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Leeds Mencap Newsletter Spring 2013 Leeds Mencap Londesboro Terrace East End Park Leeds LS9 9NE 0113 235 1331

Inside this issue: Hawthorn Family Support Centre


Play Schemes


Gateway 33


Siblings Support Group


The Rookery


Me2 inclusive youth dance


Stay & Play for 0-3s


A Glorious Summer 6 of Sport Thursday JYC’s Big Adventure


Tuesday JYC


Friday Young Adults Club


Six-tea parties for sixty years


British Empire Medal for Founder


Meeting room for Hire


Leeds Mencap Celebrates 60th Birthday! It was the year that brought the UK a fresh-faced Queen, a successful Everest expedition and the ending of sweet rationing; but 1953 gave Leeds residents another glimmer of hope as it was also the year families with learning disabilities founded the charity Leeds Mencap and began providing the support and care they had been longing for. Back in 1953 we began with just a youth club and a nursery run by local parents. 60 years on, we can now boast 11 different projects, which range from play schemes to a residential home; social groups to parent and siblings support and a dance group! To celebrate our birthday, we have a range of events and activities for people to get involved in, which includes Six-tea (page 10), Leeds Let’s Cycle the City (page 6) and an exhibition on the History of Learning Disabilities taking place at Leeds City Museum in September. We are looking for people who might have stories to tell, photos or even videos that we might be able to use . Anyone who thinks they could take part should contact Ruth—0113 2351331 or

Michael takes on Cycle the City! Michael Duffy, a Leeds Mencap service user, plans to don his cycling helmet and hit the road in support of the Friday Club, a service for 18-25 year olds at Leeds Mencap. Michael, who has Asperger’s, a form of Autism, will be taking part in Cycle the City, Leeds Mencap’s 60th celebratory cycling event, which will see cyclists choosing to overcome a gruelling bike ride around Leeds. Michael, who is completing Cycle the City for the charity said: “I’ve been volunteering at Leeds Mencap for six months now, going along to talk to people about what it’s like to have a learning disability, as well as going to the Friday Club, which I love. Through Leeds Mencap I’ve got my confidence and I’ve made loads of new friends with similar backgrounds and just feel happy. Anything that I can give back to Leeds Mencap is good to me because it’s such a good cause – I just worry about the hills!” To help support Michael, who will be completing the bike ride with his Dad, please visit DuffysCycleTheCity and make a pledge today! If you would like to get involved in Cycle the City as a participant or volunteer please contact Sinead on 0113 2351331 or

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Hawthorn Family Support Centre The children at Hawthorn have enjoyed playing with the new home corner furniture kindly given to us by a local firm, Asco. The children love to open the doors and play with the cups and saucepans in the home corner. Some of the children pretend to feed the dolls or put them to bed in the little cot. The home corner is also useful for helping children to learn to stand as they can lean against it for support. In May the families and children are planning a sponsored walk around East End park. This is now an annual event and has proved to be a successful fund raiser for Leeds Mencap. The walk is planned for Tuesday 21 May and all of the families attending Hawthorn past and present are welcome to join in. Usually the children dress up so it is a colourful event.

“The children love to open the doors and play with the cups

Also we would like to thank the staff of HBOS for coming to clean out our ball pool. The ball pool is cleaned out each term and we are always very grateful for any help to do this. Mary Cotton, Manager of HFSC

and saucepans in the home corner.”

