Merton Mencap has been awarded the Disability Symbol, to reflect the charity’s commitment to equal opportunities. Find out more.
Merton Mencap Blog
New Giving Back Club launches!
Our new Giving Back Club for young people 16-25yrs launches which will provide opportunities for young people to 'give something back' to their communities through volunteering and support for people who need it. Learn more
Merton Mencap’s Brand Ambassador Wins Business Volunteer Award
Merton Mencap is hugely appreciative of the hard work that all of our fantastic volunteers do for us. Volunteers work across our whole charity – at our offices, helping at community events, fundraising, trusteeship and supporting people with learning disabilities at our activities. Without our volunteers, we simply could not provide the range of services and activities that we do.
One such volunteer is Dickie Wilkinson who gives his time and skills to help us in areas such as marketing and profile-building. For example, Dickie promotes our charity to local organisations and at business forums, raising awareness of learning disability across the community to those who may be interested in supporting us.
During the last year, Dickie helped the charity on a number of projects including designing Marketing Cards, Thank-you certificates, raising funds in the business community and was instrumental in Merton Mencap winning the Merton Best Business Awards 2016 for Best Service Excellence!
In 2016, we estimate that Dickie volunteered an outstanding 250 hours of his time equating to over £6,000!
That is why Merton Mencap’s Chief Executive, Andrew Whittington, nominated Dickie for the Merton Volunteer Awards 2017. Andrew nominated Dickie for the ‘Business Volunteer Award’ which is eligible to any business or employee in the borough that had shown great commitment to a local charity. And he won!
At a ceremony on 15 June, Dickie was awarded a lovely glass, etched trophy presented by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Marsie Skeete. The event took place at Chak89, an impressive restaurant and banqueting room in Bond Road, Mitcham.
The event was a wonderful celebration of all the time, energy and commitment that volunteers across Merton contribute to charities and Andrew is delighted that Merton Mencap and Dickie Wilkinson exemplify that brilliant community spirit!
Last week Wimbledon Business Group officially announced that Merton Mencap was once again to be its chosen charity for the year 2017/18!
Wimbledon Business Group (WBG for short) is made up of approximately 12 local businesses who meet twice a month for breakfast and to share business tips and referrals.
Last year they invited Merton Mencap to be their charity of the year and as result Merton Mencap was recently awarded a cheque for £300 by WBG’S chair, Stephen Dixon, owner of the Holistic Fitness Studios in Wimbledon.
However, as well as donating money from their bi-annual business, networking events, WBG also offer Merton Mencap’s Ambassador Dickie Wilkinson valuable feedback and advice on how to attract funding from businesses, volunteers and general advice that can help the Charity grow and benefit more users, more efficiently and effectively.
As many readers will know, charities are facing a tough time and while Merton Mencap is an extremely well established and well-regarded local charity, we must still look at ways to attract private benefactors and business donations. By having Dickie attend the group (on a voluntary basis and he pays for his own breakfast!), he is able to feed back ideas to Merton Mencap CEO, Andy Whittington, to benefit the charity further.
In fact, one of the reason’s WBG have chosen Merton Mencap for a second year, is because of the commitment Dickie has shown in representing the charity and so we would like to thank him and all businesses at WBG for their continued support.
If you are a local business owner of work for a local business whom you think would like to join Wimbledon Business Group, you can find out more on the WBG website about their next breakfast meeting.
Deaf Awareness Week
Find details of the Information Market on Friday 5th May and other support provided by Merton's Sensory Impairment Team here.
Light up Morden
Come to the Light up Morden event on Thursday 1 December, 4pm-6pm, at the Civic Centre in Morden to help raise funds for us! We are one of two local charities which the event is raising funds for, the other being Jigsaw4U.
The event will have food, music, activities and fireworks! See you there!
Merton Mencap wins Merton Best Business Award
Merton Mencap was awarded Winner of the Merton Best Business Awards in the ‘Best Service Excellence’ category!
Over 250 people attended the high profile Awards Ceremony in Wimbledon where the winners of the Merton Best Business Awards sponsored by Merton Chamber of Commerce were announced.
“Tonight we have seen why Merton is such a great place to do business.” said Andrew Wakefield from the Merton Chamber of Commerce. “We have seen the crowning of the best across our local economy and we have witnessed the championing of local firms and what they do. It’s been a great evening”
We entered the award by showcasing the work by our talented volunteers and staff across the charity, with particular emphasis on how we measure the impact of our services through our evaluations at our Merton Mencap Café.
Congratulations to everyone at Merton Mencap for making us a WINNER!
Tamsyn Barton's half marathon
Heroic Tamsyn Barton, after injuring her spine, ran the Edinburgh half marathon in her best half marathon time yet, raising a whopping £2,265 for Merton Mencap!
Thanks for going through all the pain and the grind of getting back on form and thanks to your friends and colleagues who have so enthusiastically supported you.
You’ve helped to make a real and positive difference to the lives of the learning disabled people who use Merton Mencap’s services.
Wayne Lecky's AFC Wimbledon challenge
Well done, the magnificent Wayne Lecky for stepping up to the challenge, knocking AFC Wimbledon for six and smashing his fundraising target of £500 by raising over £630 for Merton Mencap!
What have you got to say for yourself, Wayne?!
“I scored my goal against my good friends. It was for Mencap, I was the best! Thank you Wimbledon!”
Yes, thank you AFC Wimbledon – you are the BEST... well, right after Wayne that is!
Find out what Wayne’s cracking AFC Wimbledon challenge was by watching the video clip of it right here!
Football tournament fun during Learning Disability Week
Huge fun was had when football teams from Merton Mencap, Sutton Mencap, Wandsworth Mencap and Orchard Hill College took part in a football tournament during Learning Disability week.
Our theme for Learning Disability Week this year has been “the importance of friendships”. This led us to organise a football tournament for people to take part whatever their ability, age or skill level.
The tournament could not have happened at all without the generous support of Tooting & Mitcham United Football Club who hosted the event. A fantastic time was had by all – and we all agreed to hold another football tournament again later this year!
Well done to the Inspire Community Choir at Morden Baptist Church!
Thank you to the fantastic Inspire Community Choir at Morden Baptist Church for raising funds for us from their recent summer concert!
The concert featured songs from well-known West End/Broadway shows such as The Lion King, Grease, South Pacific, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, to name a few. The venue was packed and the choir and the audience were rocking in the aisles to the beat of the music!!
A donation from this event was donated to Merton Mencap Local, to help raise funds for a club known as the Giving Back Club (formerly the Generations Club) designed for young adults with special needs. This club is for them to meet in a safe environment to learn new life skills and make new friends, as well as giving much-needed respite for their parents and carers.
After a standing ovation the audience were treated to fancy cakes and sandwiches, which like theshow went down a treat, leaving people with a feel-good factor, knowing they had enjoyed the evening and helped support a worthy cause.
