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Happy New Year From Pennine Mencap!

The Rhodes Bank Choir performs a carol service at a local carehome

Firstly, a massive Happy new year from everybody at Pennine Mencap! As we have so much going on here at all times, we have decided a weekly blog post would be a good way to document the wonderful things we do, as well as discuss important topics and celebration days throughout the year.


The Christmas period at Pennine Mencap is always our busiest time. The Rhodes Bank Choir managed not one, not two but THREE fantastic performances at different care homes in the Oldham area. Each performance was a massive success and it was great to see the residents sing and dance along with us, and get well and truly into the Christmas spirit.


The Wednesday Social Christmas Dinner is something we all look forward to each year. A three-course meal was enjoyed by 40 service users and their support workers. Crackers were pulled, bad jokes were told and nosecco was enjoyed by all.

Some of our service users enjoying a slap-up turkey dinner 

The final shindig of 2023 was our annual Christmas party at Hurst Cross Community Centre. A crowd of over 70 service users and their support staff and families gathered to watch the one and only Jason Oliver perform for us. This performance was booked a full year in advance due to Jason's popularity and he did not disappoint, treating us to a variety of well-known party songs, his choreographed dance routine,  chicken and beef, and a mid-set outfit change . We danced, we sang , we laughed and we hope to see some of the new faces that joined for Jason throughout 2024.

The Pennine Mencap staff joining Jason Oliver for a song at the Christmas party


Our first week back at Mencap has been busy. With the return of dancercise after Emily’s maternity leave, we danced our way into the week with an hour of new routines and stretches that left everyone feeling energised and ready for the week. The Rhodes Bank Choir got straight back into rehearsals for their highly anticipated performance at the Forever Manchester Birthday Party in February where they will be closing the event. Forever Manchester is one of our funders who help make the things we do at pennine mencap possible. Stage Right Performing Arts where welcomed back with the introduction of the newest project of …….. A night at the musicals, which will be performed at Hurst Cross in June. More will be released about this but you will be sure to be treated to teasers as rehearsals get well and truly underway next week.


Normal activities have now resumed and around these, staff have been busy planning lots of events throughout the year to make this years fundraising bigger and better than ever. 


Emily leads a 'Dancercise' session after her return from maternity leave

2023 was a year of firsts for us. We hosted our first-ever Summer Fayre, which was a huge success and our inaugural Pennine Mencap charity ball. The ball celebrated everything we do with everybody who has contributed to making Pennine Mencap what it is today, including all of our wonderful service users, trustees, volunteers, staff and friends of the charity. Both of these events raised over £10,000 for the charity, and due to the success of our events, we have decided they will both be returning in 2024.


I won’t give too much away in this post but 2024 will definitely be a jam-packed year of putting the fun in fundraising! Next week's blog we will talk about something very exciting that will be happening at Pennine Mencap on the first Friday of every month so keep your eyes peeled!

Emily Trelore, January 20204

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