A big thank you to Family Bakers Warburtons for awarding us £400.00 as part of their Community Grant Scheme. Warburtons Community Grants support charitable organisations towards broader activities which improve health, place, or skills for families in their community.
The impact of grant donations such as this enhance the activities programme in our clubs; giving our members new opportunities and enabling them to take part in more confidence boosting activities that will broaden their horizons and more importantly help them to experience the same activities as their peers, but in a more secure environment. We aim to help all our members live happy and healthy lives and grants like this enable us to do just that!
This is Me! tells the stories of the Keynsham Mencap community. From club members to staff, from volunteers to charity trustees, everyone has a story. This photoblog enables you to learn more about who we are and what we do to support adults and children with learning disabilities and autism.
Our first story features Trustee Russ who was awarded the Citizen of the Year award at Keynsham Town Council last week.
Russ’s Keynsham Mencap Story
“My plan is to just keep on doing what I’m doing.
I’ve been a trustee for 10 years now. In the last couple of years it has felt a bit like just when we feel we’ve planned it all right, something happens! There was Brexit and all that uncertainty of course, then the pandemic, and we didn’t know how either would affect us, but we keep moving forward. We do our best. The people who work here at Keynsham Mencap, the leaders and volunteers are incredible. I work to support them to continue what they do.
It’s an amazing team.
I’d just retired from business and was not finding it easy. I’d been a director for 37 years, in roles with responsibility. It was not that easy to switch! This makes me feel that I am useful. I like to paddle my own canoe, and it turned out that I had skills I hadn’t known about until I came here. It’s so different from a commercial organization. I have applied my experience of management and do what I can.
I’m the Treasurer, and work with our bookkeeper and accountant putting together the annual budget. It enables us to know here we are, and plan. Throughout the year, whenever we are looking at events or a sponsorship deal, everything has to be costed and run past me. Unless it will fly, it doesn’t get off the ground.
What do I enjoy? all of it really.
This year has had its moments already! Like everyone, we have been coming out of the end of the pandemic and looking around at cost of living. We put everyone’s wages up, which we had to do, so of course the whole salary bill went up. Part way through last year, we lost a fundraiser and had 4 months without anyone, which is inevitably going to have consequences for this small charity.
As Treasurer, the first time we were given a meaningful grant spread over 3 years was a real highlight. To see that for that 3-year period? We know that we can keep on doing what we do.
The pandemic was really something for us. As soon as I heard that there were special grants I was on it like a blood hound and applied. I got ten grand! Usually if I hear of a grant I pass it to the fundraiser, but in the pandemic, we were all over the place, so I did one myself!
We are looking for a home for Keynsham Mencap. We need a central, accessible, Keynsham property where we can run the clubs and activities, as well as a place for the office staff. Any ideas?”
On Sunday 16th October, TeamKDMS completed the Bath Half Marathon. Dave, Dean, Jack, Pete and Stacey took on the 13.1 mile course around the sights of Bath and past our enthusiastic cheer squad of supporters stationed on Lower Bristol Road.
Well done to everyone who took part and thank you for choosing us as your charity, we really are very grateful for your support.
If you have been inspired by our runners this year the we have 10 Bath Half 2023 places available. The 2023 race is scheduled for Sunday 15th October 2023. If you would like to take part in this iconic running event and raise money for us then please get in touch. It’s only a £25 registration fee, and we ask for a commitment to raise at least £250 in sponsorship. Contact the office for more information.
On Saturday 11th June staff and volunteers took part in a 5K inflatable obstacle race in Bristol. The team thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, not only was it fun and a great team building day but the team raised nearly £1000. Well done everyone!
On Saturday 26th March and after a 2 year break we were delighted to welcome back supporters to our fundraising dinner and auction. ‘It was a joy to see familiar faces and to welcome new supporters to our biggest fundraising event in our 2022 calendar. Said Amanda Leonard Fundraiser
The start of pandemic meant we stopped running clubs in the usual way; thanks to the determination of our staff and volunteers we adapted services and continued to reach out to members during such an uncertain time.
This gave us the opportunity to try new things; we took their services online and virtual, spent more time outside and made visits to families at their homes. Staff and volunteers did whatever it took to ensure members did not feel isolated.
We are so pleased of what was achieved during the last 2 years despite experiencing challenges we never knew existed, and throughout it all, it made us stronger than ever.
The Auction raised in excess of £5000 on the night which way exceed expectations in what is still a very tricky time. ‘It felt great to finally be able to hold an actual physical event. We are very grateful to our supporters who continue to keep funds coming in for us; and despite a drop in income experienced. This amazing total will make sure we keep doing what we do best: ‘Providing social opportunities for adults and children with learning disabilities and autism’. Amanda added.
Huge thanks go to businesses iTeam solutions, Longwell Records, Gregory’s Estate agents, Bristol fun for hire, Homelet’s in Bath, Apex Hotel, Soul spa, Bailbrook House, SW Disco’s, Espa UK, The Olive Tree Restaurant, Original Wild Bath, Stockwood Golf Club, Congo Falls Adventure Golf, Wall Eden Adventure, Phil Girdlestone photography, Jane Metters, Leanna Biggs Make up and Hair, Hare Brewery, Bristol Headshots Photographers, Blue Bird Bakery, Clifton Wine School, Bird and Blend, Mulberry and Persimmon Homes who all contributed to the success of the evening.
Special thanks to Simon White of SW Discos who stood in as auctioneer and did an outstanding job helping to raise almost £2500 from just the auction lots alone!
Passionate about supporting their local communities, the team at PBTA (Perpetual Business and Tax advisors) Keynsham and Hanham, stepped out in October in support of Keynsahm Mencap after they heard about the charity’s mini-bus appeal.
Together the 16 strong team, set an aspirational target of 5 million steps for a month long campaign. The PBTA STEPTOBER team walked almost 5 million steps which equated to over 10,000 steps per day per staff member every day for the whole of October.
Duane Shield (Director) shared ‘We are a local accountancy practice who really wanted to continue to support this brilliant charity, by meeting our step targets we were able to provide a one off donation of £500 to help them with their current minibus appeal’.
‘We have a fantastic partnership with PBTA and look forward to continuing to work together on other fundraising and awareness projects in 2022’ said Amanda Leonard fundraiser.
The mini-bus is a life line to the members of Keynsham Mencap and so these crucial repairs where a necessity despite being an unplanned expense.
Local company AJM Engineering also came to the rescue along with the generosity of the local community who donated to the online appeal which meant the final bill was covered and the repairs were carried out; just in time as the charity’s Music Man Project takes to the road to perform on Sunday 12th December at 4pm at Manvers Street Church Bath.
Opportunities for children and adults with Learning Disabilities
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