Merton Mencap’s Andrew Whittington, addresses cross-charity trustees at local seminar
Merton Mencap’s Chief Executive, Andrew Whittington, acted as a keynote speaker at a recent seminar provided by Morrison’s Solicitors ‘Becoming a Charity Trustee’.
Morrison’s Solicitors (or Morrlaw as they are more informally known) have set up series of workshops and seminars dedicated to helping current and prospective trustees learn more about the legal issues relating to running a charity; the seminars also help provide a forum for trustees to meet and talk about the issues they face. Laura Harper is Morrlaw’s charity law expert, regularly presenting at seminars and writing articles on the topic for local publications.
Andrew Whittington spoke in his capacity as a Chief Executive and gave a very lively talk detailing a typical ‘day in the life’ of a charity Chief Executive, outlining their responsibilities and the importance of the relationship between a Board of Trustees and a Chief Executive of any charity.
One of Andrew’s key points was just how vital Trustees are in the running of a charity, providing Chief Executives with support and guidance; Andrew provided insight at an executive level that any businessperson needs if they are to run a successful company. After all, a charity is a business and like any company director, Andrew has to make difficult day-to-day decisions that affect the success and longevity of the charity.
Wendy Pridmore, Chief Executive of Wimbledon Guild, was present and nodding vigorously in agreement with Andrew as he went on to say: “A Chief Executive rarely switches off from their charity, regularly dealing with things well into the evenings and at weekends; this is why trustees are so important as Chief Executives need people on the same level and with similar experiences to refer to.”
As Laura Harper of Morrlaw pointed out, the Trustees of a charity are ultimately responsible and it is easy to get side-tracked into more exciting projects and let good governance become a secondary factor, however as Laura reminded us, “A well run charity will be there long after you are!”
Good to do business with you! A big thank you to the Wimbledon Business Group for donating £100 from their networking event to Merton Mencap. Steve Dixon, Chair, is pictured here handing over the cheque. Venetia, Merton Mencap’s fundraiser is taking great care taking that cheque off him – Steve is a 5th Dan Black Belt in kickboxing, and will be generously providing free martial arts training at his Holistic Fitness Studios in Wimbledon for ten enthusiastic Merton Mencap participants in June!
Merton Mencap Superheroes walked or ran through a vibrant Regents Park on a glorious May day to raise much needed funds for Merton Mencap. We got stuck into the fun warm up session and enjoyed the lush environment as we made our way around the park, spotting a camel at Regents Park Zoo along the way and more than a few surprised stares from the unsuspecting public.
Congratulations to Margaret Groves, Lauren Cooper, Noeline Sundaram and Anna Caldicott who walked the equivalent distance around her local park with support from family and friends. ‘You are true Superheroes!’
Wimbledon Business Group
Anna Caldicott walked 10 laps of her local park with the enthusiastic support of friends and family on the day our other Superheroes were buzzing around Regent’s Park. She raised a magnificent £626.75 including gift aid for Merton Mencap!
Her mother, Sue says: ‘Anna did amazingly on Sunday, she breezed through the 10 laps with the help of our very fit neighbour Mike who walked the 10 laps with her allowing her only to stop for some water intake! It was great because neighbours and friends came to support her and joined in at certain stages. We are very proud of her.’
We all are, Sue! Thanks so much for all your support, and well done Anna! Step up to Superhero status!
Thanks to Louise Davies from Turners Property
Congratulations to the magnificent Louise Davies from Turners Property, who completed the Brighton Marathon after weeks of tough training! Louise has raised £1,066 with the support of Turners, a family run estate agency in Morden.
Louise told us: "The marathon itself went really well on the day, I had trained hard since January so felt that I had prepared well for it. Brighton was a superb location, the crowd support was amazing and knowing my husband, children, family and friends were going to there with hugs and words of encouragement still brings a little tear to my eye now. I am so pleased that I managed to complete the Marathon challenge and in a time of 4hrs 31 minutes. May the money that has been so kindly donated help your charity and the services it provides in some way."
Thank you so much, Louise, the funds you have raised will make a real difference and will help Merton Mencap to continue its invaluable work supporting people with a learning disability and their families.
Thank you so much brand new bellissima Bella Italia in Colliers Wood who have raised over £2000 for Merton Mencap. Guests, friends and family of staff acted as guinea pigs for the restaurant in the run up to the official opening and they made donations for drinks and certain items on the grill menu.
We were blown away by everyone’s generosity, by Bella Italia’s warm and attentive staff... and by the delicious lunch they put on for two of Merton Mencap staff and two of our budding cafe staff!
We look forward to putting some wise words of wisdom from their staff to good use at our Merton Mencap Cafe. Thanks for both supporting and inspiring us Bella! Now, we just need to know how to make the best coffee in town so we’d better drop by your expresso machine so you can show us!
HUGE thanks to Morrisons Solicitors, Wimbledon
A massive thank you to the whole team at Morrisons Solicitors, Wimbledon who raised further funds for us. A great team of people at Morrisons who have really got behind our work and are encouraging us – we couldn’t do it without you.
BIG thank you to ASDA in Merton!
Our grateful thanks to ASDA in Merton and all their customers for choosing to raise funds for Merton Mencap! Receiving your support means a great deal to us!
BIG thank you to Waitrose in Wimbledon!
We have been so pleased to receive further funds from Waitrose in Wimbledon as a result of their Community Matters scheme. A BIG thank you to Waitrose and customers for all your continued support.
Your Voice Matters: Hear Me Speak! 3rd December 2015
December 3rd is “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”. Join Merton Centre for Independent Living (CIL) to find out more about how to be heard by decision-makers.
Whether you want to complain about poor service, you think your local councillor should listen more, or you want to influence national issues, join Merton CIL at this really exciting all day workshop event to share your experiences and find out more from other campaigners.
Contact Merton CIL for more on 07449 362233
Well done Mike!
Our congratulations to Mike Jewes for his excellent effort in completing the Wimbledon half-Marathon on 26 July and, in doing so, raising funds for us!
Finishing at a brilliant time of 1hr 56m, all of us at Merton Mencap are very proud of Mike – well done! We look forward to hearing about Mike’s next athletic venture!
If you are inspired by Mike and would like to raise funds for us by taking part in an event, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch!
A BIG thank you to Waitrose, Wimbledon
Our grateful thanks to Waitrose in Wimbledon for their donation of £265 as part of their Community Matters programme.
The Community Matters programme involves the nomination of three charities each month. Green tokens are available at the checkout to customers who place the taken in the box for the charity they would most like to support. Funds are divided according to the number of tokens each charity receives.
Our thanks to all the staff and customers of Waitrose in Wimbledon for their support.
Well done to Richard Dorris!
