August 2018 News

Hello Everyone,

Well, this is my last newsletter for Taunton Mencap and I wish you all a very fond farewell.The last 16 years have been filled with mostly happy memories of my time with this very special charity and I hope I have made a difference over the years.  When I started the job in 2002, Taunton Mencap had been inactive for a while, so I had to work hard to regenerate interest in the group. Slowly, and with the tireless enthusiasm and passion of Jan Sugars, the support of Brian Stainton, together with a substantial legacy, we built Taunton Mencap back up to the vibrant group it is today.We are in the process of recruiting a replacement Development Officer but we find ourselves with a new problem.Taunton Mencap is in desperate need of new committee members.  Without more committee members and volunteers, we will be unable to offer the same level of activity in the future. There are simply not enough ‘hands on deck’.  As we head towards the A.G.M., the Chair’s position remains vacant….

Owing to the music teacher having some personal problems, we have been unable to progress with the Music Man project, but hope we might find a replacement teacher to take this initiative forward.

As well as the very successful return trip to Torquay in June, we have had some lovely trips this summer, but some of them have not been well subscribed.  We are aware that there are lots of opportunities for members in the area now, but we will have to reduce the number of trips in 2019 as we can’t continue to offset the cost of coaches which are only half full.

I very much hope that some of the above can be rectified and that Taunton Mencap continues to flourish in the years to come.


The Heat Was On

West Somerset Railway and Lunch at Foxes Hotel.  A good number enjoyed our annual outing to Minehead on West Somerset Railway and the sun was out. Our trip co-incided with a Family Fun Day, which added to our entertainment!Once again, we were fed very well at Foxes Hotel, a unique training hotel for people with learning disabilities.After lunch, some wandered around the town, while others enjoyed some live music in the delightful Blenheim Gardens.

Flashback Theatre and Group Picnic.Saturday 7th July was, like many other days this summer, a beautiful day and sizzling hot!With doors flung open to welcome any cooling breeze, twenty seven of us met at Six Acres along with picnic baskets, to welcome Anna and Faye and the Flashback Theatre.

The hall rang out as everyone sang old rock and roll songs of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s.Everyone chose musical instruments, tambourines, bells and maracas, and joined in with the music.Some liked dancing and were invited to dance or just move along with the songs.

The two girls performed wonderfully, especially considering the heat and some abandoned the picnic to go home early but not before Charlie managed to get some shots of Ben and Darren with Anna and Faye.

We look forward to the next visit by the Flashback Theatre but thank you very forcoming along and missing some football match which was on at the same time….It was another successful day organised by Taunton Mencap which everyone enjoyed.

Charlie Farrand and David B-D.

We also had successful trips to Devon County Show, Millfield Day and Bristol Harbour Festival.

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

Breaking News - September 2018

We have just heard that Taunton Mencap has been awarded a grant of £2,405 from the Big Lottery Fund towards the cost of salaries from October 2018.  This will make a significant difference to our budgeting in 2019 and grateful thanks to the National Lottery and anyone who plays the Lottery.

Torquay Holiday and Options for 2019

Well, that was another successful holiday in Torquay, well attended by 41 members. Even the weather was good to us again—I couldn't have predicted that if I had tried! There were lots of activities in and around the hotel to keep us out of mischief, but we were certainly grateful for the swimming pools to keep us all cool. Everyone enjoyed their meals, and all our dietary requirements were catered for and served by the lovely waiters/waitresses. Evening entertainment was popular with everyone; comedians, singers and even Bingo filled our evenings, with some lucky winners amongst us.
We all showed off our skills on the dance floor, with lots of weary legs and happy faces retiring to our beds where we were grateful to the hotel for providing us with fans as the nights were very hot.

Taunton Mencap is considering another holiday for 2019, as they are proving to be very successful. There is a Feedback Form enclosed with your newsletter.As you see there is a new venue. Manor House Hotel at Okehampton, in the centre of Dartmoor.

It is full of craft activities and sports, and leisure facilities and the tariff will include breakfast, lunch and a 3 course evening meal. For information on this hotel, please  go to Alternatively,you can contact Lynda Dunn for further information.Please fill in the Feedback Form, letting us knowwhich holiday you are interested into help us decide. 

Lynda Dunn

Skittling Success

So far we have played skittles twice, since leaving ten pin bowling, and I must say it is getting very popular,We are even getting new recruits to come along and join in the game. We are now presenting a trophy to the female and male winner at the end of the matches and as you see, Malcom and Louise were the winners last time. As you see on Page 3, the landlords at The Princess Royal pub, are offering us a Christmas meal at a very reasonable cost, so please come along and join us all in the fun. Non skittlers are welcome to just havethe meal at £12.50.

In It to Win It!

One of our members had a substantial win on the Somerset West Lottery in June.Some of us have already bought extra tickets…. Remember that this is a local lottery, where every ticket sold benefits local charities, including Taunton Mencap! Play before 22nd September for a chance to win a family ticket to a Taunton Town football game.