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Stories 52-53

This week we have a story from our previous fundraising and Events Coordinator Natalie and a story from the fundraising team.

My story begins with a telephone call from Patrick Fisher many years ago asking if I would join the General Committee at Harpenden Mencap.  

For a few years I had been involved on a voluntary basis with the Harpenden Gateway Club, a social club for adults with learning disabilities and Patrick thought I was well suited to join the committee.

I didn’t see how I would be of any value on the committee as I had no personal knowledge of learning disabilities, other than my voluntary work; but that is exactly what was needed.  

My lack of experience and knowledge meant a new fresh viewpoint was introduced and I sat on the committee for a few years until it folded.

Fast forward many years and totally out of the blue I received a call from Anne Hignell, Trustee of HM. Anne was organising a golf day in aid of HM and she had heard that along with my husband Stephen, I had previously run a golf day in the Gateway Club.  And there was born a fantastic annual charity golf day raising tens of thousands of pounds for HM over a 9-year period, and still going strong. 

The golf day was lots of hard work, long hours and disappointing setbacks but it gave so much; fun, humour, friendship, support, inclusion, generosity, community spirit, warmth and above all valuable funds to help support numerous projects at HM. 

My help at the golf day led to a salaried position with the charity as Events Coordinator with responsibility for fundraising.

I left the charity in September 2018 but still hold it very close to my heart.  I will not forget the wonderful people that make the charity, simply the best.

Congratulations of your 60th anniversary, here’s to the next 60 years!


Fund Raising Cake and Coffee at the Methodist Church

For several years we’ve been lucky enough to secure the charity Saturday morning slot to run the church café and to raise money for Harpenden Mencap.

Before the day, three of us are taken through the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, the equipment, health and safety and a general run down on what the regular customers expect! It’s quite a steep learning curve. 

I remember the first year being the ‘barista’ and after 2 hours of relentless coffee making (lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, macchiatos, mini cappuccinos etc), I certainly never wanted to see another coffee again!

For these mornings we provide our own cakes which we sell, and our takings come from these sales. I have to say the cake makers for Harpenden Mencap are truly wonderful and this year we were inundated with the most magnificent array of variously flavoured and tempting cakes, biscuits and scones one could ever imagine. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would have been very impressed!

We had lots of support from our service users too who came out in force!

It’s a lot of hard work but great fun and we always get a lot of support from the Methodists and their customers.