HUGE thanks to Richard Dorris for raising funds for Merton Mencap by taking part in a penalty shoot-out . On 11 April 2015, Richard challenged AFC Wimbledon's Commercial Director, Ivor Heller, to a penalty shoot-out at half time in front of 4500 spectators! Richard sprinted from the half-way line and blasted the penalty. Richard hoped to raise £500 for us but has already exceeded this amount by raising £750!! Excellent effort!!
BIG thanks to Morrisons Solicitors
Our grateful thanks to Wimbledon-based Morrisons Solicitors who made a further donation to Merton Mencap as their Charity of the Year.
Merton Mencap is Morrisons Solicitors’ Charity of the Year and we are delighted to have their support and encouragement. For further information about them, see www.morrlaw.com
Easy Read Manifestos
Today the five main national political parties launched accessible versions of their party manifestos. The easy-read manifestos use simple language and pictures, which make it easier for you, your family or friends to understand what each party stands for. Download them here:
Everyone at Merton Mencap is sad to hear the news that our friend, Clive Sullivan, recently died after an illness. Our best wishes are with Clive’s family, particularly with his brother, Mark.
Clive has been a very popular member of our clubs and activities for many years and had lots of friends. We know many people will want to attend the funeral for Clive, which will take place on Wednesday 8 April, 11am at:
St Ann’s Church
4 Brighton Road
Surrey SM7 1BS
Richard Dorris's AFC Wimbledon Penalty Shoot Out
Richard Dorris is an adult with a learning disability who attends the High Path Centre in South Wimbledon. He is a dedicated Dons fan who along with his friends from High Path, supports them regularly at home matches. On April 11th Richard has challenged AFC Wimbledon's Commercial Director, Ivor Heller, to a penalty shoot-out at half time in front of 4500 spectators! Richard will sprint from the half way line and blast the penalty. Ivor will have to sprint form the corner flag to defend his goal! Richard hopes to raise £500 for Merton Mencap.
Merton CIL, Merton Seniors Forum, Merton Mencap and Age UK Merton bring you 2 local Hustings events. We have invited the main General Election 2015 candidates for the two local areas (Mitcham & Morden, and Wimbledon) to answer questions from you on the issues you care about.
Date: Mon 9th Mar 2015
Venue: The Vestry Hall, 338 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 3UD
Vestry Hall is opposite The Cricket Green. It is a short bus ride from Colliers Wood, Tooting Broadway and Morden Underground stations. Bus routes: 118, 127, 200, 201, S1, N44. It is five minutes' walk from Mitcham Tramlink Station, which has links to Croydon and Wimbledon. There is free off-street parking at Cricket Green, Glebe Path, Whitford Gardens, Albert Road, Langdale Avenue and there are three parking bays for Blue Badge holders just outside Vestry Hall.
Date: Thurs 9th Apr 2015
Venue: The Holy Trinity Church, 234 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1SB
Pantomime Performance – Treasure Island!
Local theatre company MP3 Players is putting on four performances of Treasure Island at the Holy Trinity Church, The Broadway, Wimbledon on Friday 30 January (7pm), Saturday 31 January (matinee 2pm & 7pm) and Sunday 1 February (matinee 2pm). Tickets on the door! All profits equally shared between Merton Mencap and homeless charity Spear. Download leaflet here.
Family Fun Sessions ending
After providing our Family Fun Sessions during the last two years on Sundays at the Acacia Centre, we will be ending this project in March 2015.
During the last year, attendance at these sessions has been low and, despite our efforts to promote the service, we have not been able to attract enough people to warrant a continuation of the service. We know, however, that some families have used this service and we are therefore sorry to be closing this service for them. For those families, we hope our other services may be able to provide some support – please do get in touch with us to learn more about our other services which may be of interest.
Therefore, we will be running 3 final sessions of the Family Fun Sessions which will take place on 18 January, 15 February and the final session on 15th March.
Meanwhile, thank you to all the families who have supported us with this service during the last 2 years and for Merton Council who has provided funds to run this project.
Huge thanks to Morrisons Solicitors for holding a fantastic quiz night to raise funds for us - a superb £1,800 was raised!
The Quiz Night took place at the Antoinette Hotel in Wimbledon and was attended by 19 local business, all of whom had entered a quiz team. Morrisons Solicitors organised the entire event and did a superb job! In addition to the challenging questions, Morrisons even arranged a raffle and a delicious buffet! Many thanks to the whole team at Morrisons Solicitors, especially Kelly Duncan, who worked so hard to make the evening such a success.
For more information about Morrisons Solicitors, please visit their web site www.morrlaw.com
A BIG thank you to Admiral Trust and local businesses for supporting us
Merton Mencap wins £2,000 first prize in local charity competition, run by the Wimbledon Guardian. The competition was entered on behalf of Merton Mencap by one of our members, Jane Dowek, who is the mother of son Joe who attends our Generations Club.
Merton Mencap won the £2,000 first prize, which was presented to us at a fundraising event at Tooting and Mitcham Football Club on 10 October. The event was hosted by The Admiral Trust, and Sutton-based firm Amicus Insurance Solutions Ltd who were the main sponsors of the event. The event brought together up to 100 business people, residents and politicians for an evening of auctions, fun and fish and chips.
Funds will be used to help continue our Generations Club, which supports young people to develop skills for independence. Our congratulations also go to two other local charities, Mental health charity STEM4 and Wimbledon Kickboxing & Boxing Club, who will also receive £2,000 each over the next year as a result of the unique competition.
The Admiral Trust is a charity founded in January 2012 by local businessmen and women to provide resources, encouragement and support to those in need.
Special guests attend our Gateway Active Award ceremony
We were delighted to be joined by some special guests for our latest Gateway Active Award ceremony on 30th September.
The Who frontman, Roger Daltry, and Daily Express owner Richard Desmond were among special guests attending our Gateway Active Award ceremony on 30 September, in which we congratulated our members for completing their Gateway Active Award.
Our Gateway Active project has been kindly funded by Richard Desmond’s Health Lottery during the last 2 years, through Royal Mencap Society. Also supporting the event was Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh and Royal Mencap CEO, Jan Tregelles, and her team.
Our members and their families attended the event which celebrated the achievements of our members who had completed their Gateway Active Award during the last year. The event included an African Drumming Workshop which everyone seemed to enjoy!
A BIG thank you to all our members and their families for making the event so special, as well as our special guests - particularly Roger Daltery, Richard Desmond, Siobhan McDonagh and Jan Tregells and her team. A very memorable event!
A BIG thank you to our volunteer Tom George for raising funds for Merton Mencap by completing the London Triathlon on Sunday 3 August. Tom completed the triathlon in 2hrs 27mins, which included a 1.5km Swim, 40km Cycle, and a £10k run 10km. In doing so, Tom raised a superb £626.43 for Merton Mencap. Congratulations and well done to Tom for his fantastic effort!
Tom has volunteered with us for 18 months and has been a great supporter of our work, supporting members of our Gateway Active Award and the Saturday Club.
