We held our 3rd online quiz on Friday 26th June and this time the theme was the 80’s. Congratulations to the winning team which was lead by Andrew Hemings. Over £350 was raised via online donations made during that weeks lead up to the event. A huge thank you to all who took part, your generosity and support has been so encouraging for us during the pandemic.
These are still uncertain times but we want to say once again a huge thank you to all our supporters, you have been amazing! So far you have raised over £3000 from purchasing raffle tickets, attending our virtual quizes or taking on personal challenges, and we are so very grateful for it all. just look at what your generosity has helped us to achieve in 100 days.
Despite having to close all 10 clubs due to enforced social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff and volunteers from Keynsham Mencap have been working from home, maintaining contact with our members and coming up with innovative ideas and activities. The club leaders have been keeping in touch with members and families with regular calls and texts, sending out activity packs including colouring pages, activity sheets, word searches and dot to dot, recipes to try at home, craft ideas to cut out and make and packets of seeds to plant in the garden.
The society has been active on our social media platforms with regular videos and updates from club leaders. We have embraced the virtual communication world, with groups having Zoom meet ups, a weekly get together to chat and catch up. The Music Man Project has a weekly music session, complete with instruments made from items found in the home! Radstock Juniors have had a virtual quiz and a scavenger hunt. Club25 had a brilliant game of zoom bingo, and at a members’ request held a fancy dress bingo session.
We have set up a toy and game library, for members to borrow any of the equipment that would usually be used at club sessions. Board games, jigsaw puzzles, musical instruments, toys, garden and outdoor games are included. Operation’s Manager Laura has been out and about in the minibus to visit some members, particularly those who can’t get online, for a socially distanced chat on the door step.
‘We know that many of our more vulnerable members and their families will be experiencing increased levels of anxiety and isolation while we have closed our clubs. This creative way of keeping in touch will remind them that they are still very much part of our community. This uncertain time will also put a great amount of strain on the families, parents and carers of our members, we want to be able to help with those challenges that they will be facing every day’. said Laura.
Our team of amazing volunteers that usually support the weekly clubs and activities are even now, during this challenging period, still supporting the members by joining in with video calls, making weekly phone calls, helping to design activities that can be done at home, making videos, and so much more.
With the closure of the clubs, loss of subs, cancelation of fund raising events and limited grant funding available we are experiencing a significant reduction in income. We have moved into virtual fundraising and have created online events that have not only kept members, their family and friends entertained and having fun, but also raised much needed funds.
So far we have held an Easter raffle – with 2 large Easter eggs kindly donated by the Keynsham Lions, along with a hamper donated by friends of the society. A well-attended virtual pub quiz hosted on Facebook and YouTube, followed up by a music quiz, plus an online photography competition fundraiser. Even with restrictions easing a little there is still the need to host events online and appeal to the wider community of supporters to help to raise funds.
‘It is a trying time right now, as we are experiencing a significant loss in income, many of our funders and grant providers have ceased their grant giving activities, and we have had to cancel or postpone some of our biggest fundraising events of the year. The society still needs to cover monthly running costs, and we also want to make sure we can offer fun activities as soon as restrictions have been lifted when we welcome back our members. We hope our supporters will continue to embrace the virtual fundraising world, while we plan more events as we continue working around the challenges we are currently being faced’. Said Amanda Leonard Fundraiser
We have been very grateful to those who have supported us so far. We have an appeal on our Local Giving page https://localgiving.org/appeal/COVID-19-support/ and if you feel like making a donation to us, no matter how small, it would be much appreciated. She added.
We held our first online photography competition fundraiser on Sunday 10th May. There we’re 7 categories, entries opened at 10am and then every hour on the hour. Thank you so much to everyone who took part, we had lots of fun judging the entries, and hope that all who watched it and took part had just as much fun.
Here are all the winners from each category;
• Funniest Family Selfie – Sarah Thorne and Claire Rowles • Best Pet Portrait – Corrie Bell • Fancy Dress – Charley and Gabriel Davies • Best of British – Barry Hollyman and Suzie Lewis • Best Bake Off – Kim Cole • Green Finger Gardener – Philippa Joyce • Best Window Display – Emma Anstey
We also have an overall winner, Corrie and her photo of Maisy. There was an honourable mention to Jane Haycocks for the Blue Tit, and a mention for the best photo that sums it all up for us right now went to Vince Meredith.
All funds raised went towards our COVID-19 support fund, this activity alone helped to raise almost £300 and contributes to our overall fund which now stands at £1,666.00.
Supporter Martin Lewis was due to run the London Marathon this year, but of course it has been postponed to October due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Rather than put all that training to waste Martin decided to take on a 2.6 exercise challenge, and undertook 26 different exercises and athletic activities. Some of the challenges he did are: 2.6 mile run, 26 push ups, 26 sit ups, 26 squats, 26 jumping jacks, 26 burpees, 26 lunges, plus several more. Wow! Martin isn’t the only one getting involved in the 2.6 challenge. Volunteer Holly Rawlings ran 2.6 miles in the heat on Sunday and Club25 member Helen Griffiths walked 26 laps of her garden and played 26 tunes on the recorder including Amazing Grace, When the Saints, Polly Put the Kettle On, Grand Old Duke of York, Daisy Bell and Kumbaya. Well done everyone; that is amazing!
The 2.6 Challenge is a great way to support charities during this time. People are coming up with creative challenges around the number 2.6 or 26. If you have a challenge in mind you want to take part in let us know! We’d love to see your pictures. Your family and friends can sponsor you on our Local Giving COVID-19 Support page.
