Understanding Learning Disability
UnderstandingLearning Disability

Eastleigh Borough and Romsey Mencap Society

First prize – Best Over All! The Village People & friends at West End Carnival June 2018 First prize – Best Over All! The Village People & friends at West End Carnival June 2018

Our aim is to protect and enhance the life chances of children and adults with learning disabilities living in Eastleigh and Romsey.


Our services are open to anyone with a learning disability who lives in the borough of Eastleigh or in Romsey, but before accessing any of our services, you do need to talk to someone to be sure they are appropriate for you. Please call the office and leave your name and number. We will always call you back.


Our constitution limits the offer of our services to people with learning disabilities living in this geographical area. Much of our funding is raised locally for the benefit of local people with learning disabilities.


Our Home page contains our News items and Upcoming Events, links to our Projects and Services webpages for much more information about what we do, What's been happening - our recent events, and Keeping you informed - information from outside agencies including Hampshire Conty Council

Our Services...

  • Flagship Art Club
  • Eastleigh Hot Shots (Basketball Club)
  • Chill Out Club
  • Gardening Club
  • Grantham Green Growers

...and Projects

  • Carnival 2019



West End Carnival 2019

The theme this year was Childrens’ Television and we chose Herge’s Adventures of Tintin. This allowed us to dress as adults in period costume and to assume different identities. False moustaches were the order of the day!

Despite the weather being chilly and a little wet, our spirits were not dampened and we received a great response from the Carnival crowd who were as enthusiastic and generous as ever.


Carnival 2019 - Children's TV - Herge's Adventures of Tintin West End Carnival 2019 - Children's TV - Herge's Adventures of Tintin

Community Picnic!

Grantham Green, Grantham Road - Tuesday, 16 July 12 noon to 2.00pm

The Active Citizens are holding their annual picnic.

Bring your packed lunch and something to sit on. Maybe a sun hat too if the good weather persists. All welcome.  (If it rains we will not be there!)


Eastleigh Mela

Sunday, July 21 at Eastleigh Recreation Ground 11.00am to 6.00pm

This is a wonderful annual event to celebrate diversity in our community.

Look out for the Mayor of Eastleigh’s stall as well as our society’s stall.


Walking Boots 2019 Walking Boots 2019

Walking the Test Way for The Mayors Appeal
Would you like to have a day of walking in the countryside with friends and raise money for three good local causes? Then come walk with us on Sunday, September 29.


There is a choice of three possible distances: 11 miles, 8 miles and 5 miles. We hope to have a group of walkers doing all three distances if we have sufficient experienced walkers.


We will be encouraging those who want to take part, to join us for some training so we are all confident we can walk the distance.


We would like some experienced walkers to volunteer to walk with our members. The cost for each walker is £14 for the day and each person must raise a minimum of £50 for the cause. You might be surprised how supportive your friends are.


Walkers must be prepared to accept the weather that is served up that day. You should also carry appropriate clothing and food. Water is provided along the route and there are conveniences at various intervals. The route is marshalled and first aid assistance can be provided, however the walk is not on main roads, some of the time it is on the path of an old railway, cutting through the fields, there are also stiles that must be climbed.


The walks start in Stockbridge (11 miles), Horsebridge (8 miles) and Mottisfont (5 miles).  Everyone meets and registers in Romsey on the day and is then bussed out to the appropriate start. 

The walk must be completed within a certain number of hours, so anyone walking must be confident they can complete it in time. At the end of the walk there is a medal presentation and applause in the Memorial Garden in Romsey.


If you are interested, please call the office (0238048 3471) for a conversation with Michelle or talk to her at one of our clubs, to register your interest. Some of us have completed this walk before and can tell you it is a great experience.


Mayor Making



The new Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Darshan Mann admires the “past Mayor’s badge” of outgoing Mayor, Councillor Bruce Tennent on May 9 at the Official Mayor Making.