If you are inspired by Tom’s efforts and would like to fundraise for us, we would like to hear from you – please get in touch with us!
Put your questions to local providers of bus, train, tube and tram services in Merton by attending a meeting on Tuesday 29 July 2014 at 7.15pm at the Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Morden.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how public transport can be improved. For more info call 020 8545 4141
or email email@example.com.
Merton Mencap Summer Fun Day: Sunday 22 June
A fantastic time was had by all at our Summer Fun Day on Sunday 22 June, at the Acacia Centre in Mitcham.
Activities for the whole family included a Professional Drumming Workshop, Arts and Crafts Workshop, Bouncy Castle, Meet the Animals (with Deen City Farm), Face Painting, lots of food and drink, and access the superb Adventure Playground.
A BIG thank you to Circle Housing Merton Priory for providing funds for this event. We could not have organised all the activities without you!
Special thanks to everyone at the Acacia Centre who helped us put on the event too.
If you missed our Summer Fun Day, watch out for next year’s! It will be even better!
Gateway Active Award
On Wednesday 21st May, we held the 2nd Gateway Active Awards Ceremony where we presented 15 people with their Silver Level Award and 11 people with their Bronze Level Award.
A very successful and enjoyable evening for all involved. The Gateway Active Award has had two successful years with 26 members working really hard to achieve their Bronze and Silver Levels.
We are now in process of gaining funding to complete the Gold Level for another year. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers to helped to make the project a success.
New forum for carers of adults with a learning disability: Adults First
Adults First is a new Forum which supports carers of adults with a learning disability aged 18+. The Forum will be lead by carers, who will decide on the direction of the forum, including which campaigns to run.
We are currently recruiting a Steering Group, Representatives and a Lead Carer to take forward our new forum which will support carers of adults with a learning disability, particularly older carers. These are all voluntary positions.
For the role descriptions of each, go to our Adults First page or telephone our Adults First Facilitator, Tracy Blackwell, on 020 8687 4644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Merton Mencap – Summer Fun Day!
We are holding our fantastic Summer Fun Day on Sunday 22 June, 12pm-4pm, at the Acacia Centre in Mitcham.
There will be lots of activities for the whole family, including animal handling, drumming performance, penalty shootout, bouncy castle, face painting, arts and crafts activities, and access to the superb Adventure Playground! Delicious food and refreshments will also be available, as will our stalls and raffle.
The venue offers excellent facilities and has good accessibility. Free car parking is also available next door at St Marks Academy.
Download more information about its location here.
Royal Mencap Society are running a number of Free 'planning for your future events' in June to help Families by giving them advice about leaving money in their wills to a person with a learning disability. They understand this is a very daunting and complex subject and the 2 hour seminar is designed to give families the opportunity to get will and trusts advice from a qualified local legal professional, without any jargon.
If you would like more information about the events of would like to book yourself on to one please call the team on 020 7696 6925 or email email@example.com
Guide to securing employment
The National Valuing Families Forum (NVFF) and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD) commissioned a family member, Dave Barker, to write a guide for families about employment. The project arose from the Valuing Employment Now programme with the aim of developing a resource by and for families. This guide offers valuable information to help families think about what they can do to support their family member. Download it here
Councillor Peter Walker completes London Marathon!
Well done to Peter who successfully completed his first London Marathon and, in doing so, raised funds for Royal Mencap Society and Merton Mencap! This was Peter’s first time running the London Marathon and he has already raised £1,200 for us at Merton Mencap – a fantastic effort! You can still make a donation – please log on to Peter’s Just Giving web page.
Peter’s hard work and training paid off as he came 22,074 out of 34,480 – which placed Peter 231 for his age group. Peter’s time was 6 hours and 27 minutes. We know that Peter’s main aim was to finish and all of us at Merton Mencap are very proud of Peter for his superb effort.
If you are interested in raising funds for us, we would like to hear from you. Please get in touch with our Operations Manager, Kelly Bull, on 020 8687 4825 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Gateway Active Award Silver Level members complete their challenge!
Congratulations to some of our Gateway Active Award Silver Level members for completing their Challenge Section on Saturday 12th April by putting on a Pop Up Restaurant for family and friends.
A great day was achieved by our members on the Gateway Active Award as they spent the day cooking a three course meal of different dishes which they later served to their friends and families! All worked really hard planning the event, cooking the food and serving at tables. Well done to everyone involved!
This activity is part of the Gateway Active Award programme for our members, which includes various tasks and challenges.
A friend of Merton Mencap, Peggy Sims
Everyone connected with Merton Mencap has been saddened by the news that Peggy Sims has recently died.
People will remember Peggy with great fondness. Peggy and her son, John, had been supporters of Merton Mencap for many, many years. Peggy and her late husband, Leslie, had volunteered their time to help run our clubs and activities, and Peggy also contributed to forums and meetings which sought to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and their families in Merton.
A funeral service for Peggy will take place on Friday 25 April at 12pm at North East Surrey Crematorium.
We understand from Peggy’s family that it was Peggy’s wish for any donations to be made to Merton Mencap in her memory.
All our thoughts and best wishes are with Peggy’s family at this time.
Go Ahead London Director, John Trayner (right) presents a cheque to Merton Mencap Volunteers Linda France and Rob Boardman, with Merton Mencap’s Programme Manager, Fanta Bojang, and Chief Executive, Andrew Whittington Click to enlarge
Merton Bus Garage – superb fundraising effort!
Merton Bus Garage chose Merton Mencap as their charity to fundraise for during their Centenary Celebrations last year. Merton Mencap wishes to thank the whole team at Merton Bus Garage who were fantastic, promoting our charity on the day and encouraging donations from local people. After donations were counted, Merton Bus Garage kindly rounded up the amount collected to £2,000! Thank you so much to all concerned!
Special thanks must also be given to our two volunteers, Linda France and Rob Boardman, who gave up their time on the day to support the fundraising. We could not have done this without you!
Finally, we wanted to acknowledge the extent that Merton Bus Garage supports our charity. The garage regularly provides a vehicle and driver for free, which assists us with our travel training programme for people with a learning disability. Merton Bus Garage plays a key role in supporting people with a learning disability to be travel independently in Merton. Many thanks to the whole team at Merton Bus Garage for their continued support of our work – it means a great deal to us.
Merton Mencap has launched Volunteer Internship opportunities which provide structured training and a chance to be involved in key areas of the business. Internships can be for 3, 6 and 9 months. Volunteer Internships are current available in areas including Fundraising & Community Liaison and Travel Training. The scheme is particularly suitable for students (e.g. undergraduates, graduates) and those looking to change career. Go to our Volunteer Internship page for more.
We are running Family Fun Sessions during the Easter holidays on Wednesday 9th, Thursday 10th and Friday 11th of April between 9.30am and 11.30am at the Acacia Adventure Playground in Mitcham.
