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. We are affiliated to the national Royal Mencap Society.

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.

Links to:


  • ETC – Exploring Theatre Craft – The Complete Deaths
  • Mayflower Panto Trail Project – Robin Hood
  • Chinese Festival – poster attached
  • Previous Limelight Local events

...and Services

  • Active Citizens
  • Active Ability Football
  • Art Club
  • Eastleigh Hot Shots (Basketball Club)
  • Chill Out Club
  • Gardening Club
  • Walking Group


Art Explosion!

We have three Art Events coming up this autumn, we hope you will want to be involved in one or all!

Flagship Art Club 3rd Annual Exhibition on 3 November

Flagship Art Club members were pleased to welcome the Mayor of Eastleigh and his wife to their third annual exhibition at Centenary Hall. The event went well with many friends and family members coming along to support our artists. Their work was well received and several pictures sold.


There was also a chance to see a photographic exhibition of the making of our ZEBRA  “Zebra Crossing” from the bare white cast through to the finished product displayed in the summer sunshine at Town Quay Park.  Members of the Flagship Art Club ran workshops for visitors to produce decorated cards and envelopes using marbling oils. People from Launch pad came along to try out these techniques.


The Zebra Café, run by Will and Michelle Wheeler, did a brisk trade in home made cakes and hot drinks. Thanks to everyone who baked for us. Kate O’Connell ran a wonderful art market selling a range of affordable but unique artistic gifts ranging from felted soaps to knitted scarves and fused glass bowls, the work of six local artists.


The Mayor Of Eastleigh, Councillor Des Scott, addressing Flagship Art Club artists at their Private View


CAROLINE RACKHAM, our Art tutor, at the Flagship Art Club has her own exhibition at Harbour Lights Picture House in Ocean Village from November 25. If you are interested in her work please go along to see her exhibition and maybe take in a film at the same time!

Small Art Market – unique Christmas shopping!

Thursday, 3 November - 10.00 to 14.30 
Centenary Hall, Chamberlayne Road, Eastleigh (near intersection with Factory Road)

There were art workshops, a cafe (home made cakes!) and an art market. This willprovided a great opportunity to buy unique Christmas gifts annd for people to view our work and learn more about the Club.

Exploring Theatre Craft

This project, funded by Grants for the Arts was held on Thursday, 13 October offered seven events with our partners at the Nuffield Theatre. Participants learned about acting and the theatre with the opportunity to practice drama in workshops, see professional performances and what happens back stage. 

The Costume Workshop with The Nuffield Theatre FRIDAY December 2, 2016 9.00am to 2.00pm (on public transport)


See Events for more information...

Mayflower Panto Trail project

the Art and drama workshops take place in November on three consecutive Fridays. Participants will also have the chance to visit Hillier Gardens and to go to the Pantomime together. See Events for more information...

News from the Gardening Club...

We will have four monthly meetings over the winter, at Hilldene Community Centre in West End. Fee £2.50 - refreshments provided.

  • Nov 7, Mon 2.00-3.30pm
  • Dec 10, Sat 11.00am-12.30pm Xmas session
  • Jan 16, Mon 2.00-3.30pm
  • Feb 18, Sat 11.00am-12.30pm

The Club reopens on Monday March 13, 2017.

Summer season - news from Maria

It’s been a great summer season on the allotment this year and although we are heading into Autumn, there is still plenty to harvest before we wind down for the winter months...

We’ve had a bumper crop of carrots and runner beans this year and we are currently harvesting Swiss Chard, Kale, yellow courgettes and beetroot. We also have some lovely peppers to pick from plants which Ben has kindly donated to Gardening Club, which we grew in the poly tunnel. Rosie’s Rocket seeds have done really well and some of us are already enjoying the peppery flavour in our salads and sandwiches!

We have already put in leeks for the next season and in the last remaining weeks of the season, we hope to sow some black Spanish radish seeds which can be harvested upon our return to Gardening Club in March 2017.

