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This December we are once again aiming to take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge from Tuesday 1st to Tuesday 8th December.
This year we will be raising funds towards our ‘My Place Online‘ project to provide online learning and social activities to people with learning disabilities and their family carers in Nottinghamshire.

Your donation will be worth twice as much when you donate to our ‘My Place Online‘ project during Big Give Christmas Challenge week.
To make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to help us raise £20,000 in just one week, email laura.carr@reachuk.org or visit our Keeping in Touch page and opt in to our Christmas Fundraising Appeal.

How it works

Reach Christmas Events Schedule

(Big Give donation stations available at all events during Big Give Week)

Tuesday 27th November

Southwell Christmas Sing Along, Southwell Library, Free event, 7.00pm
Mansfield Coffee Morning, Reach Mansfield, 10.15am - 11.45am

Wednesday 28th November

Silver Star Diabetes Screening, Reach Newark 10am - 3pm
Newark Coffee Afternoon, Reach Newark, 1pm - 3pm

Thursday 29th November

Southwell Donation Station open and free mince pies!
Reach Southwell, 1pm - 6pm
Mansfield Auction, Reach Mansfield, 6.45pm - 9.30pm

Saturday 1st December

Newark Christmas Fair, Barnbygate Methodist Church Hall 10am - 12pm
Quirky Quiz Night, Southwell Golf Club, 7pm

Sunday 9th December

Santa Run, Sconce and Devon Park, Newark, 11am, family friendly event

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You can make a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities in Nottinghamshire

Thank You

to our Big Give Christmas Challenge Supporters

You did it!

You have helped us raise £40,000 to tackle the risk of very poor health faced by people with learning disabilities in Nottinghamshire. In just one week!
Thanks to supporters like you, people with learning disabilities will have new opportunities to gain the skills they need to make healthier lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of preventable poor health. Your donation will have an impact on the lives of local people today and in the future.
And by opting to donate via the Big Give Christmas Challenge your donation was doubled and so had double the impact too.

If you would like to receive regular updates about our work and fundraising news please visit our Keeping in Touch page.
Thank you again for your support – it has helped make a genuine difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities in Nottinghamshire.

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Tom has been working with a volunteer Mike on a project to build a new wood store at Flower Pod. The idea was for Mike to be a mentor for Tom so that he could realise more of his potential, participate more fully at Flower Pod and increase his confidence.

This has proved to be hugely successful – Tom has completely taken ownership of this project from the planning stage to completion and he is clearly proud of his achievement. Furthermore, there has been a huge change in Tom’s attitude – he always arrives on time and stays until the end of the session, he is willing to try different activities and he is now peer mentoring other Flower Pod clients how to use the tools.

Tom says: ‘working with Mike makes me happy …I love working with him, it makes me feel relaxed.’ Tom has reduced his smoking whilst at Flower Pod and says: ‘I have only had one cigarette today, being occupied, busy and enjoying what I am doing makes me forget smoking.’

Tom is now working on a plan to help build and design a new shed at home using the skills he has recently learnt on the wood shed project.

Tom (left) sharing his electric sanding skills with Kelvin (right)

Along with cutting down on smoking and working outdoors, Tom’s increased confidence and independence is clearly beneficial for his mental health and self-esteem. But what is often overlooked is how important social connections are to our health and wellbeing. Tom’s story demonstrates how providing positive activities and opportunities to engage with others has manifold benefits to health.

The Institute of Health Equity’s recent Report ‘A Fair, Supportive Society’ documents how social factors such as loneliness, social isolation, discrimination all play a role in poor health. At Flower Pod and other Reach centres people can gain the skills they need to feel more confident in participating in community life, making new social connections and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. This in turn benefits their health and wellbeing.

Val has been coming to Reach Mansfield for approximately 3 years. She attends for four days a week and enjoys taking part in a variety of sessions. Val has Type 2 Diabetes and took part in Reach Mansfield’s Diabetes six month pilot project in 2017.

Val can describe how she has made changes to her everyday choices to help her be healthier and to reach her own health goals. She has achieved her main goal of reducing her use of vending machines. Since she set the goal she hasn’t bought anything at all from the vending machine. She explains: “I stopped it because it has chocolate in and that is fattening so I don’t have it… I don’t have the crisps out the machine either.” The Diabetes nurse has told Val how she is very happy with her progress.

It is clear Val knows exercise plays a very important role in staying healthy and by attending Reach Dance, Fitness and Nutrition, and Swimming classes, she is improving her fitness and activity levels. Val is keen to point out that she always shares any cakes and desserts she takes home from Make and Bake!