The sessions are a great opportunity for children and their families to take part in various activities, access the superb playground and meet other people. These are free sessions – no need to book, just come on the day. Refreshments are also available.
Many will know that we run these sessions on Sundays. Download the flyer showing the activities we will be running on the Sundays between 6 April and 11 May.
Everyone connected with Merton Mencap has been saddened by the recent sudden passing of Susan Hills.
Susan had been member of our 2gether club (formally Gateway Club) for many years. Those who knew Susan will recall how popular she was, and how she had many friends. Susan had great qualities and was known for her kindness to others, and for her enormous enthusiasm for enjoying life. Susan’s passion for music and dancing was regularly evident during club nights and parties, and she always led the dancing and fun.
A service to celebrate Susan’s life took place on 11 December at St Lawrence Church, Morden, with the committal at North East Surrey Crematorium. The number of people in attendance reflected the high regard that people have for Susan. All who spoke recalled fond memories of Susan as a loving daughter, sister, auntie and friend.
A special tribute will be given to Susan during the 2gther Club Christmas Party on 19 December.
Susan’s friends at Merton Mencap will always remember her. Our thoughts and best wishes are with Susan’s family at this time.
WCTT, Merton Mencap and New Wimbledon Theatre present a special performance devised by Merton Mencap young people, as part of the Communicate With Me project. William Morris House (Room 1) on Friday 13th December 2013 at 7pm.
Details of Christmas closure datesfor Adult Projects at Merton Mencap.
Merton Mencap AGM and Christmas Party
Merton Mencap AGM will take place on Thursday 21 November at 5.30pm at the Acacia Centre, Mitcham CR4 1SD, and will be followed by the Christmas Party for members and invited guests. For more information and directions, please download the flyer.
Merton Mencap Cafe scores top marks during food hygiene audit
We are pleased to report that, after an unannounced inspection by the local authority's Environment and Regeneration Department, our Merton Mencap Cafe scored the highest score possible for performance. Well done to all our service users who are supported to run the cafe and serve a healthy menu to the public.
The Merton Mencap Cafe is based from the Holy Trinity Church, the Broadway, Wimbledon and is open on Mondays between 10am and 2pm. Our Merton Mencap Cafe offers a range of healthy hot and cold light meals and drinks.
See you there!
100 Years of Merton Bus Garage and Open Day
Merton bus garage centenary celebrations will be held on Sunday 17 November between 10.30am and 4.30pm at Merton bus depot, High Street, London, SW19 1DN.
On the day there will be:
Heritage buses which operated from Merton operating a FREE 30 minute service to Wimbledon Village
Heritage buses on display and trade stalls
Hourly garage tours, bus wash trips and much more…!
All funds raised will be donated to Merton Mencap!
Come and experience a piece of history…Bring the family and make a day of it.
Merton Mencap launches new service to support parents who have a learning disability which affects their ability to parent effectively. The service, Family First, also supports local agencies who work with parents to provide a service which is accessible to people with a learning disability. Visit our Family First page
Well done to our some of our Gateway Active Silver and Bronze members who took part in a sponsored walk to raise money for the project. It was great day and thank you to all those involved – the event has already raised £854!
Learning Disability Conference: 14th October 2013, 10am-2pm, Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Rd, Morden, Surrey SM4 6PX
82% of parents of people with a learning disability are anxious about when they may not be able to continue caring for their son or daughter, and how they can plan for the future.
Merton’s annual conference will consider how people with a learning disability and their families can begin to plan for the future. This event is for people with a learning disability, their families and friends, and people paid to support them, and those who plan services.
The conference will make reference to the new Thinking Ahead planning guide produced by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, which is designed to help families to plan for the future.
To download a flyer for the event click here. To see an agenda for the event, click here.
Volunteering with us
We have a number of volunteering opportunities available on our projects. To find out more about how you can get involved, please visit our Become a volunteer page or Read more.
Family Fun Sessions – additional days during the summer holidays!
We are running additional Family Fun Sessions at the Acacia Adventure Playground during the summer holidays. Download the dates here
Spare places at our clubs for adults with a learning disability!
Our clubs for adults with a learning disability, Evolutions, run at various locations in Merton during the evenings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and on Saturday mornings. The clubs are for people who receive little or no support from social services. They are packed with activities which support people to be healthy, active and safe – and to enjoy themselves! No social service referral necessary.
For more information, contact the Projects Manager (Adults), Ruth Abbott, on 0208 458 5121 or email at email@example.com
Spare places at our clubs for young people!
We have places at our Generations Club for young people 16-25yrs (Saturdays, 12pm-4pm, Mitcham), at our Aspirations Club for young people 12-18yrs (Sundays, 9.30pm-1.30pm, Wimbledon), and at our Going Out Club for young people 18-25yrs (Wednesdays, 6.30pm-9.30pm).
The clubs support young people to be safe, independent and to take part in community activities. No social services referral necessary.
For more information, contact the Projects Manager (Young People), Brenda Fortune, on 020 8254 8389 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Crocodiles, Lizards and Reptiles!
The Acacia Centre, Mitcham CR4 1SD
Sunday 30th June 2013, 12-4pm
If you have ever wanted to meet live Crocodiles, Lizards and Reptiles (and snakes!), now is your chance! Come to our Summer Fun Day on Sunday 30 June at the Acacia Centre in Mitcham (12pm-4pm) and Crocodile Encounters will be there! Free entry and not to be missed!
The Acacia Centre, Mitcham CR4 1SD
Sunday 30th June 2013, 12-4pm
There will be lots going on at the event, including music, a BBQ, light refreshments, face painting, animal encounters, activity workshops, a football match as well as the raffle. There is also access to the fantastic adventure playground!
The afternoon will have lots of fun activities for all the family to enjoy as well as giving people a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones and to also enjoy a social occasion in a relaxed, secure environment.
The invitation letter includes directions to the Acacia Centre and the flyer gives full details of all the events that will be taking place on the day.
We are very grateful to the following companies for donating prizes for the raffle:
1 month’s free membership to a gym donated by Fit8
6 hardback books donated by Hodder and Stoughton
Silver candle plate warmer donated by the Mint Source, Wimbledon Village
A Noble thing – book on National Trust donated by The Wimbledon Village Book shop
A luxury manicure donated by Bellissima Beauty Boutique
Tea caddy and 2 packs of Chiki Japanese tea donated by Chiki tea
3 paperback books donated by Hodder and Stoughton
Boxed set of 4 mugs donated by Cath Kidston
Bike lock donated by Smith Brothers of Wimbledon Village
Free facial and goodie bag donated by Molton Brown
Kings Club – 2 free Zumba classes
Free goodie bag donated by Space NK
Red rose and magnolia bath soak donated by Gardenia of London
£25 Ely’s Voucher
Headmasters Cut & Blow Dry
"Living Mitcham" Carnival
Saturday 15 June
Visit our Merton Mencap stall!
