thank you to all who collected the Tokens from the Bristol Post last month.  The awards ceremony was held on Wednesday 5th April 2017 at Airbus in Filton.

One of our committee members William Marsh attended the ceremony with his carer Helen Hill and accepted the award of £500 on our behalf.  They enjoyed Airbus’s hospitality of coffee and pastries and got to meet other community groups, all working hard to make a difference within their own communities. 

We collected over 48,000 tokens in total, which is a huge effort by everyone who was involved.  This was a great activity to be involved in as not only did we obtain a share of the £10,000 award money but we were also able to raise awareness of our charity among the community.

We are really grateful to everyone who supported our charity by collecting tokens.  Thank you!

Collect your Tesco Tokens and support us while you shop in store

Our application to the Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme has been successful and our project called ‘Nurture and Grow the Community’ A project were our members will have the opportunity to help Keynsham in Bloom tend to an area of land in Keynsham and improve it through planting flowers and garden maintenance; it will be put forward to a customer vote in Tesco stores during March and April 2017.

Our project along with two other successful projects in our region will go forward to a vote in Tesco stores where customers will decide the outcome by voting for their favourite project each time they shop. Voting will take place from Wednesday 1st March to Saturday 29th April. The project with the highest number of votes across our region will receive up to £5,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000.

To vote, you will need to make a purchase within store of any value. You will receive one token per transaction then please pop it in the stand situated near the entrance of the store.

Here is a list of all the stores that are taking part.  Please pass on to your friends and family if they shop in any of these Tesco stores.





Help! We Need Your Support NOW to Win a Share of £10,000

Last year we asked our supporters to collect tokens from the Bristol Post to enable us with a chance to win part of a £10,000 award.
Well, it’s that time of year again and we have been lucky enough to be in with another chance to win a share of £10,000 through the Bristol Post and Airbus Community Awards.
Please help us again; all you need to do is buy a paper and collect the tokens and send them in to me at the office. They are available now in the Bristol Post papers and are printed every day until 20th March.
Last year we won £500. This year wouldn’t it be great if we won more?
Please send all your collected tokens into the office by 20th March.
Please Look out for special editions!
For anyone who is in the center of Bristol, they are giving out the paper free by the train station and by Tesco Express on Broadmead,
We would be grateful if you could pass on to your friends family and colleagues.
Thank you for supporting our charity


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.