Tuesday, 21 May 2019

June will be just jumping!

IT'S fair to say that we here at Carlisle Mencap are praying for a flaming June!

If some of the weekend papers are to be believed, forecasters are predicting a sizzling summer for us here in the UK - well let's hope so, because we have a feast of fundraising fun lined up which we hope will help swell the coffers of Carlisle Mencap.

So this blog is, unashamedly, a rallying cry to all Carlisle Mencap trustees, members, staff, supporters, their family and friends, their work colleagues, their second removed cousin's window cleaner, the general public, the world's population, to get involved in any which way they can to help us make the coming month a roaring success!

The focal point will be the weekend of June 15-16. This mark's the climax of the charity's 50th anniversary celebrations. Hot on its heels will be national Learning Disability Week 2019 in which we are heavily involved.

So eyes down, and here we go on what's happening - and how you can help/get involved!

1: Date & time - FRIDAY, JUNE 14. 7.30pm-9.30pm
Venue: Cumbrian Cheesecake Company Cafe, Infirmary Road, Carlisle CA2 7AN
Event: Carlisle Mencap Quiz Night

Details: Get your teams of two, three, four or five together - it costs just £2 per person - for the first of what we hope will be a series of fundraising quizzes at the cafe. General knowledge quiz suitable for people aged 16 and over. Raffle prizes, delicious individual cheesecakes available, plus teas, coffees, soft and alcoholic drinks. To book a table, call the cheesecake cafe on 01228 558992.

2: Date & time - SATURDAY, JUNE 15. 6.30pm-11.30pm
Venue: The Brickyard, Fisher Street, Carlisle, CA3 8RN

Event: Are You Experienced? Jimi Hendrix tribute band gig. Plus support from J Lewis 
Details: We are thrilled to have Europe's top Jimi Hendrix tribute band playing a special gig for Carlisle Mencap at this popular venue. All the hits like Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, All Along The Watchtower and many more. Great support too from Keswick-born J Lewis who has a wide range of influences from hip-hop to rock, folk to indie. Tickets available on the door but cheaper - £10 plus £1 booking fee - in advance from  thebrickyardonline.com If you can spare sometime to help with stewarding on the night, get in touch! Free admittance to the gig if you do!

3: Date & time - SUNDAY, JUNE 16. 11am-5pm
Venue: Creighton Rugby Club, Sycamore Lane, Carlisle CA1 3SR
Event: Sponsored Bungee Jumps/Summer Fun Day
Details: People of all ages - around 50 in total but there's still time to register! - wil be doing sponsored bungee jumps from a 145ft crane! There will also be the chance for people to do Cage Rides to the top of the crane - but without having to do the jump! Plus stalls, refreshments etc. Again, if you can spare sometime to help on the day of what promises to be a busy and memorable occasion, please get in touch. And if you, or you know of somebody, who would like to have a stand/table on the day, tell them to contact me NOW! Admission to the event will be £5 with £2.50 concessions, service users and support workers get in free.

4: Date & time - SUNDAY, JUNE 23. 11am-3pm
Venue: Harraby Cycle Circuit/Sports Campus, Edgehill Road, Carlisle CA1 3PP

Events: Learning Disability Week Sports Day
Details: Mainstream and disabled people of all ages getting together for a few hours of sporting activities and fun including a 'Mile For Mencap' challenge on foot or bike around the new cycle track at Harraby. There will also be gym demonstrations. Once again, any offers of help on the day to make this event run smoothly will be gratefully received.

So there we have it! And those are just the events we've got finalised - there maybe more to follow!

As always, for more information, if you'd like a stand at the fun day, if you'd like to do a bungee jump, if you'd like to volunteer with helping out at any of these events, if you want to take part in the sports day, get in touch we me - PHIL TAYLOR - at:
01228 674393 or 07341 865382 or email phil.taylor@carlislemencap.co.uk

* To enter the quiz, DON'T contact me - please call the cafe direct on 01228 558992.
* For tickets to The Brickyard concert - go to thebrickyardonline.com or seetickets.com

We look forward to people supporting these vital fundraising events - and they are sure to be a LOT of fun!




The Creighton Rugby Club

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Volunteers make a huge difference

IT'S not just donations, sponsorship money and fundraising initiatives that can make a big difference to charities - people giving up their precious free time to volunteer are just as important.

We here at Carlisle Mencap are no different. We really do NEED volunteers to help us provide the increasing demand for support and services that more than 500 adults and children with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria rely on us for.

For instance Number 1: One of the groups we run for young adults is the Orchid Club. It takes place at The Sands Centre, Carlisle's main sports and leisure venue, most Wednesday nights between 7.15pm and 8.30pm. Here, our service users can play sports like bowls and badminton, games like a giant Connect 4, and generally socialise and make friends. But we are running out of volunteers to help this popular group continue on a regular basis. It's just a couple of hours one night a week.

For instance Number 2: Drivers. We run clubs on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, and these often involve day trips and visits to places like museums, working farms, leisure centres. Our staff do a fantastic job driving our service users and team leaders around but they often have to carry out these duties in their spare time. So we are always on the lookout for people who have wheels - and time - to spare.