After the success from our cakes and jewellery sale at Mitcham Carnival last year, we are doing it all again this year!
The carnival starts with a parade at 12 noon but we are setting up our stall at 12.30pm, offering an array of treats. Come and see us and find out about our charity!
This performance is for people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment including people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, sensory or communication disorders, or a learning disability.
The atmosphere in the auditorium will be relaxed to provide a more supportive environment - a bit like the quiet carriage on the train...but the opposite! Audience members will be free to come and go as they please throughout the performance and make noise if they want to.
It is important to note that the content of the production has not been specifically adapted for this Relaxed Performance. The production focuses on the story and, although there are sensory elements (lighting, sound and projections) we would suggest this play is most suitable for those who will enjoy a narrative-driven performance.
The age-recommendation for this production is 11yrs+ and the play contains strong language and emotive, adult themes.
We will provide 'visual stories' two weeks prior to the performance to help support your visit.
This performance takes place at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES.
The Stalls and Dress Circle are reserved for people for whom Relaxed Performance conditions are essential, and bookings for these areas of the theatre are available exclusively by phone. To discuss your specific requirements, and to book tickets, please contact the Box Office on 020 7452 3961.
The Grand Circle and Balcony are available for general booking online, by phone and in person.
Based on the award-winning novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliot, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a thrilling new stage play from the National Theatre, hailed by The Times as ‘a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle’.
Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
Nineteen people were recently awarded with a Gateway Active Bronze level certificate and medal. This was a fantastic achievement by all, with individuals spending the last year completing hours in the following areas to complete the award:
Gateway Active Challenge
After the success of the individuals who took part Merton Mencap will be running Gateway Active for a second year – allowing another group of individuals to complete the Bronze award and some of the individuals who just completed Bronze to move onto the Silver award.
The recent hotly anticipated match between Merton Mencap and Midland was full of goals!
Midland Mencap, who recently played Midland Police (and won) brought their players and supporters to Merton, where a hotly contested match was played at the Hub. Midland quickly took a two goal lead in the first half, but after a spirited fight-back, Ben (from our TC club) crossed a superb pass into the box which John (from our Evolutions Club) struck firmly into the net to make it 2-2! The second half was hard and Midland Mencap were just too strong in the end, despite some great defending by our team.
The photo of the team on the day, with our Football Team Manager, Ruth Abbott (in red hat).
A return match in Birmingham is being organised!
Merton Mencap’s Gateway Club will be changing its name from the 1st April 2013. The club will continue to be a social club for Adults with a Learning Disability, and it is now run by a small committee of voted in members and peers of the club. The 2gether committee will run monthly meetings and consult with members and Project Manger on future events, and activities provided at the club.
Merton Mencap’s café has launched a new menu including our health options supported by Sutton and Merton Responsibility Deal. The Café runs in Wimbledon every Monday throughout the year and is run by adults with a learning disability with support from staff and volunteers.
Funds raised from the Café go back into Café and this has allowed the group to recently complete a new food hygiene awareness course which gave them all a certificate of completion of the course. Our new menu has some new options as well as the old favourites. Make sure you visit us soon to try out our new menu choices.
Sutton Careers and Transition Fair
The London Borough of Sutton are holding a Career and Transition Fair on Wednesday 13th March from 11am - 5.30pm at Carshalton College.
This event is aimed at young people in school years 10 to 13 to look at post 16 options the fair will have employers, training providers and apprenticeship opportunities on display for students to find out more.
The Transition area of the event is being specifically designed for young people who have a statement of special educational needs and their families to give more in depth information about what is available post 16 for young people with learning disabilities and difficulties.
There is also a young employment conference and a number of workshops that will be running alongside the event.
On Wednesday 27th February 2013 the members of the Wimbledon Arts Centre attended an exhibition at the Merton Civic Offices to see the display of the work which was completed by the group for Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council.
The Members of the Wimbledon Arts Centre were invited to bring a guest and this was the first time they had seen their work since it has been displayed in the Councillor’s meeting room at the civic offices. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work that the group does with support from the art teacher Shreeti and the staff and volunteers of the club.
It was lovely to see the members of the Wimbledon Arts centre so pleased to see their work and to be able to show their guests, and special guests such as the Mayor work they are proud of.
Here are some pictures of the fantastic artwork and the members of the group enjoying themselves with their guests.
Click the images to enlarge.
On Monday 25 February, Merton is launching Opening Doors week, in which 12 people with a learning disability will have the opportunity to experience the working environment through work placements. The project is being run by Merton Council, Merton Mencap and the Volunteer Centre.
Most work experience placements will be within various departments and services run by the council. Volunteers will be available to support people with a learning disability during the placement, which will be carefully structured in order to provide individuals with a worthwhile experience. The work placement may be, for many, the first step on a journey into new activities such as training, volunteering and employment.
If you are interested in having a work experience placement, or you know someone who might be, please contact Andy Whittington at Merton Mencap by
4 February on 020 8687 4676 / 07767 670 134 / email@example.com
Merton Mencap would like to say a big thank you to Neil Weddell for his Fundraising.
Neil Weddell, who attends a number of our Merton Mencap clubs, raised an amazing £823.36 by completing a sponsored swim. Neil was improving his swimming as part of the fitness section of his Gateway Active Award and asked friends and family to sponsor him to complete a swim of 32 lengths.
Neil has done fantastically well to raise this amount of money and he presented Andy Whittington, Chief Executive of Merton Mencap, with the cheque at our AGM in December 2012. Neil has kindly donated the money to Merton Mencap’s Health and Fitness club which he attends. The Health and Fitness group, based in Mitcham, runs weekly and currently supports 14 adults with a learning disability to increase their Health and Fitness by using Gym equipment in a local environment.
Neil’s donation is vital to keep the club running as funding recently expired for this club and we have not been successful in securing funds to continue the running of the club.
Merton Mencap and the voluntary sector has been advised of a major scam as follows:
A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).
DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.
If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655 .
For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website
Huge thanks to Putney High School!
Merton Mencap wishes to congratulate Eliot House at Putney High School for their superb efforts in raising money for Merton Mencap. We are so grateful for all their hard work and support for our charity - their combined efforts raised, in total, a terrific £3,506.42, all of which will go towards our activities for adults with a learning disability. Well done and thank you to everyone at involved at Putney High School!
Click to enlarge.
No to Trick or Treat
We know that many people would prefer not to be visited by those celebrating Halloween and calling to ‘trick or treat’. If you feel this way, you may wish to download and display a poster which indicates that you would prefer not to be disturbed. Download the poster (PDF file) which you can then print.
Our volunteer is also a Games Maker!
Merton Mencap was delighted to see one of our volunteers, Christine Sutton, contributing as a games maker at the Olympics! Christine is one of our volunteers at our popular Gateway Club which runs on Thursday evenings.