We are delighted to have been chosen by the new Mayor of Eastleigh as one of the charities for his appeal. All three of the Mayor’s charities this year are local charities so people in Eastleigh will benefit directly.


We hope that all our members, friends and supporters get involved in enjoying functions, volunteering and raising funds. This really is a win-win situation for us: more profile for people with learning disabilities being active members of their community and more funds for all three chosen charities.




The office of Mayor


The Mayor of Eastleigh's Charities Appeal 2019-2020


Can I draw your attention to the first event of the new Mayor of Eastleigh's Charity Appeal. Why not join us at Steam Town Brew in Eastleigh for a night of live Blues/Folk with Smokey Oak on Monday, June 17? Bring your friends.


More information...
Mayors Appeal 2019 - Steam Town Night.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]

Mid-May Bulletin!

A Special Honour...

We are proud to announce that your society has been chosen by the new Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Darshan Mann to be one of three charities benefiting from his Charities Appeal this year May 2019 - May 2020.


There will be many opportunities for members and carers to attend fundraising events for the Appeal and to volunteer to help run events. We are hoping for a busy year where our society works hard for the Appeal. More news in the June Newsletter.


Other news...

We are entering West End Carnival on June 15 – anyone who has not heard about our theme and wants to participate should contact Michelle 023 8048 3471 – leave your name and number.


Don’t forget our Quiz Night with curry and Grand Raffle at the Concorde Club on Tuesday May 28. Bring your friends, get competitive! Tickets can be booked online at the Concorde Club website. £12 each – be prepared to sit in teams of 6 on each table. This is a good night out!


Volunteers Required...

Do you live in West End, Hedge End or nearby, enjoy or can tolerate gardening and want a new activity to add to your life? Or perhaps you know someone else who could enjoy this…? Why not volunteer at our Gardening Club?

Due to ill health, two of our stalwart volunteers have had to withdraw and we would love to recruit some new help. The role is not arduous, different volunteers do different things but mainly supporting people to work on their raised beds, regular watering between sessions, drinking tea, chatting and generally being friendly. 

The Mayor of Eastleigh’s Appeal

Eastleigh Railway Works - in the sheds Eastleigh Railway Works - in the sheds

Outing to Eastleigh Railway Works

On Saturday April 27, 15 members with supporters had the chance to visit Eastleigh Railway Works. Norman our guide took us throughout the site, inside and outside the huge sheds to see various historic engines and some contemporary rolling stock too.


We learned about the workings of a private Railway company and were all impressed with the size of the site and the variety of work being carried out. It was a privilege to look around the site. Thanks to Carl Watson and Becky Peacock for making it happen. 



Eastleigh Railway Works - Canadian Pacific Wheels Eastleigh Railway Works - Canadian Pacific Wheels



This is a picture of the wheels on Canadian Pacific, they are 6ft 6 inches tall!


We were accompanied by Dr Becky Peacock who project manages the restoration of Canadian Pacific and has already given a talk to the ACTIVE CITIZENS group about this work.   

The visit was arranged to benefit the Mayor of Eastleigh Charities Appeal, so our fees were donated to the Appeal. 


Mayor's appeal Facebook page...

Society Diary Dates

  • July 6 , 13,  27 – Eastleigh Hot Shots Basketball Club
  • July 11 – last Flagship Art Club session before summer. FAC returns Sept 12 
  • July 16 – Community Picnic at Grantham Green
  • August 3 and August 5 - No Gardening Club
  • August 17 – Gardening Club Open Morning starts at 10.00am


Please call the office and leave your name and number if you have any questions about our events or anything else. We will always call you back.  Our Office number : 023 8048 3471

Day in the Park - Saturday, 29 June

Put the date in your diary!

Laurel BBQ Site at Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley.

Start time 11.00am

Day in the Park BBQ Day in the Park BBQ


Great company, fun, games, food – what more could you want?  £7.50 per person. Meet at 11.00 at the BBQ site.