For instance Number 3: Spreading the word. Events, especially in the summer, are vital to a charity like ours. Yes, it is always a huge bonus if we manage to raise money from them as well, but it is just as important that we spread the word to people at large about the vital work we do and the services we offer. So spending a few hours on one of our stands at, say, the Dalston Show this coming August, handing out leaflets and running a tombola, is a big, big help. Coming up in June we have a bumper weekend of events to mark the climax of our 50th anniversary celebration and to mark Learning Disabilities Week. More on this is my next blog but volunteers are needed to help make these events run smoothly - and they're a lot of fun too!

So, national Volunteers' Week is around the corner, June 1 to June 7 to be precise. A series of events up and down the country will highlight the value of volunteers to charities and the Third Sector.

Did you know? The estimated annual value of volunteers helping UK charities is £22.6bn

It seems obvious but the fact is the more volunteers that charities like Carlisle Mencap get coming forward, the more activities and trips they can organise for service users of all ages, and the more fundraising events they can stage to help pay for these trips, which bring so much enjoyment to our members.  

Did you know? ‘Wanting to do good’ is the most important reason to volunteer. In 2017/18, 46% of people said that they volunteer to improve things and help others

And let's face it - volunteering and helping others 'less fortunate than others' (I hate that phrase but it will do here in this context!) does bring about a real sense of well-being. You feel GOOD about yourself. And, especially with some of our fundraising events and trips, you have a great time into the bargain and make new friends and - who knows? - future partners? 

Did you know? In 2017/18, 20.1 million (38%) people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and 11.8 million (22%) of people did so at least once a month 

We are lucky in Carlisle that, thanks to Carlisle Vineyard Church and Carlisle Ambassadors, we have the fabulous Give A Day To The City initiative.  Give A Day To The City week is the first week in July so again, I will be plugging this more in my blog as the time approaches, but safe to say that this initiative, in which groups of workplace colleagues give up a day to go and help a community project like landscaping a garden or building a play area, is a fantastic example of the good volunteering can do to the wider community.

So what are you waiting for? If you YOU would like to volunteer and help Carlisle Mencap, then get in touch. To volunteer at fundraising events, contact me, PHIL TAYLOR, on 07341 865382 or email phil.taylor@carlislemencap.co.uk and for other volunteering opportunities call 01228 674393 or email enquiries@carlislemencap.co.uk 

And remember - volunteering opportunities with us will fit in with whatever time you can spare.

#giveadaytothecity #VolunteersWeek

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Here's £30 - make it grow!

WE would like to give you £30. Yes, Carlisle Mencap is willing to hand over thirty smackers to you and your colleagues.

Well of course there's a catch. But it is a nice one. And it is called the £30 Accumulator Challenge and what it basically means is we give you £30 to start off with - and you come back to us with a big, fat healthy profit. We hope!

Carlisle Mencap is urging teams of chums from work, organisations, gyms, pubs, clubs whatever, to get together and help raise vital funds for the 500 adults and children with learning disabilities that our charity provides across Cumbria.

But you are going to have a lot of fun in the process and test your entrepreneurial skills as we challenge you to turn that £30 into as big a figure as possible by DECEMBER 31 2019!

In my last blog we looked at the weird and wonderful ways and challenges that people around the world come up with to raise funds - worm charming, remember? - for good causes, so now's YOUR chance to do just that!

Your team can be as creative as it likes, so long as the fundraising idea is morally sound and legal. If it fits that criteria, then anything goes.

And of course, whatever schemes you come up with to help boost your £30 to - well, £50, £100, £300, £500, who knows? - we will give you advice and support. Your efforts (and therefore your company/organisation) will be given lots of publicity across our website and social media sites, as well as coverage in the local media.

And the winning team which makes the most money will win fabulous prizes!

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with me NOW at phil.taylor@carlislemencap.co.uk or call 01228 674393 to register your team and how you can pick up your starting sum of £30.

Once we have several teams, I also plan to host a fun quiz night where you and your colleagues take part against the other fundraising teams and the winner receives a sum of dosh to add to their £30 challenge total.

Speaking of quizzes...Carlisle Mencap has teamed up with the Cumbrian Cheesecake Company to host a series of quiz nights at the company's cafe in Infirmary Road, Carlisle.
The first one is coming up soon, on Friday May 10, starting at 7.30pm. For teams of three, four or five, it costs £2 per person. There will also be a raffle. For more details see poster at the end of this blog but you must reserve a table in advance by calling the cafe on 01228 5598992. 

Finally, a big thank-you to everyone who turned up to Carlisle Mencap's Open Day & Business Breakfast at the Grace Little Centre in north Carlisle on Wednesday, May 1. Special mention too to our guest speakers, Andy Beeforth OBE, chief executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, and Colin Glover, leader of Carlisle City Council. John Watt & Co kindly provided the excellent coffee and teas and members of the Carlisle Mencap team did a grand job serving up bacon butties and veggie options!

#Lakescheesecake #carlislecitycouncil #cartmellshepherd #jelf #nxtrecruitment #kingmoorparkproperties #cumbriacommunityfoundation

Helping the Grace Little Centre

IT is a fantastic facility. The Grace Little Centre is also a vital facility for young people with learning disabilities. But we need ...