Understanding Learning Disability
UnderstandingLearning Disability

Eastleigh Borough and Romsey Mencap Society

Gina Gina

Staying home and keeping safe 

We have been listening very carefully to all of the information from the Prime Minister and his team, which helps us to understand how to keep our members, staff and volunteers safe, while Doctors, Nurses and healthcare workers take care of the people who are unwell with the Covid-19 Coronavirus. The most recent update from the Prime Minister told us that we all need to continue to stay at home. This means that all of our groups will stay closed, for now.


I feel sad that we are not able to see each other, but we know that it is very important for us to stay safe and to make sure that we all feel well when we do see each other again. We will keep updating you every month in the Newsflash, or sooner if we have an important update to share. We are still here for you and can be contacted by telephone or email if you need us, or you want to ask any questions about this update.


To get in touch via email, you can use my new email address gina.rouse@ebrmencap.org.uk (Gina Rouse is my new last name – I got married a few weeks ago!)   Stay safe and keep washing your hands!


Retiring but strangely, still here!

Gina has taken over my role as senior member of staff. As she has not met most of you yet, I will continue to be in the office (023 8048 3471), on email and on my mobile for texting. I am not planning or managing anything anymore.

I am happy to talk to you in office hours if you just want to ask a question, have a catch up or a chat. I am always pleased to hear from you.


Stay Safe...

Our friend, Bill, was inspired to decorate the driveway of his home with this cheerful message for his neighbourhood! Thanks to Bill for letting us share it with you all.

Stay Safe - Bill's message April 2020 Stay Safe - Bill's message

Zoom Chats

Just because we can’t be together, doesn’t mean we can’t see each other!

We would like to make group chats available to our members, using a secure Zoom meeting. We would set a regular meeting time for each of our groups to get together virtually, once a week or fortnight. Zoom can be accessed from any PC, laptop, tablet or phone with an internet connection and it is very easy to set up and use, with minimal help. We will provide a meeting ID, with a password that will not be shared outside of the group that is invited to join in. Full instructions will be provided.


Please send an email to gina.rouse@ebrmencap.org.uk if you would like to join in or receive some more information.

Art Work from the Flagship Art Club

The Flagship Art Club has a closed Facebook group and each week their art tutor sets some artistic challenges for them. Some members post their weekly work on the online page for others to see. This is just one example of their beautiful work.


Painting of a Siskin by the artist, Paul Stevan Hartley Painting of a Siskin by the artist, Paul Stevan Hartley
Drawing inspired by PS Hartley's painting, by Abbie Matcham Drawing inspired by PS Hartley's painting, by Abbie Matcham

Ideas for Art Work
If you want to look at some great art
, find an artist for inspiration and try out using your own materials to make something similar, go to the Mall Galleries website.

Competitions...and the Winner is...!

Eastleigh Borough & Romsey Mencap People Wordsearch

(Committee, staff and club volunteers)

Thank you to everyone who entered our wordsearch competition and who sent their entries in by email and post.  All the entries were correct – well done everyone. But the winner is…MATTHEW F. 


A large Lindor Easter Egg is waiting for you, Matthew!


Who is this? Competition

Did you recognise Stevan and Katherine examining the inside of the chimney at Gods House Tower in March this year?


Katherine’s sunshine coat is a real give away but to recognise Stevan was very clever, it could have been anyone!



The winner is WILL W. Well done, Will!

Another competition...
Look at this old photo – how many humans can you see?  You may know some of these people…

Text, email or phone to let us know the number of humans in the picture?


Competition photo May 2020 Competition photo May 2020 - how many humans can you see?

Our thanks to Stephen, our volunteer driver from the Chill Out Club, who took this photo and gave permission for its use. (People who were present on this day out on March 17 are not eligible to enter the competition.)

