Maidenhead Mencap
receives funding from
Louis Baylis Trust Logo

Issue  No.1   January 2018.

As we look back on 2017 and think ahead for 2018, we must realise how fortunate we are. Of course, like all organisations, we have suffered a few setbacks and losses. That’s life!  In the last few weeks, we have lost several members. Lyn Surridge died, aged 100 years. Margaret Davies, Monday Club and Wednesday Club helper, suffered the loss of her husband, after a very long illness.  One of our past helpers, who had moved to Weymouth, died a few weeks ago. She was Pearl Easterbrook. Pearl and Les previously lived in Cookham. Les used to typeset the envelopes for our Newsletters.  He died a few years ago and I kept in touch with Pearl. Her daughter lived with her and grand-daughter Grace also moved in following a horrific motor accident that had left her in a wheelchair. Undaunted, Grace has taken up many sports and is quite inspirational in coping with her disability.

Highview has brought pleasure to so many people during the festive season. During the week beginning 17th December, there were six parties. After all, the organisations that share the building with us, all have some sort of celebration. During the morning of Monday, 18th December, the Alzheimer’s group had their party. Our waste bin had just been emptied, so there was no problem with their residue. The same day, was Monday Club’s turn. You will hear about their party later in the letter. On Wednesday, Highview Toy Library , the Carers’ group and Wednesday Club all held their parties. My car did a great job in transporting black sacks to my bin at home. On Friday 20th, we hosted a party for the big group of Care Homes and Highview bins coped. There was nothing lying around for the passing yobs to kick around.

Of course, there is more to parties that dealing with rubbish. Since the loss of Berkshire Carers Service, Colin Freer has continued to welcome the remaining members of the Carers Group, to a monthly meeting and their Christmas lunch appeared to be really sumptuous. This is a small group, but they support one another in a very special way.

Everybody commented on the beautiful decorations that were put up by Colin and the Monday Club team. As Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are both on Mondays, when there will be no Monday Club meetings, no doubt the decorations will have been packed away before they return.

We have many things to which we can look forward. In the Spring, we shall buy the Summer House/Garden Room. World Challenge members have already volunteered to build it for us.
The recent snow had caused a tree/shrub to collapse from our rear garden across the access road, making it difficult for the residents of the neighbouring flats to drive into their garages. During the Monday Club party, Derek Noden, the minibus driver/helper, was able to cut it down with his chain saw and leave it in moveable chunks for disposal the next day.

Don’t forget that we still have a few of those wonderful little tubs, provided by the Lions Clubs. They are used to contain your details-next of kin, doctor, medication, allergies etc. for use by any emergency services that could be called to your home. Most people keep the tub in their fridge. Inside, gives the details and a sticker on the entrance informs the services that you have this information available. These tubs can save lives.

Monday Club enjoyed a tremendous month of December. Festivities began on Monday 4th, when Cox Green School Band came and played carols and seasonal music. Club members joined in with great gusto. The main hall was really full. All the Committee room chairs had to be brought down [ and taken back] and all enjoyed a wonderful evening. Of course Jeanette arrived with suitably decorated biscuits for all.

The Monday Club Christmas party was celebrated on 18th. This is always a super occasion, with loads of food, plenty of soft drink and all the attributes of party life...crackers, paper hats, and Christmas cards. Everybody enjoys Pass the Parcel and the ever faithful disco gives the opportunity to work off some of the intake of food.

Maybe the highlight of the evening is the arrival of Father Christmas, as usual by courtesy of the local members of the Round Table. They always break off from their Christmas tour to join our party. The presents are individually chosen, bought and wrapped by the Monday Club team. Jeanette made decorated biscuits and everybody had a 'going home bag'.

The Wednesday Club party was less energetic, but equally well enjoyed. They had plenty of food and fun. Hugh was there with his resident disco. Nev was back from his holiday in USA. Doreen was able to join us. Special guest was Father Christmas. Club members did not appear to notice that during the time of his visit, Colin was missing!! Even so, they all enjoy receiving a parcel. We hope they enjoyed the contents. Jeanette made a special cake.

My BIG disappointment was that I was not able to run Wednesday Club on 27th December, as advertised. All the helpers were either going away and not expecting to return in time, or had a house full of guests. I could not run the club alone. I just hope that everybody received the message that it was not on that night. Wednesday Club returns on 3rd January.

Colin Freer joins me in thanking all helpers and drivers for all their hard work throughout the year.

Highview Toy Library held their party on Wednesday 20th. It was a busy morning, as school-age brothers and sisters came too.  Father Christmas joined them at the end of the morning. [guess who it was?] Again- the helpers deserted and it was left to two of the team to contact the members by Facebook, as it was not possible to open for a session with only me available.


Valerie J Bosley