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


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

We got Quizzical

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 Music Man Project performed in the park

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.

Sponsored cycle ride and walk.

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 is in.

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.  

A great Learning Disability Week 2019

Between 15th and 23rd June it was Learning Disability week. And we started of the week with our family festival.  The wet weather didn’t dampen our spirits as in true Keynsham Mencap and Great British tradition we braved the rain at the Keynsham Rugby Club.  Our supporters were out in force and made it along to hear covers band ‘Hair of the Dog’s amazing set, bringing the atmosphere up and lightening the mood which attempted to chase the clouds away.  Chuffy the train took our festival goers up and down the field and SENsations deputy Hazel kept a watchful eye on the bouncy castle whilst standing under an umbrella.  The Music Man Project sang some of their favourite songs from their Royal Albert Hall performance, and it was the newer members first public performance.  Luckily we had some indoor space so the bar, raffle, tombola, face paints and cake sale kept everyone entertained.  DJ Barry brought along his new DJ equipment with lights, smoke machine and bubble machine and kept the party going inside once it got too wet and dangerous for the band to continue. Thank you to all who got a bit soggy in support of our cause despite the rain we still raised over £800 before we took out our costs.   

We then enjoyed a trip to Millfield School for their annual Mencap Fun Day. Groups from all over the South West and beyond travelled  to the school for the day where a whole range of activities are put on for people with learning disabilities.  There is something for everyone with live music dancing, sports, climbing wall, face painting, cooking and crafts. It’s always a popular day and well attended by Keynsham members.
And so we ended learning disability week with a 5 a side football tournament held at Sir Bernard Lovell Sports facility on Sunday 23rd June. 9 teams from the community including our 3 Keynsham Mencap FC teams took to the pitch to battle it out for top place. We had a BBQ and small raffle where we had some amazing prizes donated by a London agency called DINK. These included tickets to a premier league game and a signed jersey.  The Old Bank pub in Keynsham have been really generous and they have sponsored our team kit, so now our players also play in green as well as red and blue. The players also have a new training top each.  Thank you for all the supporters who enjoyed the day of football fun and to the staff of Sir Bernard Lovell.  The final score on the day saw the coaches win the tournament.  Well done everyone, the day was a huge success and we raised just over £400.   

Amazing day at the Bath Half

          Congratulations and thank you to all the runners who took part in the Bath Half on Sunday 17th March to raise money for the Society. Vince, Anf, Matt, Mark, Corrie, Daniel, Alex, Jo, Samantha, Alice, David, Thomas and Peter ran the 13.1 mile course around Bath in slightly windy conditions but at least it was dry and not too hot. Alice is the mother of a Club25 member and she may be in her 70’s but that didn’t stop her achieving an incredible time of 2hrs 24, all with a huge smile on her face! Vince and Anf ran the course dressed as Batman and Robin, because in their words ‘we’re running dressed as superheroes because we believe that’s exactly what the young people are’. The 13 runners were cheered on from the side lines by family, friends, supporters and music man musicians. So far it looks like the runners have collectively raised over £2,500. What an incredible amount! Thank you to each and every one of you; hope there weren’t too many blisters or sore muscles the next day. If you’ve been inspired by these amazing runners and want to join Team Mencap for 2020, the Bath Half registration is open now! Please contact  Amanda in the office for more details.

Opportunities for children and adults with Learning Disabilities