Quiz Night logo Quiz Night - Fridays

Friday Night is Quiz Night – 7.45pm

There is a weekly quiz online each week which you might like to join. It is called Cliff’s Chase (complied by Pauline’s husband, Cliff). There are 21 questions and the whole event lasts about half an hour.


Here is the link, register in advance and log in at 7.35pm for the count down to the start of the quiz. Good luck!



Keeping busy?

Please tell us what you have been doing during the lockdown. Maybe you are a champion jigsaw puzzle maker, have been keeping a diary, have grown some plants or re-decorated your room.


Whatever you have done – we are interested!

Please send in photos or pictures of your art work if you have been creative (by post or email). We will share some in our next newsletter.


Royal MENCAP suggests…
MENCAP TV – this is a Royal MENCAP resource on YouTube. There are exercises and short films made by people with learning disabilities.

The themes include:

  • Fitness - #movewithMencap - Instructional work out videos
  • Food - #cookwithMencap - Basic cooking tutorials
  • Arts and Crafts - #createwithMencap - Drawing or painting tutorial
  • Music - #partywithMencap - Live performance/singalong
  • Entertain - #funwithMencap - Quizzes, TV picks, reviews and more!
  • Wellbeing - #chillwithMencap - Yoga sessions, gardening/potting plants, poetry 



Looking after your mental health

The NHS gives us ten tips to help our mental health.


This is a brief resume for people who cannot go online.

  1. Stay Connected – talk to your family, friends and others you know by phone, Zoom, Facebook, WhatsApp – whatever is available to you.
  2. Talk about your worries to trusted people – don’t bottle things up. Some people share your worries and others are less concerned, talking can help you to see things differently.
  3. Support and help others – do things for people around you and listen to them.
  4. Think what you need to get by and make sure you organise it. This will help you to feel in control.
  5. Look after your body – make sure you eat well, drink enough and exercise regularly. You can go out to exercise once a day and some people can go out more than once, if they have a special health need. You need to keep 2metres away from people when outside.
  6. Only listen to the facts – you may want to know everything, or nothing about the virus: if you want to know about it, make sure you get your information from a trusted media source, do not listen to rumours or pass them on. 
  7. Stay on top of difficult feelings – you may get anxious, but try to focus on the things you can control – what you do in your life, who you talk to, and where you get your information. Plan your day as you want it to be.
  8. Do things you enjoy, this will help you to feel better. Try something new or maybe do something you have not done for a long time. (Knitting, crochet, cross stitch, painting, jigsaws, wordsearches, gardening, growing seedlings). There are lots of ideas online but if that is not available, have a look around your house or talk to others who may have ideas about what you might do.
  9. Focus on the present, don’t worry about the future. Plan for now. You may enjoy mindfulness breathing and relaxation techniques.
  10. Make sure you get enough sleep. Don’t drink too much caffeine in the day, stop using your phone about an hour before bedtime and leave it in another room overnight, so you cannot look at it.


If you receive a paper copy of the newsletter that comes through the post, make sure you keep the special envelope. It is one that commemorates the effort of Capt Tom Moore, who set out to raise £1,000 for NHS charities by walking up and down his garden but raised over £28 million.


It was his one hundredth birthday on Thursday, April 30 and the Post Office has commemorated his effort with this special post mark for use this week only. This is a good souvenir of this strange time. Who knows, one day it may be valuable!

Titanic Story Titanic Story

Titanic Story
Andy Skinner, the education officer at Sea City Museum, who has hosted many visits for us, has recorded a guided tour of the museum with lots of additional stories that we might not know. This could be of interest if you like Titanic stories. There are also some colouring sheets if you have a printer at home, as well as an online quiz and a crossword.



Other local and national museums and galleries are also offering different activities to keep people involved, have a look around their websites.


The Active Citizens' list of... Stuff to do at home!

  • Talking to friends on the phone
  • Face timing your family
  • Using facebook 
  • Write letters to friends and post them

Being Active...



It is important to get some gently exercise – 15 minutes of guided Pilates each day can be found on Facebook.