It’s worth remembering that the allotment is not just for growing vegetables and a few of our members like to grow flowers and herbs. So if you’re interested in finding out more about what we do at the allotment, you are more than welcome to come along to our winter meetings.

Last but by no means least, a BIG ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has supported us at the allotment this season and for making our Open Day in August a success.

Maria, October 2016

The Gardening Club is for adults with learning disabilities who want to 'grow their own' and have a real interest in or love of horticulture, meeting twice a week from mid March to mid October, anyone interested in joining the Club in West End might come to the Open Day to find out more. Please call the office for details: 023 8048 3471

More details about the Gardening Club...


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).


Download the latest newsletter here
Newsflash 99 December 2016.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [698.8 KB]


Chinese Cultural Festival 2016, Friday 28 October

The festival starts at 10:30am with a traditional Chinese Lion Dance, then performances and workshops will lead you on an amazing Chinese cultural journey, including Lion Dance, Craft and Art, Dance and Fashion and more. You are welcome to come for the morning or the afternoon, or both!

  • Entrance: £5 - Includes token for Chinese food.
  • Refreshments for sale: teas and coffees / Chinese snacks.
  • This year we have a bigger free car park, and more room to enjoy the activities.
  • Hosted by the University of Southampton Confucius Institute
  • Email: confucius@soton.ac.uk; www.southamtpon.ac.uk/confucius

Exploring Theatre Craft: The Complete Deaths - October 13, 2016

Join us on Thursday, 13 October for a visit to the Nuffield Theatre to learn about comedy, how to tell a funny story on stage and to see the performance of “The Complete Deaths”. The visit from 4.15 to 10.00pm includes a drama workshop, light supper, evening performance of the show and final meeting to discuss what we saw.

  • Cost: £15 per person, includes pizza!
  • Essential carers go free
  • Call Michelle for more details and to book
  • Limited number of places

Zany Zebra Charity Auction, 18 October

The Zany Zebras will be auctioned off at a Charity Fundraising Auction which takes place at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday, 18 October 2016. Do you fancy having a zebra in your back garden?


Mayflower Panto Trail Project - Robin Hood


Participants in our Mayflower Panto project have completed all three workshops to explore the Robin Hood legend and how it has been adapted for the Pantomime. The team have designed and built the station for our part of the story trail at Hilliers Arboretum.


We were delighted to work with Chris Bennett as drama coach and public artist. He is an old friend of EBR MENCAP, having worked with us since 2006; he knows many of our participants well and missed those usually attend but who were absent this year.


We have our visit to Hilliers Arboretum planned for December and a visit to the Mayflower together in January to see a full performance of the pantomime with Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace.


Our first workshop of drama and art took place on November 11 and was well attended.





Participants working on designs for the Panto trail



Participants who complete all three workshops will also be invited to see the Trail at Hilliers in December and attend a performance of the Panto Robin Hood, together in January. Happy Days!

We have been working with artists from the Mayflower Theatre to make a trail which tells the story of Robin Hood, to be installed at Hilliers Arboretum over the Christmas period.


We have two trips out for members who attended the workshops:

  • To see the trail at Hilliers Arboretum in December – wrap up well!
  • To see the Panto on the afternoon of Friday January 6 2017

Contact Michelle to book (023 8048 3471) – limited number of places!

AGM and Anual Party

  • Saturday, 12 November 2016
  • The Cranbury Centre, Cranbury Road, Eastleigh
  • Doors open 6.30pm. Activities start at 7.00pm
  • Pizza, quiz, raffle, DJ and dancing.
  • Price on the door: £8 per adult, £22 for family of four
  • Please book so that we can cater for you!

Achievement Table: if you have done anything fabulous this year, bring pictures, medals, awards etc along to share your good news with other members.

