Understanding Learning Disability
UnderstandingLearning Disability

Eastleigh Borough and Romsey Mencap Society


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

On this webpage, you can see News, Upcoming Events, For Your Information and What's Been Happening, plus links to our Projects and Services webpages for much more information about what we do...


Our Projects...

  • ETC – Exploring Theatre Craft
  • Mayflower Panto Trail Project – Robin Hood
  • Chinese Festival


...and Services

  • Active Citizens
  • Flagship Art Club
  • Eastleigh Hot Shots (Basketball Club)
  • Chill Out Club
  • Gardening Club


Summer Closures

Eastleigh Hot Shots

Two Basketball Sessions cancelled – we will not be playing on Saturday 29 July and 26 August as we have no coach.

On the bright side, we do have sessions on 15 July, 12 August and 9 September.


Chill Out Club
The Club will be closed on 7 and 14 August

Group B returns on 21 August and Group A on 4 September




Gardening Galore!


We have a new project due to start next month called Grantham Green Growers.


This will be an opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to learn about maintaining ornamental shrubs in a very hands on way.


Maria Dowding, our Gardening Club Co-ordinator, will be leading this group and will teach people how to maintain the newly planted shrubs all the year round, though frankly there is less to do in the winter.


This is a good opportunity for people interested in gardening, who live in or near the centre of Eastleigh but who may have struggled to reach our West End allotments since the bus service was reduced. 


Grantham Green Open Day – Sunday July 23 - 12noon to 4.00pm


Come along to Grantham Green for the Open Day on Sunday July 23 to find out more – look for our sign “Grantham Green Growers”, at the Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP stall.

We are also hoping to recruit some volunteers to work alongside people. Sound like you? Give us a call or come to the Open Day.


Gardening Club Open Day - 5 August 2017

Saturday 11am - 1.50pm


You are invited to come and meet our members, see their work and hear some gardening tips and advice from our celebrity guest, Rosie Yeomans!


Home made refreshments and plant sale

Moorgreen allotments on Moorgreen Road, West End. Entrance is almost opposite Southampton Arms Public House. All welcome!


Read more about our plans for 2017 on our Gardening Club page...


If you would like to try out the Gardening Club as a new member or as a volunteer, please contact the office and leave your name and number and we will call you back. Telephone 023 8048 3471.


Sponsored Walk - The Test Way - October 2017 Lauren


Sponsored Walk - 16 miles on The Test Way


Maria, Beverley and Michelle will be taking on the 16 mile challenge in October. We walked 10 miles last year along the Itchen Way but this will be a real challenge for us.


This year we will also be joined by Lauren, Claire and Andrew who are seasoned walkers. Lauren has completed the ten Tors hike for the last three years so this will be a piece of cake for her.


Fancy a challenge?


Will you join us? Get your walking boots out. Or just think about our sore feet and sponsor us instead!


Summer Barbeque - Saturday, 8 July 2017


As usual we had  fabulous weather for our barbecue. We enjoyed the novelty of a new barbecue site and activities, as well as the home cooked food and barbecued meat.


We had a short walk around Royal Victoria Country Park and enjoyed the cool breeze coming off the water. Some people even found the energy to play volleyball.



West End Carnival - What a Community!

On June 17 some of our members took part in the West End Carnival procession. A good time was had by all. Hagrid, Dumbledore, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and co have all vowed to return again next year in a different guise, depending on the theme of course. Come and join us, it is an unforgettable experience. The people of West End are generous and know how to throw a party.



Achievements and Congratulations!


We are delighted to offer congratulations to several people you may know, who have completed something exceptional this month.


To Khristen for having completed his Cubs leader training which has taken many months. It has been a great deal of hard work and fun! He has proved his commitment to the Cubs and should be very proud of this achievement.


To Gary and Kelly who both performed in the Community company at the Nuffield Theatre in the show “The Grapes of Wrath”. They auditioned for the play and attended a long series of rehearsals from early January through to three weeks of performances in March. They gave up evenings and weekends to rehearse. It was great to see them both on stage in this show.