Play Schemes We have enjoyed a really successful Easter play scheme for the 9-13’s. We visited lots of interesting places such as Hesketh farm where we saw and stroked some lambs as well as getting lost in the hay-bale maze. We also enjoyed a trip to Doncaster Dome where the brave amongst us attempted the scary slides! Everyone really had a great time attempting the Easter egg hunt, especially to win an egg when they had finished. A big thank you to all the staff who made these trips possible and to all the children who made it so enjoyable. Elaine Birch, Play Scheme Co-ordinator

Gateway 33 One of our volunteer helpers Cathy Fisher married Will Tsang on Saturday 4 May 2013, we all wish Cathy & Will a long and happy marriage. Later in the year, Saturday 19 October 2013, Cathy’s sister Lana, also a helper, is to marry Crispin, so with two weddings it will be an expensive time for their dad, Paul Fisher. Paul like his two daughters is a long-serving volunteer helper at the Gateway 33 club. At the craft night, our members were busy making lovely cards for Cathy & Will’s wedding day, cards that you just cannot buy at Clintons Cards and the Post Office! The club received a very nice letter from Mr & Mrs T Lavelle, parents of one of our members, Craig Lavelle. The letter reads: I would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers at the Monday evening Gateway club. What a great job you all do, the organisation and running of the club is really first class, you all work so very hard, and the members ‘think the world of you all’. What would the members look forward to, or do, if there wasn’t a Monday evening Gateway club? They would be so upset. Over 90 percent of you volunteer helpers are ‘getting on a bit’, and are the wrong side of 60 years old (but none of you look it!), so how long can you guys carry on volunteering at Gateway 33 for? We, and the members, hope there is a Gateway 33 club for many years to come. We are very grateful parents—keep up the good work for as long as is possible. Yours faithfully Mr Mrs T Lavelle. Thank you Mr & Mrs Lavelle for your letter, and yes most of the helpers (me included) are ‘knocking on a bit’, and if some new, young volunteers would be interested in joining the happy, very friendly Gateway 33 club on a Monday evening 7.00 to 9.00pm, a very warm welcome awaits you. Please contact Leeds Mencap (0113 235 1331) for full details on how to become a volunteer. Les Marshall, Helper, Gateway 33

“At the craft night, our members were busy making lovely cards for Cathy & Will’s wedding day, cards that you just cannot buy at Clintons”

Siblings Support Group The Siblings Support group has had a very successful first term with lots of activities having taken place. The group have been busy in the kitchen at East End Park cooking Italian and Mexican food and learning about different cultures. As well as this they have enjoyed afternoons socialising with others at Hollywood Bowl and Frankie and Benny’s. Both really successful afternoons with the members and staff who have all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The group has been receiving brilliant feedback from staff, parents and members and we are steadily recruiting more members. This term we have lots organised including a visit to Pizza Hut (requested by the members), and a dance and circus skills session. Rachel Shakespeare, Group Leader

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The Rookery My Name is Christine, I have just had my Birthday on April the 9th and was “65”. My boyfriend Jeremy came to my party, I had lots of presents, lots of food and champagne. I had two parties, one with my friends and one with my family and everyone was there. I like sewing, watching Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm, going out to café’s and to the pub. I am very good at singing and like singing songs from the Fifties and Sixties into a mic or at Karaoke, Cliff Richard is my favourite.

“I have lived at the Rookery for a lot of years, I like it see, it’s my home, the food is nice and the staff are good to me”

I have lived at the Rookery for a lot of years, I like it see, it’s my home, the food is nice and the staff are good to me. We have a cat called Harvey, he is funny, he likes to come in through my window and sit on my bed, I like cats best. I like sleeping in on Tuesdays and the weekend, because I don’t go to the Centre then, on Tuesdays I go get my lottery ticket, go to the café or pub for lunch, and then do some baking, making scones, bread and all things like that. On Saturdays I go out if it’s nice weather, with my lady who helps me, I sometimes clean my room, but I like sitting down on my bed best do some folding and watch. I go to Potternewton, I like it there, we have a disco on a Friday, and I get my nails painted. In May I am going to Skegness, I am going to play bingo, get dressed up and go dancing on a night, drink lemon and lime, and a snowball, I like them best. I will paddle in the sea and sunbathe with my swimming costume on, and send a card to my boyfriend and get him a present. The Rookery is having a Summer Fayre on the 10th of August 12 noon to 2pm, we will have lots of stalls, tombola, raffle, bric-a-brac, great food, and hopefully some good musical entertainment. Everybody is welcome, so please come and bring your friends, if you want to help on the day please ring Michelle 0113 2689598. Christine, Rookery Resident

Volunteers Karen Booth is Leeds Mencap’s Volunteer Co-ordinator. If you would like to volunteer with any of our services or offer any other skills or expertise you can download an application form from Volunteers are asked to complete an application form and a CRB check with Leeds Mencap.