Walk to see the Medieval fantasy castle, games and lunch will follow.  Grand raffle too. Bring your family, carers, friends and join us.


Please let us know if you are coming so we can cater for you. Bookings are being recorded now.


NB there is no free parking in RVCP, your car registration will be photographed as you enter the park and you will be charged for the time you stay. Free car parking is available in the streets at the back of the park.

Eastleigh Hot Shots Basketball Club!

"A big Thank You to Magic Little Grants which has provided a grant to employ our basketball coach for one year. Magic Little Grants are administered by Localgiving and the Postcode Community Trust"


Michelle, May 2019

More Transformation at Grantham Green

Eastleigh Borough Council is continuing with the planned transformation of the park. The new features, a rock feature for climbing and additional stumps and wild flower turves for the stumpery, are in the south west corner of the park. They are just being installed and will be ready to view in a month or so.


Gardening Club Open Morning

Saturday 17 August, 10.00 to 12.00

Come along and see our work at our Gardening Club Open Morning on Saturday August 17 with Maria and all the Gardening Club members. Our favourite Gardening celebrity Rosie Yeomans will be with us again this year, giving practical gardening advice. 
Plant sale, home made refreshments,etc.


Planning for the future

Wed  21 August 2019 from 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Royal Mencap’s free seminar in Southampton in August for families seeking advice on wills and trusts. Holiday Inn, Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton, SO15 1AG.


To book your place please visit: www.mencap.org.uk/willsandtrusts


Waitrose Community Matters 
We have been chosen as one of three charities in the green token scheme this August at Leckford Farm Shop & Café.

Please vote for us with your green tokens if you go to the Water Gardens at Leckford this summer.


Cheque received from Waitrose customers Cheque received from Waitrose customers

Thank you to Waitrose, Romsey, and their customers


Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP was featured as one of the three charities included in Waitrose Romsey’s Community Matters campaign early in 2019.
Thanks to everyone who voted for us. We were delighted to receive a cheque for £270 from Debbie, their Community Matters Co-ordinator. 


Leckford donation - Waitrose Community Matters Leckford donation - Waitrose Community Matters

Leckford Donation

Committee member, Henry Rau accepts a donation cheque from the Waitrose Community Matters Scheme at Leckford.


These donations are a really important part of our funding each year and we are grateful to the companies who accept our nominations and to the public who vote for us.


NST CITY’s First Birthday Party NST CITY’s First Birthday Party

NST CITY’s First Birthday Party
Members of Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP were invited to the Nuffield Theatre City‘s first birthday party on February 16.


We were involved in a theatre project with the Nuffield as our partner from 2015 to 2018 and were at the launch of the new theatre last year.  


Members enjoying NST CITY’s First Birthday Party Members enjoying NST CITY’s First Birthday Party


The theatre put on an amazing array of entertainment, with dance numbers from ZoieLogic, singing by community choirs, party games in which everyone in Guildhall Square was involved and general mayhem.


There were lots of surprises and despite the grey but warm day, we had a great time. We also had jelly and ice cream, Hariboes and delicious cake!  

Hampshire County Council 
Balancing the Budget consultation – closes July 17


By April 2021 the Council expect an £80 million budget shortfall, it is asking residents what action they want taken: more cuts, increasing Council tax, introducing charges, putting pressure on Government…? 

Have your say: https://www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/haveyoursay/consultations/balancing-the-budget


Just when you thought austerity was over!

Here comes T21 (Transformation to 2021) – the latest round of savings from Hampshire County Council.

How much must be saved this time? More importantly, what will be left?