After a busy schedule of Olympic Ceremony rehearsals, many of which were late at night, Christine took part in both the opening and closing ceremonies. If you know Christine, you may have seen her as one of the drummers in the opening Industrial Revolution scene, before a quick change into her marshal suit ready for the athletes parade. At the closing ceremony, Christine was a marshal again - wearing a bowler hat with a light!
Well done to Christine for helping to make the Olympics such a brilliant event!
(Click photos to enlarge)
Vacancy for a Project Search Instructor at Cricket Green School
A new vacancy has arisen for an instructor to support young people with a learning disability to develop their skills in a workplace setting. Download the information here
Save money on your heating bills
People with a learning disability could save money, thanks to free loft and cavity wall insulation from Mencap and British Gas. Find out more by logging onto http://www.mencap.org.uk/britishgas or phone British gas on 0800 975 1631* and quote the code: ICP0004, and we gather they will arrange for a British Gas energy expert to come round to your home and carry out a free no obligation survey.
Easy-read information for the Paralympic games
The London Organising Committee of the Paralympic Games has an Easy Read Section to their website:
There is lots of information about the Games, what's happening each day, how you can get involved and also there are easy read guides to all the sports.
Free local workshops on Personal Budget and Direct Payments
Carers Support Merton are running free workshops to provide information for people interested in using a personal budget or direct payment to employ a care worker or personal assistant. For more information, download the flyer.
Merton Mencap is saddened by news that Pauline Fairbrother died on 4 August 2012. Many local people know Pauline who, with great energy and determination, campaigned tirelessly for a better life for people with a learning disability and their families. Pauline’s work and achievements are an important part of Merton Mencap and we send Pauline’s family all our best wishes at this time.
If you would like to attend a celebration of Pauline’s life, download details which have been provided by one of Pauline’s daughters, Ruth Sharrat, here.
If you would like to know more about Pauline, download details which have been provided by one of Pauline’s daughters, Ruth Sharratt here.
Merton Mencap salutes their own triathlon champion!
Merton Mencap congratulates Rachel Lecky for her super efforts in completing the Shock Absorber Women’s Triathlon on 10 June 2012 and, in doing so, raising £377 for Merton Mencap’s Saturday Club, which is based at Perseid School in Morden.
The triathlon, which took place at picturesque Eton College rowing facilities at Dorney Lake,
was contested by 156 women, all of whom took part in the punishing programme of events including open-water swimming, cycling and running. Merton Mencap is very proud of Rachel’s terrific performance on the day, which saw her come 47 out of 156, with an impressive recorded time of 36 minutes!
Rachel’s son, Darren, is a member of Merton Mencap’s Saturday Club and Rachel feels training for the event was worth every effort: “I felt I wanted to support the work of Merton Mencap and particularly their Saturday Club which my son goes to. The club provides a chance for young people with special needs to take part in various activities, meet people and enjoy life”.
This was Rachel’s second year in the event, which is organised by Human Race, and she is already considering entering next year!
If you are interested in sponsoring Rachel in any future ventures, get in touch with Merton Mencap on 020 8687 4676 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A BIG THANK YOU to the students of Ursuline School, Wimbledon, who raised funds for Merton Mencap through their super fundraising efforts, including a sponsored cycle. We were delighted to be at their end of year celebration to congratulate the students and thank them for all their support! The funds raised will be used to support our activities for adults with a learning disability. Thank you very much to everyone involved - well done!
Merton Mencap has been audited by the City & Guilds for the London Youth Quality Mark (AQYP) and has just been awarded accreditation. This quality standard underlines the charity’s commitment to providing services of quality to young people. More details to follow.
A BIG THANK YOU to the students of Putney High School, Putney, who chose Merton Mencap as their charity to fundraise for. Their fundraising activities included more than 10 cake sales and Crispy Crème Sales, and we were delighted to visit the school and congratulate the students for their efforts. The funds raised will be used to support our activities for adults with a learning disability. Well done to everyone involved!
People with learning disabilities and their experience of cruelty in the community
Lemos & Crane’s report Loneliness and Cruelty is a study based on in-depth interviews of people with learning disabilities by frontline practitioners across the country. The report shows that people with learning disabilities living independently in the community experience a disturbing range of harassment, abuse and related crime with alarming frequency.
Loneliness and Cruelty: people with learning disabilities and their experience of harassment, abuse and related crime in the community by Carwyn Gravell, Researched and published by Lemos & Crane working with the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and with support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
How would you improve health and social care services in Merton? For more information visit www.linkmerton.net or call on 020 8685 1771 or email email@example.com
Link Merton has produced a report showing the progress it has made in delivering its current work programme. To download a copy of the report, visit www.mertonconnected.com/link-update-1-12 . For a hard copy of the report, call 020 8685 1771.
Dates for your diary
Friday 9th March - Go4M event - 11am to 3pm - Morden Baptist Church
A celebration of the work of disabled people in Merton - information, music, theatre, art and craft displays
For more information ring 0770 359 6834 or visit website : www.go4m.org.uk
Friday 16th March - Transition and Personal Budget Resource Fair - 10am - 4pm - Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Road, Morden
This will cover leisure, colleges, employment, housing, health, training, benefits, daytime activities etc.
For more information follow this link
Thursday 22 March - 10.15am - 3.00pm / Thursday 29 March - 10.15am - 2.15pm: Carers Support Merton course on Personal Budgets - Vestry Hall, Mitcham
Contact Debbie Kilby (8646 7515) to find out more or book a place on this course
Wednesday 9 May - 10am - 4pm -St Albans Centre, Leigh Place, Holborn - Seminar/workshop on 'Eligibility, choice and quality of residential care for people with a learning disability'
Run by Kith & Kids. This costs £25 for family members, £5 for service users.
Speakers include Luke Clements and Mark Goldring. Call 8885 1517 to find out more or book a place.
Go4M ‘Celebrating Our Lives’ event and AGM
Anyone who wants to find out more about organisations in Merton that are run by disabled people, or that positively include disabled people, should attend the Go4m ‘Celebrating Our Lives’ event on Friday 9th March at Morden Baptist Church. Read the PDF for full details.
National Personal Budget Survey Results
A social care survey of the experiences of over 2,000 people who have received a personal budget, and their family carers, has been completed. Download the full report here or the summary report here.
A similar poll was conducted by Mori to examine the users experience of personal budgets – download it here.
A big thank you to Morrisons Solicitors of Wimbledon
Very special thanks to Morrisons Solicitors of Wimbledon for choosing Merton Mencap as their charity for fundraising for their annual quiz night on 6 October. This is the second event Morrisons Solicitors have chosen to raise funds for Merton Mencap and we are all very grateful for their encouragement and support for the work that we do. The event raised over £2,000.