Me2 Inclusive Youth Dance Me2 are currently having lots of fun and working very hard, as always! Last term, we concentrated on improving our dance skills and working as a team. To celebrate our achievements, we enjoyed a trip to the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre to watch the Yorkshire Youth Dance Platform. The show was fantastic and we left feeling very excited about our and upcoming performances! We have an action-packed few months coming up before the summer holidays! In June, we will be working on a project with East Street Arts, leading up to a festival called Bikefest. We will be creating a new and exciting dance piece, based on the ideas of team spirit, being healthy and developing independence. Watch out for future notices on where you can see Me2 perform this new dance piece!

“We will be creating a new and exciting dance piece, based on the ideas of team spirit, being healthy and developing independence.“

We’re also looking forward to a mini-exchange with the Friday Club at Leeds Mencap. Me2 are visiting the group for a Six-tea party, where we will meet the members of the Friday Club, have a dance, and hopefully eat some cake and other treats! Soon after, the Friday Club will come and visit a Me2 session, where they will see how our dance classes run, have a go themselves and they may also be treated to a preview performance of our Bikefest dance piece! Me2 dance teachers Karen and Mia, will be teaching some taster dance sessions at Disability Rocks on June 8th! We’re looking forward to seeing some friendly faces there! We’re really excited about the Summer Term and all the exciting events it has in store! Karen and Mia Me2 Photos by Vicky Kortekaas

Stay & Play for 0-3s Our Stay and Play group has been running now for almost eight months and we’re still going strong! We now have regular families that attend every week and we always look forward to meeting new ones. It was a long winter but we enjoyed lots of lovely creative and messy activities! One of our favourites was the lovely Easter baskets and cards that the children made (with some help of course!). Now the summer is here, we are looking forward to getting outside and using our fantastic play area along with lots more messy play activities. So, spread the word and keep coming along every Wednesday 12:30—2:30! Sam, Group Leader

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A Glorious Sum We are asking all wanabe Bradley Wiggins, Lizzie Armitstead’s and Ed Clancy’s to don their trainers and sign up to one of our fantastic sporting events that’s taking place this summer. In fact, whether you are a novice, fancy a challenge, or you are a seasoned professional we have an array of sporting activities to chose from to get active and help support Leeds Mencap this summer!

“The Family Fun Day is free to come along to and will be open throughout the day”

Leeds Let’s Cycle the City is our much-anticipated sponsored bike ride around Leeds on the 30th June to celebrate the 60th birthday of Leeds Mencap. This is a non-competitive bike ride for cyclists of all ability on any kind of bike. There are three ways you can take part: You can choose to take part individually completing either a 60Km or 30Km route; or you can take part in teams of 4 for relays of up to 15km per person. The cycle ride will begin at Leeds Mencap opposite East End Park and will take cyclists on a picturesque cycle around the city. The deadline for entrants is the 31st May so please do sign up while you can! Don't fancy the ride, but still keen to be involved? Come along to our Cycling Family Fun Day taking place at Leeds Mencap whilst the ride is taking place. There will be lots of free sessions helping you to feel confident and safe on your bike – whether you’re an adult or a child, in fact we’ll even help you fix your bike! Other attractions include disability sports activities and a tasty BBQ to enjoy. The Family Fun Day is free to come along to and will be open throughout the day. The Leeds 10K is the region’s best-loved run and has recently undergone an exciting transformation making it flatter and faster! Join the Leeds Mencap Team and you can run, wheel or skip around Leeds City Centre! This event is taking place on Sunday 14th July 2013. Each year our places have been snapped up quickly so please contact

mmer of Sport us as soon as soon as possible if you are interested. On the 15th September we have guaranteed places in the Great North Run. Starting in Newcastle, the course takes in the Tyne Bridge, through Gateshead and finishes in the coastal town of South Shields with live music and thousands of cheering supporters will keep you motivated every step of the way! For information on any of the above events please contact Sinead on 0113 2351331 or email all information can also be found online at