To Will, who ran in the Eastleigh 10km run on Sunday March 19 in spite of only taking up running in January this year!  He has raised a significant amount of money for Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP. Thank you Will!


Will raises a cool thousand!

We are delighted to report after all the cash donations, online sponsorship and gift aid have been collected that Will Wheeler raised £1,019 by completing the Eastleigh 5km run in March on behalf of Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP.


Here is Will looking fresh and confident at the start of his run on March 19.


"My congratulations too to both Will and Terry - they did a really good time, and didn't even have the grace to look tired as they passed the finish line!


"A huge thank you to Will, and to Terry and Michelle for helping him complete the challenge, for the magnificent sum of money raised."


Elaine Fish, Chairman


Will and his Dad, Terry, who ran alongside him, completed the Eastleigh 10km Run in good form on Sunday, 19 March. Huge congratulations to them both and thanks to everyone who has supported them. The donations raised are wonderful to have but are as nothing to Will’s achievement in running the course and finishing before so many other people (and the chicken).


William Wheeler, when he accepted the challenge to complete the Eastleigh 10k, decided that he would like to complete the run to benefit our society.


Will only started running in January this year but he is a fit and active person and has taken to the sport really well. We are delighted that he raised funds for us and proved his athletic ability!

Saints Pennant - Sealed Bid Auction!


Saints Football Club have generously given the society a Club Pennant to use for fundraising. The Pennant has been signed by all the 2016-7 team, it also has a Certificate of Authenticity.


We are offering this to members or supporters who are interested and wish to offer a sealed bid.

Just post us your bid price on a sheet of paper with your name and contact details. 

All bids must be received by 15 June.




Vacancy for Chill Out Club Co-ordinator!

Do you have experience of supporting people with learning disabilities? Do you have a desire to support adults with LD to have some social time with their friends?


Our Chill Out Club gives members have the chance to get together with their friends independently of carers in a warm and friendly atmosphere in the centre of Eastleigh. They meet for two hours every Monday evening (except Bank Holidays) to chat, have a drink and share a joke with their friends and our volunteers.


More information...


Small Faces Exhibition John and Mark

Small Faces Exhibition

Some of our members submitted portraits to the Solent University Small Faces Open Exhibition in February.


All entrants were invited to the Preview Night. This picture was taken on this night and shows John and Mark standing near Mark’s portrait of John, which he drew at The Chill Out Club. Rebecca, Maria and Michelle all had portraits displayed.

Farm Cafe Community Matters Donation

We have been fortunate to start the year with a welcome donation of £300 from the Waitrose Community Matters Scheme at Leckford.


Our Photo shows Committee member Henry Rau receiving the donation from Harry Brown, the Partner Co-ordination manager inside the Farm Shop in early January.


We are increasingly reliant on this form of funding since financial support from Adult Services has ended. Any members who have ideas for fundraising schemes should contact the office for an enthusiastic hearing and discussion!



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 2017- Download the latest newsletter here
Newsflash 106 July 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [634.2 KB]


You can see a selection of last year's events on the 2016 Activities page!



Dates for your diary...


  • Safer Places Scheme revisited

Jenny Bunyan, a volunteer from One Community has been visiting all the Safer Places that our Active Citizens group set up in 2010/11. Members of the Active Citizens took part in a briefing to the Community Safety Partnership about the scheme in December and we are hoping for the scheme to be revitalised in 2017. Watch this space! 

and more...

  • 23 July
    Grantham Green Open Day – Sunday July 23 - 12noon to 4.00pm
  • 5 August
    Gardening Club Open Day – Saturday, 5 August with Rosie Yeomans
  • 19 October
    Flagship Art Club Exhibition – Thursday, 19 October
  • 31 October 2017
    Chinese Cultural Festval - More details later...

To find out more about any of these events call the office, if there is no answer leave your name and number and we will call you back with all the details!


For your information...

Hampshire County Consultation


Hampshire County Council’s planned Serving Hampshire – Balancing the Budget consultation is open. 

