Reopening Plans for our Clubs & Groups


After a long and challenging 14 months we have been planning for the much anticipated reopening of our services. Our priority has always been the safety of the people we work support and work with, so our phased reopening has reflected this. While some groups have now been meeting for several months, some will only be returning in September 2021. Below you can find a list of all our groups and their current status, or planned reopening date.



Active Citizens - Currently meeting in person prior to a planned summer break. Returning in September.

Basketball Club - Currently meeting in person, on alternate Saturday mornings. (Upcoming dates 31st July/14th August/28th August/4th September)

Chill Out Club - Will be reopening in September 2021.

Flagship Art ClubCurrently meeting in person, outdoors, prior to a planned summer break. Returning in September.

Gardening Club & Grantham Green Growers - Currently meeting in person on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at West End allotments and on alternate Fridays at Grantham Green.

Walking Group - Currently meeting every Friday morning in Eastleigh, at Lakeside Country Park or Fleming Park.



Christmas at Eastleigh

Christmas lights switch on


On November 16, a group from our Volunteering Crew met up in the evening to join the Parade before the Christmas lights were switched on, we were collecting for the Mayor of Eastleigh’s Charities Appeal. We had lights on our buckets and scarves! The crowd gave the parade a great welcome and we really enjoyed the fireworks.


Eastleigh BID is to be congratulated for getting so many people, young and old into the centre of Eastleigh for the event. Our Committee and volunteers ran a fundraising stall during the day time and enjoyed meeting many local people and encouraging children to make rainbow coloured Christmas characters.

Flagship Art Christmas Card Triumph! Flagship Art Christmas Card Triumph!

Christmas Card Triumph!
The club members were invited to submit designs for the Mayor’s Christmas card last year. Our congratulations go to Abbie and Bill for having their outstanding designs selected for the official card.


These are some of the members of the Flagship Art Club enjoying their coffee break at our Christmas session in 2019. Club members work very hard during their sessions when they focus on the tasks they have been given. It is one of our most quiet clubs, except during coffee break!

Anyone with a serious interest in art and improving their practice who wants to join the Art Club, should call the office to find out how to join.

AGM and Annual Party - November 9, 2019

But it is not all hard work, we know how to party!


We held our AGM and annual party at the Cranbury Centre. The Annual Report and Treasurers Report were presented and anyone who requires a copy has only to request one, these can be sent by email or hard copy.


We had a fish and chip supper, a picture quiz and lots of dancing. We finally shut our DJ down at 10.30pm. No prizes for guessing which song these members are dancing to!


Annual Party 2019 Annual Party 2019
Lantern making Lantern making

Lantern Procession, 19 October 2019


Members of the Flagship Art Club were joined by some friends to produce the lanterns. Everyone made a small individual lantern. The larger lanterns were a collaborative effort made by groups of members. 

We used wet willow to make the handles and the framework for the larger lanterns and covered them with various colours of tissue paper. Simple but very effective!

We paraded through the streets of Eastleigh with other lantern holding groups. We ended up at the bandstand, at dusk on Saturday evening accompanied by a Samba band. The Mayor of Eastleigh was there to welcome everyone.

Lantern Procession - 20 October 2019 Lantern Procession - 20 October 2019


The project was organised by Caroline Rackham, our Art Club tutor who had been running lantern making workshops throughout the borough in schools and clubs for the past few weeks. This was an event for all generations.


We met many friends who had come to see the spectacle. Some of us carried collection buckets for the Mayor of Eastleigh’s Charities Appeal. This is the first time this event has occurred in Eastleigh and we thoroughly enjoyed being part of it.

Steaming ahead...


We were fortunate to have a day out at the Watercress Line recently and to be guided around the workshops by Dr Becky Peacock. It was amazing to see how the bespoke parts were made for both steam and diesel engines in the workshops. 


We also had a steam train ride in a vintage carriage from Ropley to Alresford stations. We are pictured here on the Harry Potter bridge. Thanks to Mid Hants Railway for their hospitality.

Visit to the Watercress Line 2019 Visit to the Watercress Line 2019
Harry Potter bridge, Watercress Line 2019 Harry Potter bridge, Watercress Line 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
Gardening Club barbecue 2019 Gardening Club barbecue 2019

Gardening Club barbecue 
Saturday – July 27



Our Gardening Club members and volunteers enjoyed a mid season barbecue, with the food being cooked by guest chefs Jackie and Girish.


Our thanks to them and everyone who was involved in organising the event and making it happen on the day. 

Eastleigh Mela 2019 Eastleigh Mela 2019

Eastleigh Mela, Sunday 21 July

We ran two stalls at the MELA this year, one for the Mayor’s Appeal with the game: Play Your Cards Right. Thanks to Abbie, Katherine, Matthew, Michael and Terry who helped to run the game. There were a surprising number of winners!

The other stall was our Society stall and we offered rainbow art activities for children and information about our work for anyone interested. Thanks to Elaine, Henry, Nasrin and Beverley who worked hard throughout the day. 


Community Picnic, 16 July 2019 Community Picnic, 16 July 2019

Community Picnic, 16 July 2019

This is an annual free event which the Active Citizens have run for seven years. It is to encourage people to get together over lunch and enjoy being outside. It is always the last session of the Active Citizens year and marks the start of our summer break.


