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Understanding Learning Disability
UnderstandingLearning Disability

What's been happening...

Enjoy reading about our recent activities...


  • Grantham Green - transformation and Ted's Bench
  • Outing to Exbury
  • Carnival 2018
  • Exploring Theatre Craft: ETC6 - Shadow Factory and ETC7 - SS Mendi 
  • Art in the Heart
  • Southampton Half Marathon

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. 


Art at the Heart – Access Forum
Following our trip to the NST City Theatre we were invited to attend the Art at the Heart Forum and give our opinions about the accessibility of art venues and events to representatives from the Nuffield, City Eye, John Hansard Gallery and the Turner Sims Concert Hall. Two members attended and gave their views. Thanks to Khristen and Abbie for their contributions.


Shadow Factory – ETC Event Six

On 21 February, 26 people went to the new NST City Theatre in Southampton to see the new play, Shadow Factory.


Written by local playwright, Howard Brenton, the play is about the covert construction of the Spitfire in World War II after the Super Marine Factory at Woolston had been bombed.


Our event included a back stage and theatre tour, exhibition about the show, an hilarious drama workshop, pub dinner at The Spitfire pub nearby and the evening show.


Members loved the warm welcome from staff who they know well now. They were impressed by the design of the new theatre and creative spaces. Definitely a night for us to remember.

ETC Event Six - Shadow Factory
ETC Event Six - Shadow Factory, Spitfire
Thanks to Michelle Wheeler for the photo


Southampton Half Marathon 2018 - Great Success


Congratulations and thanks to Terry, Harry and Duarte. Well done all! 


Our Vice Chair, Terry Wheeler (father of Will) ran the Southampton Half Marathon with son Harry and his friend Duarte on Sunday April 22 to support the society.

Here they are after the run looking fresh as daisies. The guys raised £498 on the day from sponsorship. Thanks to you if you were one of their sponsors!

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