The quiz night was made special by Dave Beasant, the former England goalkeeper, who also attended and joined our Merton Mencap quiz team. Many will know Dave as the captain of the 1988 FA Cup Final winning team Wimbledon as, during the match, Dave became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty during an FA Cup Final. On the night, Dave was definitely our man on our quiz team for all the sport questions! A big thank you to Dave too!
Rogue doorstep trading
The office of Fair Trading tell us that rogue doorstep trading is a serious problem in the UK. A substantial proportion of these complaints are vulnerable customers such as disabled people (23%) or elderly people (49%).
The Office of Fair Trading offers helpful advice in this area, if you or the person you care for needs it.
'Look Here!' SeeAbility event in London, 3rd November 2011
People with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other people.
SeeAbility is holding an event on 3rd November in London to advise people with learning disabilities and their supporters about good eye care.
If you're a carer, it's important to take some time to look after yourself. On Thursday 20th October 2011,you can come along to The Vestry Hall, London Rad, Mitcham for some FREE therapy taster sessions.
Advertisement: Books Beyond Words Facilitator Training: Friday 9th September 2011
An essential interactive workshop for family carers, support workers and professionals.
Who are we are:
Beyond Words publishes an award winning series of books for people with learning disabilities or communication difficulties. The books communicate through pictures designed to help people understand and cope with a wide range of challenging situations. The books can be used by family carers, support workers and other professionals — anyone who wants to help someone with a learning disability to understand their world. Professor Baroness Sheila Hollins has edited all 38 titles in the series since 1989.
The aim of the workshop will be:
To demonstrate how pictures can be effective communication tools in support of people with intellectual disabilities for a variety of situations including in the home, in social and health care settings and in the community.
To equip participants with techniques and enhance their communications skills in using pictures with people with intellectual disability.
To achieve a level of proficiency for participants who wish to become certified facilitators for Beyond Words and lead a Beyond Words Book Club or work with individuals and groups using the Books Beyond Words series.
How will we learn:
By watching short films of people using pictures to communicate.
By practicing using pictures in small groups.
By watching a demonstration of a book club.
By communicating with people with learning disabilities using pictures.
What the workshop will teach:
Why are Pictures Better than Words?
Expressive and receptive communication.
What are Books Beyond Words?
Ways to Use Books Beyond Words.
Preparing somebody for a new situation
Making sense of something that’s happened
Getting consent from patients
Helping people to tell their own story
Educational uses with a group
Educational uses one-to-one
Using the books in therapy
Using individual pictures
Using the books in professional training
How to run a book club:
What you need to know:
Where: Boardroom 2, Hunter Wing, St. Georges, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, SW170RE.
When: 10:30 am - 3.30 pm Friday 9th September 2011
Cost: £145 per person, includes lunch, refreshments and training folder.
If you book two or more places the cost reduces to £125 per person. To sign up for this workshop, please send a cheque for £145 made payable to "Books Beyond Words", together with your name and contact details to:
6th Floor Hunter Wing
St. George’s, University of London
Merton Centre for Independent Living is holding a meeting for all disabled residents in Merton to have their say about services and priorities in these difficult times. Senior officers from the London Borough of Merton will be present. The day will provide opportunities for disabled people and their carers to discuss in small groups and identify key services. Signers and graphic communicaters will be present to ensure all views are heard.
The meeting will take place on 16 September 2011 between 11am- 4pm at the Chaucer Centre in Canterbury Road, SM4 6PX. A buffet lunch will be provided. Please book your place by email or leave a message on 07710 576267.
Therapists at the JMC day centre planning to offer a service to carers
A resource that not everyone knows about is the team of therapists based at the Jan Malinowski Centre in Mitcham. This includes art, music, drama and dance therapists, and they currently work with over 70 adults with a learning disability in the borough. The good news for us is that they are thinking of also providing a service for carers in the future - they are shortly going to be getting in touch with people to find out who might be interested, when and where they'd like the service to be provided etc. If you don't hear from them but would like to know more, the person to contact is Becky Ware at the JMC.
Toenail Cutting Service
The Podiatry Department is no longer commissioned to cut toenails; this has left a lot of adults with Learning Disabilities without a toenail cutting service.
The Community Nurses have proposed piloting a basic toenail cutting service for these individuals.
The aim of this service is to provide regular toenail cutting to these individuals who no longer receive a service from Podiatry.
Anyone can make a referral to this service and an assessment will be carried out to ensure the person is eligible for a service.
The eligibility criteria are as follows: -
The person used to receive a toenail cutting service from Podiatry
The person is not able to or has no-one who can support them to cut their toenails
There is no charge for this service but every person accepted for this service will have to commit to buying a foot care kit, which will consist of Toenail clippers, foot file, emery boards or a metal nail file and a pair of nippers.
Feet and toenails will need to be thoroughly washed on the day of the appointment. It is not advisable to wear tights on the day of the appointment. A clean towel will need to be provided.
This service can happen at the day centre or at home to suit the needs of the person. The service will be available between Monday - Friday 9am–5pm. If it is felt more specialist foot care is required, it may be necessary to access a qualified Podiatrist where there will be a charge.
Mencap thinks that almost 1 million people with a learning disability have been a victim of disability hate crime. We want to see local authorities housing, social care and education come together to stop it.
In preparation for Learning Disability Week, Merton Mencap and national Mencap have been working together to raise awareness of the Stand by Me campaign, in which we want to see an end to hate crime against people with a learning disability in Merton.
We have also been working with the local police to raise awareness of this issue and to gain their support in stopping hate crime.
On Saturday 25 June, Merton Mencap, Sutton Mencap, and police officers and police community support officers came together for a sporting event in Morden. Footballers from Merton Mencap (‘Top Cats’) and Sutton Mencap joined with the police officers and staff for football training and matches. It was a super event in which everyone came together and had great fun!
If you want to know more about the Stand by me campaign, and support us, please download the Stand by me information (PDF).
St George’s Hospital
The Consultant Nurse for Learning Disabilities at St George’s Hospital, Jim Blair, is away until 6 July. If you need to speak to someone in Jim’s absence about a person with a learning disability at St George’s Hospital, contact David Flood on 020 8725 1624 or 020 8672 1255 and ask for BLEEP 8031.
Government strategy on mental health
If you support an adult with a learning disability who also has a mental health problem, you may be interested to download an easy-read version of the government’s strategy on mental health.
Community care law and the cuts on learning disability services
National Mencap have published a short video to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the cuts on learning disability services. The video is an interview with Luke Clements, who is a leading expert in community care law. See the video
Accessible information about the Census form
If you would like some accessible information about the Census, download this document. If you would like help to complete your Census, contact Lisa Gallacher on 020 8687 4657 or Email her.
Merton Mencap Registered Office The Wilson Hospital, Cranmer Road, Mitcham CR4 4TP
Company Limited by Guarantee No. 5692213, registered in England and Wales, Registered Charity No. 1113444. Images used on site are done so with permission.