Orchard Close Respite Unit

The future is still uncertain

No final decision has yet been made about the future of Orchard Close Respite Centre. A number of Health & Social Care Committee meetings have been held with votes taken but for now it is simply being said that the Respite Centre will continue to operate until autumn 2020. Decision time on the future of the Centre will be in the autumn of this year. 
In the meantime there will continue to be discussion and consideration of the need for this Respite Centre, the amount that could be saved by its closure and other matters.  
This is disappointing for all the supporters of Orchard Close who took time to complete the Consultation document in the first place, organised powerful deputations to the Health & Social Care Committee, have lobbied members of the Committee and who have been hoping for a swift resolution.  
Knowing that the future is uncertain for a much loved and high quality facility, where your son or daughter is happy and receives excellent care, puts an additional strain on carers who have previously always relied upon its service. So many of the Council’s valued Respite Units have been closed in recent years and carers do not want to see Orchard Close added to that list. The move to short breaks in local shared lives placements is not something that most carers want. 

To read more about Orchard Close, visit our For your Information page...

Royal Mencap survey of Learning Disabilities

Royal Mencap is running the first national survey of people with a learning disability in 15 years. Look for the section entitled “Research and Statistics” on their website.  https://www.mencap.org.uk/


This national survey will be a chance for people with a learning disability to tell Royal Mencap about their everyday lives and experiences. Royal Mencap will be asking questions on topics that people with a learning disability have told us are important to them, such as health, relationships, employment and inclusion. The results will help Royal Mencap to provide better support to the people they work with and further improve the lives of people with a learning disability

Carers’ Group
West Hampshire Community Learning Disability Service (part of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust) is setting up a Carers’ Group to help improve the service provided by the Health Service to adults with a learning disability in our area.


They wish to develop their service and understand the importance of hearing carers’ views. The group is for informal carers (family/legal guardians). If you are interested in being in the group or receiving their minutes or newsletter contact the facilitators: Rachel Johnson or Martin Johnson. Email: hp-tr.whclds@nhs.net


Meetings for 2019

  • April 26 Friday 10-12 at Hampshire House, Eastleigh
  • July 19 Friday 10-12 at Totton Hub, Totton
  • October 17 Thursday 10-12 at Hampshire House, Eastleigh.  

Flagship Art Club

Plans for next year

  • Carnival Day - Saturday 15 June 2019. Theme - Childrens’ Television

The Art Club will be inviting more people to join them for their West End Carnival Project in 2019. People who are not members of the Flagship Art Club can join with our regular members for the weeks before the Carnival to design and prepare their own costumes.

  • Flagship Art Club members are entering the St James’s Church Christmas Tree Festival this year. Make sure you go along in December to see their entry
  • Spring Exhibition: Tuesday, 2 April
People's Postcode Lottery logo People's Postcode Lottery logo

People’s Postcode Lottery grant - Grantham Green Gardening Project

Our project received £13,281 from the Trust to establish a new gardening group at Grantham Green to maintain the ornamental shrubs throughout the year to include local volunteers and people with learning disabilities. The grant also includes costs for a commemorative bench, a stumpery and additional wild flower turves.


We were successful in obtaining a grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery to fund the work of the Grantham Green Growers for a year as well as providing additional wild flower turves, a bench and a stumpery.


Our Newsletter, Newsflash!, contains information about local and national initiatives and about our activities. Click on the newsletter tab to read previous newsletters.

Please visit the website regularly to read our latest news. If you have any comments on the content, or would like us to include something on the website, please do get in touch with Elaine Fish (Chair).


July 2019 - Download the latest newsletter here
Newsflash 130 - July 2019.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [962.8 KB]

New members

If you have enjoyed this newsletter or any of our services and want to join us, please contact Michelle on the office number or ask her about membership. There are real advantages to being an Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP member.

Contact Us/Membership

Our members receive a regular copy of our newsletter, Newsflash, either by email or post, and news of all new projects and opportunities. More about becoming a member...


Contact Us:

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Phone: 02380 483471 .. Email: ebr.mencap@ntlworld.com .. Registered Charity Number 263620 .. affiliated to Royal MENCAP Society