In 2024 we are celebrating 25 years since Reach started life as Southwell Care Project.

With the kind permission of the Southwell Cathedral Chapter, we held a special service at Southwell Minster on Wednesday 22nd May. We were delighted that so many of our clients, families, volunteers, staff and supporters from near and far could join us on the night.

The Very Reverend Dean Nicola Sullivan speaking on stage at Southwell Minster with one hand in the air"It was an honour for the Minster to host the Service of Celebration for 25 years of Reach.  Southwell is so proud of the charity’s stunning achievements across Nottinghamshire, making a real difference to adults with learning disabilities and their families.  The contribution from the amazing clients and the Reach team were inspirational – dance, singing, readings, prayers, video clips and poetry told a joyful story no one there will ever forget.”

- The Very Reverend Dean Nicola Sullivan

Chief Executive Steve Shatwell and Chair Rachel Lannon each talked about their motivations for getting involved with Reach. Both highlighted the importance of community in the lives of adults with learning disabilities and their families, and the imperative need for  Reach to be here for future generations. The focus on the community was very much in keeping with the charity’s  founding trustees’ vision of creating a community where people with learning disabilities could flourish and be heard.

"Our relationship with our local community is at the essence of who we are. We are about local people looking after the individuals in our community who need us right now, and into the future.”

- Rachel Lannon, Chair of Trustees, Reach Learning Disability

Highlights of the service included an energetic signed song by clients from our five centres, a dance by Reach Dancers, and a lovely poem about Flower Pod from Amelia. A film and presentation by our Voice & Participation group gave insight into new plans to amplify the voice of adults with learning disabilities at all levels, and to tackle important issues like health inequalities.

Flower Pod - a poem by Amelia

You can also read Amelia's poem here.

Our Voice & Participation group's film

You can read more about the Voice & Participation group's plans here.

A family carer read a moving prayer, and Reach Mansfield client Elizabeth gave a powerful bible reading. A spectacular 25th floral art structure designed by Flower Pod Southwell clients and volunteers took pride of place.

An impromptu thank you speech from some of the Reach dancers evidenced how greatly Reach’s services are valued by the people who use them.

Special thanks go to:

  • Minster Flower volunteers
  • Southwell Cathedral Music Association volunteers
  • Michael Davidson who kept the evening’s proceedings on track with his customary warmth and humour.
  • Actons Solicitors for sponsorship of take away packs.
  • James Turner Photography.

Thanks to all those who were able to join us to celebrate and who helped to make it the truly special evening it was.

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To donate, or get involved in our anniversary fundraising please go to Make a Donation – Make a Difference.