Haywards Heath Golf Club tees Kangaroos off to an incredible start in 2020

New Year’s Day marked a very special day in the calendar for Kangaroos. At the annual Captain’s Drive event held at Haywards Heath Golf Club on New Year’s Day, our Fundraising Coordinator, Samantha Norgate, was absolutely delighted to be presented with a cheque for a phenomenal £29,600. 

It really has been such a great start to 2020 for our charity, which relies significantly on fundraising by local businesses, community organisations and individuals.

Having supported Kangaroos throughout 2019, Haywards Heath Golf Club raised this incredible amount from a variety of fundraising events and generous contributions from the members during the year. The club, which opened in 1922 and has been run by its members since 1974, is a pillar in the community, as is illustrated by their commitment to helping charities in the local area.

Outgoing captains, Les Anderson and Janice Brooks presented Samantha with the cheque at the New Year’s Day event. We are so grateful to Haywards Heath Golf Club for their support and generosity. This will make such a difference to the young people with learning disabilities and their families that we continue to support.

Despite New Year’s Day being a bit of a dull day weather-wise, it was certainly cheerful and bright in spirit. Samantha said, “It  was a pleasure to see such a great turn out for the popular Captain’s Drive. I especially loved the Leprechauns!

“We are so grateful to Haywards Heath Golf Club. It has been a real pleasure to work with such a friendly and committed bunch of people. I would like to give special thanks to Janice for all of her hard work and support.

Here are some of the ways in which Haywards Heath Golf Club supported us in 2019:

  • A hot and sweltering Captains Charity Golf Day last summer, which included an auction,
  • Regular raffles
  • Coffee mornings
  • Challenge events
  • Going sober for January

If you or your business are inspired and would like to get involved and support a local charity in 2020, please get in touch with Samantha Norgate. There are lots of ways you can fundraise or help us and we would love to work with you.

Center Parcs – Memory of a Lifetime Trip Nov 2019

Our final Memory of a Lifetime trip was to the fantastic Center Parcs in Woburn for a 2-night stay. Our members had a fabulous time taking part in a range of activities from rock climbing, archery and boating to swimming, bowling and pottery painting.

We all went out for dinner, had a lovely cooked breakfast together, watched the rugby and fed the ducks!

This was an amazing opportunity for our members. For some it was their very first overnight stay without their families. A big thank you to all of our wonderful staff who supported them throughout the 2-day experience.

Here are some of the highlights:

Paralympian John Stubbs says: ‘Archery is a mental sport. Whilst it takes strength to pull back the bow, really the sport is 90 per cent concentration, 10 per cent strength.’ Our members loved the archery and did some super concentrating!

Chilling out at the Lodge!

Good days at Center Parcs! Getting ready for the climb!

This trip is so much fun!

Where did all those ducks come from?

A trip on the boating lake.

Climbing high!

Back at the Lodge – what a great day!


Disneyland Paris two night stay – Memory of a Lifetime Trip Aug 2019

On 7 August 2019, pop star Michelle Heaton joined 21 of our members at Disneyland Paris to enjoy their chosen “Memory of a Lifetime” trip.

They met Mickey & Minnie Mouse in the Walt Disney Studios, followed by practicing their cooking skills, producing a Tutti Frutti dish and harnessing their creativity by customising Mickey ears during two workshops.

Their day continued with meeting Donald Duck before soaring high on the Flying Carpets Over Agrabah. The group experienced a VIP viewing of the Jungle Book Jive, before exploring many attractions within Disneyland Park, including Small World, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups and Alice’s Labyrinth. The magical day came to a close with a spectacular ending, watching Disney Illuminations – a firework and projection show on the castle.

Michelle commented, “I was delighted to be asked by Kangaroos to join them on their 25th anniversary celebration at Disneyland Paris, and even better, I got to bring my family with me. To spend time with the children, the Disney VoluntEARS and charity workers that endeavoured to make this experience memorable was humbling and I was honoured to be involved.”

The children, ranging in age from 9 to 18, all have a learning disability and several of them have additional complex medical needs. The children were accompanied on the trip by a team of Kangaroos highly trained care staff. For many of the children it was their first trip outside the UK and their longest trip away from home without their parents or carers.

“Over the years many of our young persons have said they would like to go to Disneyland, but we never thought it would happen. The Disneyland team have been just wonderful, and so generous, in helping us realise this dream” said Jenni Herrett, the founder of Kangaroos who still works to raise funds for the charity.

Blackberry Farm Park – Memory of a Lifetime trip May 2019

To mark our 25th Anniversary Year in 2019 we pledged to raise an additional £100,000 to give all of our members a special trip to make a Memory of a Lifetime. Our second day trip to Blackberry Farm went off without a hitch and a fantastic time was had by all. Our young members aged from 6 to 24 enjoyed a tour of the farm and meeting the animals.

We had exclusive use of the playground, had fabulous fun feeding the animals and our young people enjoyed a tractor ride too.
The staff at Blackberry Farm were so welcoming and everyone had a great time being a farmer for the day!