Thank you!

Happy New Year to all our supporters, we wanted to start the year off saying a huge thank you, we raised a massive £800 during our Christmas donations appeal. We’re busy planning for the year ahead so watch this space.

The Covid 70

When Lockdown started back in March member parent Val like many others wondered how she would fill her days, so she quickly decided to write a poem every day for family and friends. She has always enjoyed writing silly poems for family occasions and thought it was a good way of staying connected.

Val has written 70 poems focusing on the ups and downs of life during lockdown, she has now put them into an A4 book. We have a limited number of copies on sale and Val is donating all the proceeds from the sale to us; who, despite the closure of clubs made a commitment to remain operational and stay connected to all our members during the pandemic.

“Keynsham Mencap have transformed our daughter Claire’s life through a variety of clubs and activities. When Lockdown began we were extremely worried about Claire and how it would affect her but Keynsham Mencap have continued supporting her in so many ways; Zoom meetings, welfare calls, fitness in the park and a range of other ingenious activities. Their care for all aspects of the young people’s physical and mental wellbeing is inspiring.”
Val Rowles

The sun is shining the skies are blue,
We all know what we need to do.
Stay at home and look after our own,
All we have is the phone.
We can clean, cook and spring clean it’s true,
But I just can’t be bothered can you?
I mean to exercise with Joe Wicks every day,
But lack of enthusiasm is getting in the way.
I did change into my gym kit and even pinned back my hair,
Sadly very quickly I slumped in the chair.
We did go for a walk in the field for something to do,
But came home with boots covered in cow’s poo.
Today I’m worried sick about Charlie boy will he survive?
Oh hang on he’s got an entourage keeping him alive.
He and Camilla have only got 41 rooms to self-isolate,
But we can all walk to our front gate.
Well I’m going to write a poem a day,
Sorry it’s coming your way.
Keep Safe xxxx

Hope you enjoyed the sample.

To order your copy of this creative and very entertaining book of 70 lockdown poems email amanda@keynshammencap.org.uk. For a minimum donation of £7.50 we think it is a bargain, and if ordered by 10th December we will guarantee to get the book to you before Christmas.

Jason’s 50th birthday cycling challenge!

Jason Turns 50 on 12th November and so over the next 6 months he will cycle the distance from Lands End to John O Groats – virtually. (that’s 874 miles) Raising funds for Super Saturday Club and Radstock Juniors, two clubs that provide fun activities for young people with learning disabilities and autism that are close to his heart.
You can easily support Jason by following this link http://easydonate.org/BIKE
Or text…
To donate £5, text BIKE to 70970
To donate £10, text BIKE to 70191

Jason will be cycling shorter distances in his spare time and will clock up the mileage and keep his supporters up-to-date on his progress.
Good luck Jason and Happy Birthday of course!

Thank you

Quiz

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.

Our local giving appeal page is still live https://localgiving.org/appeal/COVID-19-support if you would like to help us.

We’ve innovated our services to continue providing support.

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.

We have details of virtual events and suggestions of others ways to raise money to support the appeal at keynshammencap.org.uk/fundraising/appeals.

‘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.

Photography competition

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.

2.6 Challenges

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.

Virtual Fundraising

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!

Bath Half 2020

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.

You can view all our photos here

ACTIVITY LEADER VACANCY

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 Social Club for Young Adults with Learning Disabilities

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

Application for Employment

Job Description

Opportunities for children and adults with Learning Disabilities