(If you go out, try to avoid close contact with other people)

Try to do something active at least once a day, or more…

  • Start a short daily keep- fit routine, you can do at home. Some stretches, bends, etc. Maybe do some home made circuits, use tins of beans as weights
  • Work out a dance routine you can do everyday to a favourite piece of music 
  • Cycling around the block or to the park and back
  • Gardening. Digging, planting, watering and weeding can all provide good exercise.
  • Yoga
  • Walking – walking with purpose. Not dawdling along but walking briskly, decide where you are going and move swiftly along to that place, swinging your arms and being energetic. Then walk back, time each way, see if you can walk faster. 
  • Nature walk – if there is a park near your home, walk there every few days and see what is changing. Are there bulbs coming up?
  • Playing on the Wii – particularly any sport or exercise
  • Spring cleaning your room
  • Spring cleaning your house
  • Decorating your room (house) 

Being Creative...

My house, my garden community art competition logo My house, my garden

Plan to have an entry in our Art Competition 

All entries welcome

My house, my garden 
Entries on a postcard to show what you do in your house or garden, how your house or garden looks, or produce a picture of the place where you would like to live. This is a perfect activity for lockdown.

We are looking for brilliant original artwork, all postcards submitted will be displayed at the Flagship Art  Exhibition in the autumn.  There will be prizes.


More creative ideas...

  • Painting by numbers in a book or on your tablet
  • Colouring in an adult colouring book
  • Keeping a diary of all the things you did while staying at home
  • Learn a poem off by heart
  • Wordsearches
  • Dot to dot puzzles
  • Knitting
  • Making Easter Cards
  • Crocheting
  • Painting
  • Sketching
  • Drawing a self portrait using a mirror or photograph
  • Making a scrap book of the last year, or a recent holiday 
  • Making models with lego
  • Doing jigsaw puzzles easy ones first, then the really hard ones!
  • Baking
  • Planning new meals and making them
  • Making craft kits – cross stitch
  • Making models – planes, ships etc
  • Learning to do origami

Being Organised...

  • Sorting out all the pictures on your phone, deleting the terrible ones!
  • Decluttering your room – do you need this? Do you still like it? Make decisions!
  • Sorting out your spring clothes, summer clothes…! Does it still fit? Am I still comfortable in this?

Being Entertained...

  • Watching TV
  • Watching DVDs or box sets
  • Reading
  • Listening to music
  • Choose your Desert Island Discs – your favourite 8 songs. Think why they are important to you and how you would talk about them if asked
  • Play games on your phone
  • Listening to audio books
  • Listening to stories and plays on the radio
  • Bird watching from your window – can you identify the birds?
  • Counting the birds that come to your feeder, recording what you see.


The beauty is you can do some of these things at the same time!


Where to get stuff...

We don’t like to endorse one company above another but THE WORKS (TheWorks.co.uk) on Market Street in Eastleigh has a huge range of quite cheap puzzle books and blank Easter cards to make.  Hobbycraft (www.hobbycraft.co.uk/southampton) at West End has many things to buy that can occupy your time.


Please tell us if you have found other things to do that you want to share with your friends. We will add these to the list and if you send in pictures we will showcase them.


Printable list of Stuff to Do...

Active Citizens - list of stuff to do
AC11 - stuff to do v2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [515.6 KB]

Our contact details...


Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP
Give us a call if you have any queries. 023 8048 3471


POSTAL ADDRESS : 56 Oak Tree Road, Southampton SO18 1PH


GINA’s EMAIL ADDRESS : gina.rouse@ebrmencap.org.uk


EMAIL ADDRESS : ebr.mencap@ntlworld.com
WEBSITE ADDRESS : www.ebrmencap.org.uk



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Phone: 02380 483471 Email: info@ebrmencap.org.uk Registered Charity Number 263620 Affiliated to Royal MENCAP Society