A different sort of hero... We are on the look out for volunteers who can help with our Cycle the City event. There are a variety of ways you can get involved: • • • •

• • •

Marshals - to man the route making sure cyclists get around safely and encouraging them as they go! Senior Marshals - to help co-ordinate check points and check other marshals are OK and in positions. First aiders - we would be extremely grateful if you could volunteer on the “Our events day both to help on the route and at the Family Fun Day. Volunteers at the Family Fun Day - activities will include helping on the BBQ, couldn't run co-ordinating childrens’ activities and helping with activities such as the smoothly tombola and selling raffle tickets. Face painters; we need you! Early risers - we will need help with registering the cyclists at the start of the without the event from 8am. People free on Saturday - to help put signs out on route. help of our Sweeper car - help if anyone is unable to finish route, able to put bike rack on car. We will pay petrol expenses in return for this kind gesture. fantastic

Any time you can give between 8am-6pm would be great!


Not free on the 30th? Donate a raffle prize! A bottle or box of chocolates are always keen favourites! Please contact Sinead on 0113 235 1331 or if you can help.

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Thursday JYC’s Big Adventure! The build up to the trip was intensifying; the car park at Leeds Mencap HQ was filling with parents, carers, members, staff and lots of excitement. As the coach pulled up, everyone was eager to board. The members did us so proud, we had sweets, laughs and giggles all the way to the Lake District and we couldn’t wait to arrive. As we approached The Calvert Trust it was so great to see such wonderful breath-taking scenery and my anticipation of getting the kids (and staff) out doing activities thrilled me. Alighting the coach we were greeted by the huge, friendly smiles of who we later found out were our group leaders; Robin, Tory, Pete and Pam. The group were introduced to their rooms and then we entered the dining room, we were ravenous even after eating our travel sweets!

“The night walk was thrilling; as the sun went down we were treated to a wonderful sunset with the night creatures coming out to make the groups giggle and scared at the same time.”

While everyone got their food, we took the opportunity to organise the groups for the weekend. We were to go canoeing and horse riding, take part in challenge activities, ghyll scrambling, a night walk after tea and a disco Saturday night with a swim in the amazing pool that played music too! Although there was some hesitation and fear in the eyes of the staff they were told to get a grip and carry on eating! The kids couldn’t wait to get going! We were kitted out with waterproofs, wellies, hats and gloves we all looked blooming amazing, although we all reckoned Luke K would make a very good candidate for ‘Elf 2’ in his get up! The night walk was thrilling; as the sun went down we were treated to a wonderful sunset with the night creatures coming out to make the groups giggle and scared at the same time. The torches came in very handy but half of us forgot to take them! Saturday morning very slowly arrived and we were put in our groups to go off on our new adventures for the weekend. Our expert group leaders were amazing. They had excellent qualities that are probably more prominent when you are blessed with the organised chaos of our band of merry men and women. They were all very patient, had a fantastic sense of humour, were very easy going and, most importantly, made us feel safe. The comfort they gave to ensure we all felt good was amazing! All the members were amazing; the challenges that were faced were done so with an abundance of bravery, I was very pleasantly surprised at how we all bonded as a group. The staff, members and the team at Calvert Trust pulled together fantastically and we were a formidable team! Jacqui Driscoll, Group Leader

