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.   

We’re Recruiting!

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

Boccia Club Coach

The ideal candidate will have a Boccia Coaching qualification already, or be willing to undertake the training. Experience of inclusive sports and/or working with people with learning disabilities would be advantageous.

Hours: Wednesday evening 6.00pm – 7.00pm.
Pay: £11 hour

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.

We raised the roof at our 3rd annual dinner and auction!

           On Saturday 9th March we hosted our 3rd Dinner and Auction at the Saltford Golf Club.  The event raised over £6500, and was held in aid of the Society’s ‘Building Appeal’.   This amount helped us to achieve our target of £100k  for the fund.

Chris Bennett and Tim Mawditt from local Blues band The Uncles, were the auctioneers with larger than life personalities and lots of jokes they really engaged with the audience and created a fun and relaxed atmosphere that encouraged some great bidding wars!

Among the auction items; a two day Yacht experience, a visit to the Bath Rugby training facility to meet the players and delicious meals from top local restaurants, all generously donated by local organisations.  Supporters included; Taylor Wimpy, Persimmon Homes, Stockwood Golf Club, B Block, Bath Heritage Museums, Sommer Dining, Watlings of Lacock, The Olive Tree Restaurant, HomeLets in Bath, Gregory’s Estate Agents, Bristol City Community Foundation, Bath Rugby, Eveleigh Estate Agent, Wall to Wall Finance, InspiringU, Small Print, Bath and Wiltshire, Redfern Ostepaths, Bristol Fun for Hire, Balloon Fever and Atlas Packaging in North Devon. 

We were delighted to welcome architectural historian Jonathan Foyle as our guest speaker who spoke about his experiences and life as a BBC personality.  

Thank you to John Muse from John Muse Photography, he generously gave up his time to take photos of the guests and provided a fun photo booth facility which always goes down well. 

There was a great mix of guests; society members, trustees, staff, volunteers and friends of the society, attended and enjoyed excellent service and the sumptuous food laid on by the staff of Haywoods Kitchen.  Corporate guests, included IT specialist’s iTeam Solutions from Saltford and Mailing house Toplink Envelopes Ltd who for the third year running supported the event.  

This year volunteer Jason Preston received a certificate of appreciation for his support over the years, so far Jason has raised over £4600 for the society, his latest effort was to go without shaving for a whole year, which raised an amazing £1200. Jason is now organising a 36 mile cycle ride on Sunday 19th May.

It’s always good to end an evening on a high and this year was no different as the evening was 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.  Check out our photos on Facebook

Jason goes for the big shave!


Volunteer Jason Preston pledged to go without shaving his beard for a whole year. Jason started his mammoth beard growing activity in February 2018 and continued for 12 months.  All Jason asked for was £1 sponsorship from everyone he knows and meets throughout the year.

During this time he has dyed his beard various colours for different events including decorating it at Christmas.

Jason undertook this crazy challenge to raise funds for Radstock Juniors.

After a whole year of not shaving, Jason has had his beard shaved. He was joined by some of the children and young people from our Radstock group who cheered him on.  Special thanks goes to Diamond Scissors barbers in Radstock for staying open late for the big shave off.  Jason raised over £1100 with this hair raising challenge, the money will go a long way to providing new and exciting activities that will broaden the horizons of the members of the club. 

Jason is an avid supporter of the society and in particular Radstock Juniors he is a fierce fundraiser, so far he has taken part in sponsored bike rides from Midsomer Norton to Weston, from Midsomer Norton to Brean, and the Prudential 100 mile bike ride in London, most recently he held a fundraising disco party in February last year. Since 2013 Jason has raised over £4600 for the club.

Winter Festival and Big Tea Party

Thank you to all who donated tombola items and baked cakes for our stall at the Keynsham Winter festival and our tea party at the Fear Hall. We made £365 at the festival and raised £74 at the tea party.  We also sold Christmas decorations and Christmas cards designed by our members. A great way to start the festive season. Money raised will go towards next year’s activity programmes.

Molly Hale wins the Keynsham Rotary ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ Award

Well done to our student volunteer Molly Hale who won the Keynsham Rotary ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ Award for 2018/19. Molly was nominated for her volunteering and fundraising activities. A true inspiration to the young people of Keynsham. Molly attended the Keynsham Rotary meeting enjoyed a meal and accepted her award and told the members of the Rotary why she enjoys what she does. Well done Molly.


