A little help from the Friends

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Karen Rousell, Wendy Strophair, Anna Kingsley, Yvonne Ferguson, Rachel Walker and Audrey Rose from the Friends of Heart of England Mencap. (Submitted photo)

THEY set out to put the fun back into fundraising — and four years on the Friends of Heart of England Mencap have raised £20,000.

The fundraising group began back in 2014, set up and chaired by Karen Rousell from Stratford, whose daughter, Lottie, has learning disabilities.

The money has been raised through events such as coffee mornings, cards nights, clothes exchanges, as well as sponsored challenges including a hugely successful firewalk back in 2016 which raised over £10,000 alone.

The group will continue with Anna Kingsley as its new chair.

Anna is a member of the Friends, fundraising in memory of her son, Theo, who passed away in 2008, aged six.

She said: “Karen has done an incredible job setting up the Friends, getting members on board and organising some amazing events raising a really tremendous amount,” Anna said.

“I’m looking forward to stepping into her shoes – knowing she will be right there with us as we look to raise the next £20,000!

“It’s a great group to be part of – a great way to have fun with new friends knowing that everything you’re doing is really making a difference.”

The first fundraiser of 2018 is on Friday, 16th February, and will be a Valentine’s Afternoon Tea at the Rosebird Community Hall, Shipston Road, Stratford, from 2.30pm and 4.30pm. All are welcome.