Tuesday JYC What a busy few weeks we have had! The children and staff combined Valentine’s day with a six-tea party. We loved the hot chocolate with marshmallows, decorating heart-shaped biscuits and eating heart-shaped sandwiches. We also celebrated St. Patricks day in style with Céilí music and myself dancing a jig or two alongside the children, some of whom were busy making cards and trying to find the pot of gold over the rainbow. Easter was a fun time for the group, Apart from being egg-cited about the two weeks holiday from school, there was an Easter egg hunt, lots of baking and making chocolate nests and there was even a secret visit from the Easter Bunny, who dropped off an egg for every member to take home! Can I say goodbye and good luck to Emma, Lucy, Nathan, Tamara and Aaron, who have all moved up to the Thursday night Youth Club. I would also like to say hello and welcome to Sophie, Tracey and Dominic—I hope you enjoy your stay with us. This term, the group are looking forward to a trip to Temple Newsam, a Fire Crew (complete with Engine) coming to visit us and a movie night! We are also hoping that once the weather is better we can go across to the park again and have a picnic!

“there was even a secret visit from the Easter Bunny, who dropped off an egg for every member to take home!”

I would like once again to thank all the wonderful volunteers, the staff team and the children. I really appreciate your dedication and help. Sue Costello, Group Leader

Friday Young Adults Club What a last term for the group!!! Despite the numerous weather and snow interruptions we did eventually get involved in some activities. The group has started a new line of activities which have included themed nights—A couple of the nights which we have done include Italian and Mexican nights where the group learnt about cooking foods, trying out new food and understanding the culture of the country. The group has also been involved in visiting some of our local sporting heroes. A small group of the Friday members attended their first ever Super League Netball game supporting Yorkshire Jets in their first league game of the season. The group were fortunate enough to meet all the players including England players afterwards and have their photos with the team. As well as this some other members went along to a Leeds Rhinos game. We were lucky enough to receive tickets from Danny McGuire and we would like to say a big thank you to Danny and our staff member, Simon for sorting this out for the group. Other activities have included a snooker session at Northern Snooker Hall, food out at our usual place The Aire of the Dog and bowling. This term the group are going to be helping organise our own Six-tea Party, going to the Harvester and holding a film night. Rachel Shakespeare, Club Leader

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Six-tea parties for sixty years! To celebrate our 60th Birthday Leeds Mencap has launched the Six-tea campaign. Throughout 2013 we are calling on friends, schools, work places, and community groups to drink tea, eat cake and host a tea party in aid of the Leeds Mencap. We have set ourselves an ambitious goal to reach 60 tea parties in total by the end of the year. From a filled community centre, to a work break brew, or a kitchen with friends, every cuppa drunk, biscuit baked and donation made will make a real difference to individuals and families in Leeds with a learning disability. We will be offering all Six-tea party organisers a jam-packed fundraising guide, full of ideas and invites to make sure organising a Six-tea party is a piece of cake! There are no costs involved to take part in the Six-tea campaign but we encourage party organisers to set their own individual target to help boost sales. By popping the kettle on, Six-tea party organisers will be helping Leeds Mencap to deliver an excellent service to over 300 families with a learning disability on a weekly basis.

“Everyone loves a good brew and cake so there are no excuses not to get involved with this great campaign” .

A mum who attends Leeds Mencap’s Hawthorn Family Support Centre for children between 0-3 years with a learning disability said: “Finding Leeds Mencap has made such a difference to my family’s life and I will definitely be hosting my very own Six-tea party for all my friends to attend. I was thinking of doing a Mad Hatters’ party and make everyone wear a silly hat and I might even have some fun with food colourings! ” Leeds Mencap’s ambassador and Leeds Rhino’s half-back Danny McGuire encourages everyone to take part in the campaign and insists it is one for the men too: “Everyone loves a good brew and cake so there are no excuses not to get involved with this great campaign. Fellas could organise a tee-off at their local golf club and invite their friends to take part in a friendly competition if they don’t fancy baking. I really want Leeds Mencap to reach their target of 60 tea parties by the end of 2013 to celebrate their 60th year. I am always so overwhelmed by the fantastic work they do and I want everyone to support them to make sure they continue for another 60 years! ” If you would like to raise a tea-cup to Leeds Mencap’s 60th Birthday and host a Six-tea party then please contact fundraising officer Sinead O'Brien on or call on 0113 235 1331.