Lets Get Quizzical!


On Saturday 11th November we held our annual quiz, this time at St Dunstans church hall, 96 people across 19 teams attended on the night and battled for first place to get their hands on the winners hamper.

Trustee Kit Kettel was our quiz master and he did a sterling job keeping the questions flowing and the rowdy crowds under control! The questions were a mix of sport, film, music and royal trivia, something for everyone. We made ‘Keynsham Mencap Quiz’ history that night and made over £900 on the night, it was a record attendance and amount raised.

Our tribe of helpers kept the bar running the tables cleared and the drinks refilled. Huge thanks to Nicola, George, Hazel, Aly, Karen and Braeden.  We had great speeches from Jethro and Andrew, and Steve worked hard to clear the tables. Thanks Guys!

We rely on the support of local businesses and members of the community to donate towards our raffle prizes, this year thanks goes out to Tesco Brislington, Pomegranate Longwell Records Blossom Acupuncture, Lisa O’Brien, Sue Jeffery, The Yendall’s and Helen Duckett frim Keynsham for all their kind donations.

We were really pleased to see lots of members, trustees and staff come along to the quiz bringing their friends and family along. We also welcomed new friends and we hope we will see you again next time.

We are in a time where the charity sector is heavily stretched, the competition growing and additional funding increasingly more difficult to obtain, therefore we find ourselves in even more of a position to rely on our community and our supporters.   We are immensely grateful to those who attend our events, raise money for us, volunteer for us and help in any way they can, you keep us going. For that we thank you.

Christmas is around the corner and there are lots of fun events coming up, if you can spare some time please bake for our cake stall on 30th November, pop along to our big tea party on 1st December at the Fear Hall 1-30- 3.30.  Our Music Man Project are performing a special on concert on 7th December at the Queens Road Methodist church.

We’ve also got a few Xmas cards to sell, please contact the office.

Super Saturday Club Celebrates 10 years.


Super Saturday Club turned 10 this year and on Saturday 27th October we held a party to celebrate. Members and volunteers past and present were invited along and joined in with the celebrations with family and friends. Everyone who attended enjoyed tea and delicious cake and candy floss. Music was played by past Member DJ Dan, alongside the music, entertainment was provided by a close up magician who wowed his audience with his slight of hand tricks and a children’s entertainer who kept the party going with fun games.
Among our guests we had Grenville Jones from the well known local Charity Goldies who came along to help us celebrate, Grenville fund-raised for us back in 2013 to enable us to take the children to Disneyland Paris. We were also joined by session workers who have visited Super Saturday Club to deliver activities over the last 10 years.
We started Super Saturday Club 10 years ago with the help a BBC Children In Need grant and subsequent funding since. Therefore we were so excited to have a guest appearance from Pudsey himself. What a great way to celebrate.
Not only do we have thanks for the funders and supporters of our club but more importantly the people who actually make it happen, club leader Kim Cole and her team     of dedicated staff and volunteers who we are so thankful to for the hard work and time they put into making the time spent at club so much fun. Thank you, we look forward to the next 10 years! More photos on our Super Saturday Album on Facebook.


Ceri’s Marathon Month


Well done to deputy club leader Ceri Lloyd for completing her  amazing 4 half marathons in 4 weeks challenge. Ceri had a shaky start to her marathon running; in March this year she was due to run the Bath Half, which was cancelled due to snow. She then decided to raise the bar and run the Bristol Half, Cheltenham Half, and Cardiff Half then finish off with the most challenging of all; The Wales Trail Half Marathon. All of these events took place on consecutive weeks through September and October. After completing the first 3, Ceri was unable to run in the 4th event as it had been cancelled due to flooding.  Not one to be put off easily, Ceri decided to still run the 13.2 mile distance along the Bath/ Bristol cycle path instead. She was accompanied by a friend who cycled along with her in the  pouring rain.  Ceri was raising funds for us and another charity which is close to her heart and raised over £1000 in total, of which a
massive £530 is for us which is amazing. We think Ceri is incredible! Thank you from all at Keynsham Mencap.

Opportunities for children and adults with Learning Disabilities