Swimming, job clubs, gardening & carols!

Hello everyone – it has been a little while since I have blogged, so lots to fill you in on!

Mencap Swim

Firstly – swimming a mile in Dorney Lake for Mencap went really well! Dominic, Helen and myself plus another 60ish swimmers took to the lake during a really fun morning. A big thank you to everyone that sponsored us and helped us to keep swimming despite it being cold and murky and a really long way! If anyone would like to sponsor us as a little “well done” then please click here – we are very close to our target amount of £500!

On our continual quest to find out more about Mencap’s work, Clare (another GSK Pulse vol at Mencap) and I made a couple of visits last week…

Job Club

Mencap’s employment service runs job clubs and Clare and I travelled down to Wallington to join one. We had a really fun morning, chatting to young, enthusiastic job seekers who are really dedicated to improving their employability, getting work experience and securing paid jobs in a very competitive market! As you all know, many young people are finding it challenging to find their place in the UK job market at the moment and this can be even more of a challenge for individuals who have a learning disability.

Mencap’s employment services are all about building relationships – with employers and with the individuals looking for work. Mencap encourages employers to give people with a learning disability the chance they deserve to contribute and make sure that there is a good fit between the two.

Clare and I ended up helping out with the session and have been invited back to run the next job club ourselves – exciting! Any tips on running an effective workshop to help prepare for interviews are very welcome!

Islington Garden Project

Clare and I also visited Mencap’s Islington Garden Project, a local overgrown space that has been transformed into an organised garden with lots of potential for growing plants and vegetables – the garden also provides a beautiful outdoors location for skills development and social activity for people with a learning disability. The Mencap volunteers were very obviously, and quite rightly, proud to show us round their garden and we had another really fun day – chatting, doing some weeding, drinking tea…

Garden Chatting


Garden Volunteers

Clare and I are hoping to organise a GSK Orange Day activity at the project in the very near future too – more details to follow soon – get in touch if you’d like to get involved!

Carols By Candlelight

Finally, preparations are well underway for Mencap’s Carols By Candlelight event. The carol service takes places in the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, London – this stunning church was built in the 12th century and is the oldest in London!

It will be a mix of songs, carols and readings from Penny Vincenzi, Sebastian Faulks and Celia Imrie and of course drinks and canapés in the cloisters of the church after the service – sounds wonderful doesn’t it? If you’d like to get into the Christmas spirit and support Mencap, you can buy tickets here!

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