Crowds enjoy a day of activities at East Kent Mencap festival

Margate mayor Julie Dellar with visitors to the East Kent Mencap festival

Crowds turned out for East Kent Mencap’s Summer Festival last weekend.

Despite the weather, there was no rain on East Kent Mencap’s parade as smiling faces proved that everyone continued to have fun, take part in activities and enjoy live music, regardless of age or ability.

GOLD volunteers

The one-day event took place at Margate Football Club and offered activities including sports, live music and sensory sessions. The talented line up of local artists included The Sunshine Ukes, Nancy Okai, Native Grass and The Shrinking Violets.

For the more energetic there was golf, football, circus skills and cricket. These activities were supported by sports providers Margate FC, England Golf and Kent Cricket. Gentler activities on the day included, Bits & Bytes with their robotic baby dinosaurs to hand out cuddles and holistic therapist, Angela Davies gave free hand massages. Mayor of Margate Julie Dellar attended on the day, taking part in activities and speaking to the participants.

The charity was fortunate to have the support of local services which dedicated their time and expertise free of charge, These included HM Coastguard, NHS Kent Community Health, Healthwatch, Thanet Volunteer Bureau, Kent Libraries, Learning Disability England, Ageless Thanet, One You, Action on Hearing Loss and Palm Deaf. Local businesses also stepped in to help with volunteers from Pfizer and SAGA. They provided support on the day, greeting people and staffing sports activities.

Fundraising manager Jane Brooke said: “Festivals are so popular and we really wanted to create one that anyone with a learning disability could enjoy and be part of. Thanks to the support of some amazing people, we achieved that. It was a brilliant day and fantastic to see everyone enjoying the music, chatting to the stallholders and having a go at the activities.

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“We are especially grateful to the Go Ability Trust for sponsoring the Kinetic Circus workshops where people could try skills such as juggling and spinning plates!”

Trustee Mandy Rackley said: ‘I loved the choir. Their enthusiasm was infectious with some great dancing and air guitar accompaniment. It was great to meet up with so many people and make new friends too.’

More than 250 people attended on the day, raising some £700 which will go towards the charity’s next event.