November 2017 News

Hello Everyone,

Well, we are nearly at the end of another year and the time seems to have flown by as usual, but it is lovely to look over some very lovely, happy photographs from the activities we have provided this year.  Angela, Lyn and I have compiled the programme for 2018, enclosed with this newsletter and we hope we have provided something for everybody and incorporated some of the activities asked for on the Feedback Form.  There are lots of spanking brand new activities as well as the more familiar favourites. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill this form in and return it.

 As a result of this evaluation exercise, we were able to establish that there was sufficient interest to return to Torquay for a Taunton Mencap holiday in 2018.

 Chris Poole is now our fully fledged Treasurer, with an almost seamless handover from David, who is now sunning himself in Antipodean climes. We don’t know how Chris finds the time to do everything.  It must be because he runs everywhere!  He is still running a mile every day for Taunton Mencap and it is not too late to sponsor him at Virgin Money Giving (search for Chris Poole).  David will be back for the A.G.M. to present the accounts and will remain on the Committee thereafter.  We are so grateful to David for all his hard work over the years.

 The rain stayed away for our Cream Tea in Kingswood and Stogumber residents came to support Taunton Mencap in their droves.  A staggering total of £1,210.00 was raised for group funds and we are very grateful to our hosts Richard and Daphne Criddle, who certainly pulled out all the stops for us. Jo, Pauline (ably assisted by Ben), my ’team’ and I worked our socks off but Daphne being a caterer certainly gave us the edge. The Great British Bake Off had nothing on us!

 Lyn and I met with our friends at ESCAPE in September and it was good to re-familiarise ourselves with all that we are both able to offer our members. 

Finally, grateful thanks to friends and supporters who ‘voted’ for Taunton Mencap during Wellington Waitrose’s  August green disc scheme.  We were delighted to receive a cheque for £487.                        


Coming Up in 2018

The 2018 Diary of Events is out now! We listened carefully to the wishlists included on the Feedback Form and have tried to find activities to suit all tastes and budgets.  There are plenty of new and exciting things to do…. A trip to Wookey Hole, Bristol Harbour Festival and Watchet Music Festival. Those who prefer the ‘old favourites’ will not be disappointed either!  We will be asking parents and carers to provide transport on some of the more local trips in 2018 (Millfield, Watchet) as hiring a coach is one of our biggest outlays and we therefore need to limit the number of coach trips.

Torquay 2018

We had a positive response to the question about whether we should return to Torquay for the Taunton Mencap holiday in 2018, so our booking  for 25th-29th June is now in place and most reservations have been made.  We do have room for a few more, so please contact Lyn for a booking form.  Holiday-makers in 2017 spoke highly of the Derwent Hotel, especially the food! There is plenty to do in Torquay and we are hoping for another fun-filled, sun-filled holiday. The cost of the holiday is £180 per person, to include  bed, breakfast, 3-course evening meal and in-house entertainment. Deposits need to be made by the end of November.  Come and join in the fun!

Out and About  

A Day at the Races
Our trip to Newton Abbot racecourse was certainly a winner.  This was the first time we had taken our group horse racing, but most took to gambling with relative ease and we had quite a few winners, but not enough to retire on unfortunately!! There was great excitement in selecting horses, having a little flutter and then celebrating …… or not.  Naturally, there were a few losers, but such is life and on the whole it was a great experience for us all.   A return trip is scheduled next year (see Diary of Events).             Lynda Dunn

Punch and Judy + Cream Tea
This double  activity proved to be very successful, although the logistics are usually a little stressful for us! We were blessed with a lovely late summer, sunny afternoon so all the entertainment took place outdoors. Mr Mommet (David Milton) pitched his Punch and Judy show perfectly for our audience, with Mr Punch behaving very badly as usual.  We all cheered when he got his ‘comeuppance’!  David then sang some sea shanties for us while Suzanne and Andy Ware from ‘Ware’s The Scone’ served us with a delicious cream tea from their vintage caravan. As Angela said, it was a ‘perfect afternoon’.             J.B.

‘Life with Art’ - ‘Life with Art’ hosted two sessions for us recently at Michael Paul House.  These free sessions were provided for us by national Mencap.
 Our creativity  was encouraged with plentiful drinks and biscuits as well as a spacious room with lots of art materials. Sarah and Jade guided the group and were most welcoming. Sarah had graduated in Textiles from our very own SCAT (as it was). Individual canvases were created using a variety of media – paint, collage, and crayon and everyone went home with a mini-masterpiece or two.
  ‘Life with Art’ returns to Taunton in February 2018. Shall we book again?
Angela Conway

Don't Miss Out

When I attended Mencap’s Big Day Out in the Summer, I was impressed to learn of improvements now available at doctors’ surgeries for people with learning disabilities.  Here are the key points for members:

  1.  Tell the doctor you have a learning disability, you can get extra support and your name added to the learning disability register.
  2.  You can be any age
  3.  Once on the register, you can have longer appointments, easy read information and a health check every year (14 and over)
  4. You can tell the doctor what support you would like.                                                      

There is a great U-tube at’t-miss-out.     J.B.

Somerset West Lottery

Taunton Mencap now has a Somerset West Lottery page!  Support us and other local causes and win prizes of up to £25,000.  50% of all tickets sold from our Lottery page come to us.  Tickets only cost £1.00 per week.  Go to