Like many of you as Christmas and the New Year approaches I reflect on the last twelve months and look forward to the year ahead. LinkAble has been celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year and there have been many highlights including our 30th Anniversary fundraising ball last month. In the 30 years since the charity began we have evolved and grown to meet the ever changing needs of our service users and their families. From humble beginnings LinkAble now offers children and adults with learning disabilities a variety of activities and opportunities to gain new experiences.
December is always a busy time at LinkAble with many activities going on at all of our different groups in the lead up to the festive period. It all started earlier this month when 23 of our youngest service users and their families enjoyed an evening at The Ambassador Theatre watching the pantomime Aladdin as well as sweets and an ice cream. This was all thanks to the generosity of the Children with Special Needs Foundation who donated the tickets.
I had the pleasure of attending a cheque presentation with Galliford Try who have been developing the old St Dunstan’s site, now named Harrington Place. Galliford Try has supported Linkable in many ways during the build over the last 2 years. Our We Can Do Anything Group for adult services users regularly visited the site and were able to see first-hand the changes taking place as the building went up. One service user was even offered the opportunity to volunteer at the site one day a week which I am pleased to say afforded them the opportunity to gain work experience which has helped them to secure a paid role elsewhere. We are always looking for organisations we can partner with who can help us to offer our sevice users new and exciting opportunities.
Last weekend was the ActAbles Christmas pantomime at Addlestone Community Centre. The group enjoyed performing there on the large stage with its lighting rig. This year saw them bringing to life the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The performance was incredibly well received and we are already looking forward to finding out what their next performance will be. Look out for a special performance on our social media channels on Christmas Day.
Here at the Link both the adults and children’s groups have been taking part in Christmas activities. Christmas decorations have been created and the LinkAble Christmas tree was on display as part of the Christmas tree festival at St Mary the Virgin Church in Horsell. Christmas activities for our adults groups have included a trip to Guildford, Christmas Lunch at The Bridge Barn and festive bowling. Our under 18 service users have had visits to meet Santa at Bocketts Farm and Christmas scheme days, again with a visit from Santa.
We launched an online Christmas fundraising campaign (#aBauble4LinkAble) for the first time this year. LinkAble’s virtual Christmas tree is gradually collecting decorations and if you would like to donate a bauble there is still time to take part so click on LinkAble virtual Christmas tree to get involved. Thank you to all those who have already taken part and made a donation.
Looking to the New Year we would like some more teams to sign up for the second year of the LinkAble Accumulator which will be launched towards the end of January. The challenge invites teams competing against each other for 50 days using £50 funding from LinkAble to raise as much money as they can for the charity. Galliford Try won last year and the event raise over £1,500 for the charity. If you would like more information or you have a team who would like to take part call the office on 01483 770037 or email [email protected]
Over the course of the next 12 months I plan to share regular updates with you. If there is any aspect of our work that you would like to hear or find out more about please email, call the office or pop in for a chat. Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers for their continued support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone connected with LinkAble for a fantastic 2019.
I hope you all have a lovely festive season and I look forward to seeing you in 2020!