Thank you to those who have supported our virtual fundraising so far. Firstly we had an Easter raffle, with 2 giant eggs, kindly donated by Keynsham Lions, and a luxury hamper to be won. Congratulations to the three winners Colin, Andy and Nina.
Secondly we held a virtual quiz night with a live stream on Facebook and YouTube. We had a great response to this with many requests for another one. Our quiz hosts Amanda and her daughter Rosa did a fantastic job. We believe the team to beat are Handgelica Houston Film Club with a score of 42. They had set up a pledge with rival family team Winchester & Chiswick Isolation Society for the losing team to donate £20 for every point they were beaten by. With an 8 point difference between them, they kept their world and made a donation of £160! Thank you so much. As everyone was playing at home and marking their own quizzes, we decided to award a prize for the best team name instead – which went to Lock Down and 2 Smoking Furloughs!
On the 15th March 2020 the region was divided, should they run? Should they boycott one of the biggest charity fund raising events in the area!
We too had mixed feelings we had 19 runners who had been training hard for over 6 months. We had a sense of responsibility for our runners and our members; the Bath Half Marathon was to still go ahead despite opposition from locals.
We decided for the safety of our members the MMP cheer squad could not be in attendance but we would fully support our runners in whatever decision they made. And just like the region they too were divide. 10 of our runners joined over 6000 others and ran 13.3 miles at the Bath Half marathon; Huge thanks goes to Vince, Aaron, Matt, Jemima, Naomi, Michaela, Mark, Kelly, Alice and Pete, you guys were awesome and made the decision to carry on in the face of uncertainty. However and equally as important, Sarah, Georgine, Lisa, Diane, Myfi, Lee, Ali and Russ joined 100’s of virtual bath half-ers. This meant they ran the full distance of the Half marathon where they lived so from Bristol to Devon they braved the rain, avoided the crowds, gave their all and achieved their goals. The virtual Bath Half-ers sent in photos of themselves and their running route as proof.
What an amazing community spirit; not only was it a great day of uniting two different reactions to the challenges our nation is experiencing at the moment but between them these guys have raised over £4600, the money is still coming in too!
So from all the members, volunteers staff and trustees thank you so much for supporting our charity, raising much needed funds and giving us some fantastic news to share with our community.
Come and work for us and help us to provide social opportunities for people with learning disabilities. We are looking to recruit for the following positions:
Go Explore Club Leader
Go Explore Club is a social club for young adults with learning disabilities, offering them an opportunity to meet up with friends, take part in activities and access the local community. The successful candidate will plan and deliver weekly activities for the members to take part in.
The club leader will be required to produce a programme of suitable activities on a 6 week basis. To book and arrange any facilities, transport, equipment, facilitators as needed and to include community based activities within the programme to promote positive inclusion.
The role will require overseeing the volunteer helpers, helping guiding and motivating them to setting a positive example.
The successful candidate should have a good knowledge of a wide range of learning disabilities and previous experience of working in this sector.
A driver with their own transport, and willing to undergo minibus driver training is strongly preferred.
Hours: Wednesday evening 6.45pm – 9.15pm, plus paid preparation time per week, flexible to suit. (Total 5 hours a week) Pay: £11 hour
Our annual quiz was held on Saturday 12th October at the Fear Hall, 70 keen quizzers enjoyed some healthy competition and answered questions on a variety of subjects that ranged from sport and history to songs from our favourite Disney films! Thank you Lucy Jefferies (Laura’s sister) who took on the challenge and did an amazing job as quiz master. We hope you come back next year Lucy. Thank you also goes out to Aly, Hazel and Nicola, for running the bar William and Sarah for helping with the preparations. Barry and Suzy with the raffle and the door collection. Donations from Tesco Keynsham and Brislington, Waitrose, Sue Jeffery, Nick Leonard and Keynsham Leisure Centre made sure our raffle had some great prizes. We managed sell all 100 squares on the 100s club. Team Quiz-Quiztopherson were overall winners for the 2nd time running, who will challenge them next year as they attempt to win for a 3rd year running! It’s a team effort, whether you’re attending the quiz or assisting on the night all the help and support enabled us to raise just over £700 profit. So massive thank you to all who came along to one of our popular fun events.
Our musicians performed on the band stand at the Keynsham Memorial park on Sunday 8th September. It was a sunny day and there was an audience of over 120 people. Dog walkers and Sunday afternoon walkers stopped to listen and we had some audience participation at the end. We raised £250 through bucket collections which was an amazing result.
On Sunday 22nd September we took to the Bristol
to Bath Cycle path for our annual sponsored event.
Finishing at the Bird in Hand pub; 50 participants either
cycled, scooted or walked to Avon Valley Railway Station at Bitton; or went as
far as Bath and back for a longer distance.
Well done to everyone who took part, it’s a great achievement to
complete the event and thank you for the sponsorship.
Thank you to Niall, Andrew and Paul for helping on the day,
it went smoothly, and this year despite the soggy start to the event we
welcomed some new participants.
The rain stopped in time for us to eat our lunch; sausage
and chips kindly provided by Colin and his staff at the Bird in Hand pub.
This is always a popular event for our members, friends and
families, all we ask is that you come enjoy the morning when you meet up with
friends. We encourage our participants to set their own goals and do what they
feel they can comfortably do.
We will let you know how much we raised once the final total
Keep a look out for our next event… the annual Quiz which is
on Saturday 12th October at the Fear Hall. Tickets £7 each and include entry into the
raffle. This is always a fun night, there will be a bar snacks and raffle.
Opportunities for children and adults with Learning Disabilities