Celebrating friendship as Keynsham Mencap celebrates 50-year milestone

July 08 2016
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Keynsham & District Mencap Society marked 50 years of the National Federation of Gateway Clubs with a big party at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park on Sunday, June 12.

Keynsham & District Mencap Society marked 50 years of the National Federation of Gateway Clubs with a big party at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park on Sunday, June 12. Here the society reports on a fitting jubilee celebration.

People with a learning disability and their families, staff and volunteers from the society, as well as guests from other local groups across Bath and Bristol, came together to celebrate the wonderful work and achievements of the National Federation of Gateway Clubs over the last 50 years.

The society was pleased to welcome some valued guests and supporters from the local community, including Alan Hale, the new chairman for B&NES Council, Eveleigh’s estate agents, iTeam Solutions, and members of Keynsham Town Council.

The sun shone as over 300 guests joined together and enjoyed a barbecue, live music, pets corner, tractor rides and giant play barn. There was even impromptu karaoke from some of the society’s members.

The event was held at the start of Learning Disability Week and this year’s theme was very appropriately “Friendships”. The Gateway Federation was created in 1966 to provide regular leisure and social opportunities for people with a learning disability, and brought together like-minded groups to work together.

Laura Jefferies, operations manager for the society, said: “It was a fantastic event and great to see so many people with and without a learning disability coming together to celebrate this milestone.”

The society wishes to thank local Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose stores for donating food for the barbecue and to staff at Avon Valley for being incredibly supportive in helping to put on the event.

For more information about the local Mencap group, please visit www.keynshammencap.org.uk, call 0117 98659 or email info@keynshammencap.org.uk.

The group can also be found on Facebook – Keynsham Mencap – and on Twitter –  @keynsham_mencap.