The County Council expects a budget shortfall of £140 million by April 2019, on top of the £340 million savings already delivered over the last nine years. This is due to ongoing national austerity measures; demographic changes reflecting increases in demand for some services; and inflationary pressures.
The County Council is seeking residents’ and stakeholders’ views on a range of options for balancing its budget. These include:

  • reducing and changing services;
  • introducing and increasing charges for some services;
  • lobbying central Government for legislative change;
  • generating additional income;
  • using the County Council’s reserves;
  • increasing Council Tax; and
  • changing local government arrangements in Hampshire. 

An Information Pack, providing background information to the consultation, is available on the County Council’s website. Residents and stakeholders are invited to respond online. 

Alternatively, paper copies of the Information Pack and Response Form can be requested by emailing insight@hants.gov.uk, and will be available from Hampshire libraries.


Important Information about Bus Passes ending 31 March 2017

Hampshire County Council new concessionary bus passes will be issued automatically prior to expiry in March 2017. It is not necessary to enquire about a new bus pass unless your circumstances, address or appearance have changed.


If you do not receive a replacement bus pass once your current pass expires please contact the concessionary travel team


email: concessionary.fares@hants.gov.uk, tel: 0300 555 1376, or visit the HCC website: www.hants.gov.uk/transport


SCAMS Warning!


Hampshire County Council’sTrading Standards have asked us to warn people about some current tricks which are being used on vulnerable people.


  1. Caller claims to be assisting the Police and Ambulance Service.
    They offer to visit the property to carry out a security check, and to see if medical assistance is required. Suspicions are that the callers may be trying to sell home security devices, such as burglar alarms, and may make exaggerated claims about their effectiveness.
  2. Caller claims to be calling from the Citizens Advice Bureau, and offers to help clear outstanding debts.
    The caller may claim that they have been asked to contact the resident by a concerned person. Citizens Advice will not contact residents in this way.


Trading Standards urge any residents receiving such calls not to respond, and not to give out any personal information to unknown persons over the telephone. 



HERE I AM campaign


Royal MENCAP have launched a new public awareness campaign called Here I am. You may have seen some of the posters at bus stops around the county. They are certain eye catching and we have found that people have very different opinions about them. What do you think of their portrayal of people with a learning disability?


The campaign was designed according to Royal MENCAP “to make it impossible to ignore people with a learning disability, and to do that in a way that would challenge the assumptions a lot of people don’t even know they have.” The pictures were taken by well known fashion photographer, Rankin, who is skilled at bringing out individual personalities.


The campaign is a kind of update on what people in the UK think about learning disabilities and the people who have them. There are some really surprising statistics about what the public at large think. We would recommend having a look at Royal MENCAP’s website and reading about the Here I am campaign, surprisingly the whole feature is rather tucked away on the site so you may have to search for it.


Connect to Support Hampshire



Connect to Support Hampshire is a new countywide online information and advice guide and directory of local services for adults with care and support needs. It provides a one stop shop for adults in Hampshire looking for information, community support and care options.


Usable by anyone; 600+ listings of services near you; directory of care homes and home care agencies; Information and advice regarding care and support


Contacting Adult Services

Tell us what you think...


In our last edition in 2016 we asked you for feedback on using the Contact Centre, HANTS DIRECT. We reported that a specialist group within Contact Centre staff were being trained to assist you with a wider range of issues and that you would not necessarily have immediate or direct access with The Learning Disabilities Team any more. The next stage of the plan is that all members of the Contact Centre are to receive the specialist training so anyone who answers your call will be able to assist you.


We are interested to know if you have called the contact centre, what your experience was - did you have to wait for a long time for the call to answered? Was the query dealt with to your satisfaction? Did your call have to be diverted to the Learning Disabilities Team after all?


Please let us know by email or phone so that we can pass on this feedback to the managers who have planned this change.  It is important for us all that feedback is provided.



Contact Us / Membership

Our members receive a Newsflash nine times a year, either by email or post, and news of all new projects and opportunities. More about becoming a member...


Contact Us:

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