British Empire Medal for Leeds Mencap Founder Leeds Mencap is celebrating the award of a British Empire Medal for the charity’s founder and influential volunteer Joyce Fieldhouse, who set up the charity 60 years ago. Joyce received the BEM for service to people with learning disabilities having set up the charity following having a family member with learning disabilities. Joyce who lives in Whitkirk, Leeds said: “I’m completely surprised by this award and can’t wait to visit the Queen in the summer! I did what I needed to, in order to deliver support to families with learning disabilities throughout Leeds, but there is still a long way to “I’m go and it’s always an uphill climb!” Martin Staniforth, Chair of the Trustees at Leeds Mencap said: “I am delighted to learn that Joyce had been awarded the BEM. Without Joyce and others who had the vision, commitment and determination to found Leeds Mencap 60 years ago, we would not be the organisation we are today. The award is richly deserved and we are proud to be associated with Joyce.”

completely surprised by this award and can’t wait to visit the Queen in the summer! “

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP OF LEEDS MENCAP For £12.00 per year (£6.00 for senior citizens or people with a learning disability) you will receive the newsletter and details of events/fundraising etc. and will be helping to generate funds to support Leeds Mencap services. Return to Leeds Mencap, Londesboro Terrace, Leeds, LS9 9NE.


Name: …………………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………...………… Address: …………………….…………………………………………………………………………….………..………………….……….…… ……………………………………………………...…………………………………………………Post Code………………………..……….. Email Address: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... Signed: ………………………………………………………………………………...……. Date: ………………………………..…………. GIFT AID If you are a tax payer, we can claim back the tax from the Inland Revenue. This increases your membership subscription and any other donations you may give automatically, at no cost to yourself and increases the help to us. DECLARATION: I would like Leeds Mencap to treat the enclosed donation/subscription of £………. which I made on ……/……/…..(date) and all donations I make from the date of this declaration until I notify you otherwise as Gift Aid Donations. Signature: ……………………………………………………..………………………………………… Date …...…………..……………. REGISTERED CHARITY NUMBER 1091809

Leeds Mencap has been providing services for people with a learning disability and their carers since 1953. These services include:Hawthorn Family Support Centre - For children under 3 and their parents & carers.

Leeds Mencap Londesboro Terrace East End Park Leeds LS9 9NE Tel: 0113 235 1331 leedsmencap

Play schemes - Holiday clubs for young people aged 2—18 years. Stay & Play for 0-3 year olds - A group for children aged 0-3 and their parents & carers to play together. Junior Youth Clubs - Running every Tuesday evening for ages 9-13 and Thursday evening for ages 14-18 during term time. Me2 Inclusive Youth Dance Company - For ages 11-24 with and without disabilities. Friday Club - Going out club for 18s to mid 20s. Gateway 33 Club - Social club for ages 18+. Held every Monday during term time. The Rookery - Residential Home for twelve adults with learning disabilities. Parents/Carers Support Groups - Running in LS9, LS10, LS12. Siblings Support Group - For young people aged 5-18 who have a brother or sister with a learning disability.


Meeting Room for Hire We have a large, sunny meeting room for hire at our East End Park site. •

£20.00 (corporate). £15.00 (community, voluntary, charitable organisations) per hour.

Close to Leeds City Centre

Free car park

Tea/coffee making facilities

Disabled access, ramps, hoist in toilet

TV/DVD/Flipchart available. Plug your laptop straight into our 55” TV.

Bright, spacious room with lots of natural daylight and high ceilings.

For further information or to make a booking please call 0113 235 1331 or email

Leeds Mencap Spring 2013 Newsletter  

Leeds Mencap Spring 2013 Newsletter

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