Royal Mencap's Planning Ahead Free Seminar

  • Thursday 3 November 12.30pm - 2.30pm
  • Level.10 Church, Stanmore Lane, Winchester,SO22 4BT

The seminars are delivered by solicitors who specialise in this complex area of law. They will help you understand the merits of all your different options, and answer any questions you may have about this important decision. Whether you already have a Will in place or not, the seminars offer all the information to point you in the right direction and provide peace of mind.

Among other topics, all sessions cover:

Common issues associated with one-off gifts; why you should make a Will; different types of Trust; choosing Trustees; your letter of wishes; intestacy rules and how to prepare for your solicitor’s meeting

Book a place at the Winchester Seminar by calling Gina on 0207 696 6925 or email: willsandtrusts@mencap.org.uk.

For your information...

Your Society needs you! Can you help?

Volunteers needed:

  • Coin collectors outside supermarkets
  • Great bakers to bake cakes for our café (before November 3)
  • Tea/coffee maker on November 3

Message from our Chair, Elaine Fish...

This year some grants that support our work have been withdrawn. We have had to find money elsewhere, we have been holding coin collections at Waitrose, Asda and Tesco, which have generated some much needed funds for our projects and services.

Committee members and our development officer have given up their time to take shifts outside the supermarkets, and I am grateful to them for doing so.

We will run coin collections on a regular basis to raise funds for the Society, but we need more volunteers to join us.

Can you help? Would you be prepared join a rota for future collections?

Each “shift” would be no longer than 2 hours at a supermarket in the Eastleigh borough or Romsey area and all you would have to do is to be friendly and welcoming to any shoppers who wanted to donate. You could do just one collection or join us more regularly: it is your choice!

Our next collection is at Sainsbury’s, Eastleigh on Saturday 1 October. We need more volunteers so that we can have two people per “shift”. Please do get in touch with Michelle if you want to join in. (023 80483 471)

Thank you. Elaine Fish (Chair of Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP)

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

From June 20 all calls to the Adult Services Learning Disabilities Team will be answered by the Contact Centre at Hants Direct. Contact Centre staff are being trained to deal with these calls and will be able to give some direct responses to queries, without you needing to talk to a care manager/social worker.

They would welcome feedback about how this works.


Tell us what you think...


Please do tell us your recent experiences, good or bad, both of the Hants Direct Call Centre and of Connect to support, the website that offers information on all aspects of Adult Social Care. We can then feed this back to Adult Services. It is important for us all that feedback is provided.

Assured Futures Group

Next meeting: (date to be advised) at Wells Place Centre, 2.00 – 5.00pm. All parents welcome.

Please come along if this interests you, there is no obligation to join the group but many parents have found that they share the same concerns about the future and are pleased to find others with whom they can discuss their ideas.


If you would like more information, contact  Michelle  023 8048 3471. If the phone is not answered leave your name and number, your call will be returned, or just use the Society email, as below. More details...

Jump Start Drama

Jump Start Theatre Company from Winchester University have been running energetic drama games and activities for participants since March.

We also had an evening out together to The Point to see Backstage in Biscuitland. A really thought provoking show about Tourettes Syndrome, which also managed to be very funny! More details...

Did you know that you can donate to Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP via Localgiving (http://localgiving.com/charity/ebrmencap)? It's quick and easy, and UK taxpayers can opt to offer Gift Aid too.

EBR MENCAP Wristbands

Have you seen the latest fashion accessory, available from EBR MENCAP? They are a great way to show your support, and only cost £1 each. There are three colours - burgundy, bottle green and white, each sporting a different slogan, PARTICIPATE, RESPECT and ENJOY. Why not get all three so that you can mix and match? The wristbands are a fundraising idea to help support us financially and will be on sale at all our events and projects in the coming months. Grab them while you can!

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:

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Contact Us: Email: ebr.mencap@ntlworld.com .. Phone: 02380 483471 .. Registered Charity Number 263620