For the second year we held it at Grantham Green. It was well attended with 36 people and 1 dog attending! We were honoured to have the Mayor of Eastleigh as our guest this year.

Day in the Park - June 29 Day in the Park - June 29

Day in the Park – June 29

We are grateful to our regular chefs, Tom and Neil for their hard work on the day cooking everything so expertly. It was a baking hot day!


Salads and desserts were prepared in advance by members of our talented committee.


This year we extended the event, running from 11 to 3.30 instead of just over lunchtime and we included a variety of games which people enjoyed.

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.


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. 


Spring Coffee Morning

Tuesday April 2, 10.30 -12noon at the Masonic Hall, Eastleigh


This event is being organised by our ACTIVE CITIZENS group. Everyone is invited and welcome to join us.


We will be running the following stalls:

  1. Hobbies Stall - books, puzzles, DVDs and CDs
  2. Accessories Stall – jewellery, hats, gloves, scarves
  3. Drinks Tombola, and
  4. Raffle – any new but unwanted gifts would be appreciated.

If you have donations for our stalls, please remember we do not have space to store items so please bring the stock on the day for us to sell. Let us know what you have in advance.We do not have space to store items so please bring the stock on the day for us to sell. Let us know what you have in advance and THANK YOU!


We want the event to be busy, fun and successful in raising funds for the Mayor’s chosen charities.
Call the office or email us if you have any queries or want to help.

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!  


Ted Baker’s Bench - Grantham Green
The final part of the Grantham Green transformation project was the provision of a bench dedicated to Ted Baker who died in January 2017.


Ted was a volunteer walk leader for Eastleigh Borough & Romsey MENCAP, but had a far greater role as a friend of the people with learning disabilities who attended the Friday Club at the QE2 Centre. He and Helga took scores of people and their carers on holidays to Germany and to other countries over the past 40 years.


 We were pleased to ask Helga, Ted’s wife and daughter, Ellen, to unveil the bench. Fifty five people attended on Monday September 25 and enjoyed tea and coffee in the Grantham Arms afterwards. Many thanks to landlord Jeff for his hospitality.

Ted Baker's bench Ted Baker's bench
Grantham Green project Our part of the Grantham Green transformation project was funded by a generous grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery

Transformation of Grantham Green


Our part is complete! These are some of our album pictures showing the changes

Grantham Green Growers tackle the weeds early 2018.
The stumpery covered in wild flowers, still protected by barriers until they are well established - mid 2018.


Our part of the Grantham Green transformation project was funded by a generous grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Outing to Exbury 2018

Outing to Exbury



Our annual Outing for members this year was to Exbury.


It was of course another of this summer’s hot days but Exbury has some fabulous trees to provide shade for our walk.

Cooling off in the Estate's sprinklers!


We all enjoyed the unexpected soaking by the estate’s sprinkler system. We managed to walk around the whole estate and enjoyed a ride on the steam train at the end.


Our thanks to HIWFC Small Grants, Small Items for subsidising this trip and to Exbury Estate staff for their warm welcome.

Carnival winners all round - Most Imaginative and Best Overall categories

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


Carnival Project 2018 - Prize Giving...

The Theme of the West End Carnival was the Music of the 60s, 70s and 80s and our entry was the Village People. We were presented with the huge cup and certificates as our prizes this year. We came first in the Most Imaginative Category and also first in the Best Overall category. Winners all round, roll on next year!


...the Best Ever!

Our Carnival Project this year was our most successful. The Theme of the West End Carnival was the Music of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

We were fortunate to get a grant to allow us to work with International Carnival artist, Ray Mahabir of Sunshine International Arts from Brixton.


Village People and Friends..."YMCA"

Our entry was “The Village People & friends”. Eleven people made Village People costumes over a five week period and learned about Carnival and its meaning. More people joined us on the day for the procession and supporter Chris provided music ("YMCA" – what else?) so that we could all sing and dance along to the song.


Many of the crowd were also doing the arm actions for "YMCA" as we went past which was great to see. It was a good day for us all and we hope we helped to raise lots of money for local charities. 

West End Carnival 2018 - Double First!
West End Carnival 2018 - Village People!


Exploring Theatre Craft (7)

Dancing the Death Drill - The Loss of SS Mendi

Exploring Theatre Craft Workshop: Dancing the Death Drill
Exploring Theatre Craft - The loss of SS Mendi

Our partnership with the Nuffield Theatre Southampton came to an end this July with our final event of the project, Exploring Theatre Craft. This project has run since 2016 and was funded by Grants for the Arts.


The fabulous Isango Ensemble...

We were very privileged to have a dance, singing and movement workshop with some of the cast of the show, Dancing the Death Drill. The cast were from Cape Town in South Africa and were members of the ISANGO Ensemble. They are the most fabulous dancers and singers!

We had a walk in Andrews Park behind the theatre after our workshop to cool down, then dinner at The Spitfire pub and we returned to the theatre to see our new friends performing in Dancing the Death Drill. This was a very touching show and has provided lots of discussion topics. 


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