DCMS blog

#LocalCharitiesDay: Something for everyone at New Forest Mencap

Liz Rolf

by

Chair, New Forest Mencap

As the voice of learning disabilities in the New Forest, we are delighted to be taking part in our first #LocalCharitiesDay.

The Gateway Club

New Forest Mencap provides leisure activities through our social club known as The Gateway Club, we host four sessions per week in two locations across the forest, New Milton and Brockenhurst. The sessions are predominately recreational activities so that adults with learning disabilities can make friends, stay healthy, learn new skills and have fun while their families get a break from caring.

Our members really engage in these groups and enjoy taking part in drama productions, singing, bowling, arts and crafts, they have the opportunity to learn valuable life skills such as cookery courses and also enjoy club outings with friends.

The Gateway Club launched a successful award scheme many years ago which is  modelled on the Duke of Edinburgh award, it encourages members to work towards group and individual goals helping to build self-confidence and independence.

Become a friend

This year New Forest Mencap are reaching out to the community to promote a “Become a Friend” initiative, we are keen to expand our connections with parents, families and employers of people with disabilities.  We want to hear from them directly about the kind of support they are looking for and what they feel is missing. We want our “Friends” to become part of our daily decision making process and help to bring innovative and creative ideas that will really help adults with learning disabilities to live the best life they can possible live.

When someone “Becomes a Friend” we will put them on a secure database and send out four Newsletters a year to keep them in touch with what our members are getting involved in.  We will include them in our periodic news briefings, encourage them to follow us on social media and let them know of any activities that might be of interest. “Friends” can choose to become a member with voting rights or simply just pass on new views, ideas and fundraising suggestions …we assure you they will be warmly welcomed.

Family advisers

We would also like to grow our team of Family Advisers, who offer specialist information, advice and practical support to families and individuals around any issue they are facing, from social care problems and ill health to debt, hate crime and special education provision.

Get involved

New Forest Mencap, whilst affiliated to national Mencap are an independent charity and that’s why our local community is invaluable to us, we benefit daily from the support of our volunteers, trustees and moving forward our new friends!

If you would like to know more about New Forest Mencap, please so not hesitate to contact us on 01425 621893 or email us at office@newforestmencap.org

Support #LocalCharitiesDay now