Back Altogether Again for Mencap Christmas Party

Guests at the Mencap Christmas party were delighted to be back together after a year away.  Around 70 guests enjoyed a Christmas tea, pass the pass parcel, a visit from Father Christmas and a disco at Harpsden Village Hall yesterday afternoon (Sunday).

Prior to Covid, the Mencap Society and Meteor Club used to organise a monthly disco.  Their first face-2-face one was a Halloween one in October which 60+ members attended.

Paul Barrett, Chair of South Oxfordshire Mencap Society said, “They’ve hated not being able to come together and it’s really nice to be back face to face. We have been doing a weekly Zoom meeting though where we’ve had a chat, played bingo or had a disco which really worked.  It was lovely to see them all dancing in their homes.  It’s like any group of people, they’ve been looking forward to seeing each other.  We thought it was more important for their mental wellbeing to go ahead this year but we have been awfully cautious and they’ve all been having regular lateral flow tests.  Henley Lions always used to fund the party and Lions member, Ian Forster who recently died, was regular patron of ours in the sense that he always voted for money to be given to this Christmas party and so the new Chairman said they had to do it again in his honour.  The next event we’re organising is a trip to the Kenton panto on 14 December for a relaxed performance and our next disco will be in February.”

Henley Mayor, Councillor Sarah Miller joined the party.  She said, “I was delighted to be invited to the annual South Oxfordshire Mencap Society Christmas tea via Paul Barrett. From the outset it was clear this was going to be a fun engagement, and I was right.

This was the first time many of the members had seen each other, due to COVID restrictions, so the mood was festive. Everyone had dressed up for the occasion, and we spent the afternoon playing party games, followed by a delicious tea. My visit ended with a special appearance from Father Christmas who gave everyone a gift. The perfect end to a lovely afternoon.

Can I just say a huge thank you and Merry Christmas to everybody who attended.”