Maidenhead Mencap
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Newsletter
Issue  No.3   March 2017.

It feels as if this Newsletter will be similar to the last one. No volunteers have come forth to assist with emergency driving. Nobody has offered to take over the now a.lmost abandoned Saturday Club and Wednesday Club is relying on the help from Colin and Margaret from Monday Club and the assistance given by the carers who bring their residents.

More members have re-joined and of course with the AGM coming on Thursday 2nd March, we know that several will hand in their forms that night.

We have a speaker from the Citizens Advice Bureau coming for the AGM, and it will be good to hear how they can help us.
We are becoming more and more aware that we are an ageing Committee, and remind you that younger people may have different ideas and visions for the future.

Please come to the Annual General Meeting at Highview 6 North Road, Maidenhead SL6 1PL, on Thursday 2nd March at 7.30pm.

We have one success story. Our ever-faithful Minibus has come of age. It has just passed the annual MOT, and has had its eighteenth birthday in January. The bus was donated by a late member who realised that our previous bus was ailing. It was ordered in December 1998 and was received in January 1999. From its early days, it was realised that far-away places were not convenient for maintenance and it has been looked after by John Graham Commercials in Blackamoor Lane. We also had the great good fortune to be welcomed at Maidenhead Fire Station, where it has its own corner.           
At present, the bus is used only on Monday nights. Wednesday Club members have to be brought in their own vehicles, owing to the nature of their disabilities. In fact, we also should not have sufficient helpers to provide transport. The bus seldom exceeds 30mph, as it only travels around Maidenhead. A couple of times each year, we give it a run on the motorway, usually to Newbury. When we collected it mid-week, one of the Firemen commented that they are always amazed that it always starts first time. That of course is a great tribute to John Graham Commercials, who have provided a great service. They have even on occasion come to it at the Fire Station, but most times, we have left the bus on their forecourt after a Monday Club run, dropping the keys in their letter-box with a note- if a problem had arisen. This year, it kept up well with the other motorway vehicles and proudly boasts as having overtaken an Eddie Stobart lorry. We give our thanks to all at the Fire Station and to the staff of John Graham Commercials.

We still urgently need a bank of emergency drivers - maybe seldom used - but available on a ‘come now’ basis. On one occasion recently, when Hugh was not available early evening, Derek had to take the bus without an escort on the outward journey. Hugh had then arrived and was able to escort back. Monday Club members are all sensible people, but if a problem arose en route, things could be difficult.

GET WELL SOON EILEEN. Eileen Rogers has been a bit poorly and has had a couple of spells in hospital. We all send our best wishes and hope that she will be around with us and selling her amazing collection of handmade crafts. I am sure that Tony is a very good nurse and cook.
Signal, the organisation that has taken over the work done by Berkshire Carers, will be having a meeting at SportsAble on the Braywick Road, on 24th March from 12.30-2.30pm. Lunch will be provided free of charge. All unpaid carers are welcome. It is hoped that organisations will be able to provide information stands at the event.

Monday Club
Monday Club continues to flourish, with its regular activities and an occasional special event. February takes on a Valentines tradition. The Club members make decorations and loads of Valentine cards. Colin decorated Highview with all manner of love orientated boards and posters. Then came the Valentine disco, when the girls wore special clothes and let their hair down.
Jeanette is now feeling very much better and is back among us. She has not lost her cake-making skills and Valentines cakes appeared- heart-shaped of course, with lots of pink marshmallows on them.
On Monday 20th, they had their Karaoke evening, when even the shyest feel quite left out if they do not perform. Some of them, particularly the girls, have very good voices. Dougal loves to really get into the spirit of the event and has been known to take his shirt off. Of course, they had special Karaoke cake as well.
On the return journey, Dougal nearly always says ‘Good tonight- I really enjoyed this evening’. He also always says ‘goodnight and thank you’.

Wednesday Club is still struggling for helpers. We missed Sheila so much when she left us at Easter. Sheila did not have to ask how they wanted their tea of coffee. She knew. Colin and Margaret from Monday Club have been coming to help out. Doreen, who used to bring her Pets As Therapy dog, Candy, stopped coming when Candy became ill. Candy has now died and Doreen comes when she has a free evening.
Colin had left the decorations up for Wednesday Club. Some Valentine cards were made and of course Jeanette produced more pink hearts on cakes.
It was good to see Michael back helping, but he is now taking his exams and if you aim for A***s, you have to keep at it. We wish him well.

Saturday Club is still taking a break. Enquiries to John Foulger 01628 631208.

Highview Toy Library has taken a leap forward as a couple of mums advertised it on Facebook. They had been horrified when I explained that our funds could not pay the contributions for rental required by Highview. We have had a sudden influx of mums and Child-minders. We hope that these people will enable us to continue. The children start at ‘big school’ much earlier. One child will have her fourth birthday at the end of August, and she has to start school about three days later.

Highview is still undergoing a period of expenses, although the roof is now in better shape.
It is hoped that we can construct a Garden Room, so that club members can sit almost outside in the better weather.

A few of us have had considerable experience of Wexham Park Hospital and other aspects of the NHS. If you have had issues with your disabled members, please contact the Chairman on 01628 631208 or Jeanette on 07838 580108.

Don’t forget:

Mencap AGM
Thursday 2nd March 2017 at 7.30pm
Highview, 6 North Road
Maidenhead SL6 1PL

 

Valerie Bosley