10th Annual Sponsored Walk

Grippers came into being in August 2006 and its fundraising started with a sponsored walk on October 29thvery pleasantly warm sunshine in the glorious rolling countryside around Chedworth.

It was fitting that the group comprised a wide variety of supporters of the Charity; The Rambling Rabbits walking group, NHS staff from the GRIP team, carers and other supporters and a significant number of the people who have donated very generously since the charity was founded. The family atmosphere was rounded off by the presence of young children and some lively dogs. After the walk we enjoyed a lovely roast lunch in the Seven Tuns pub after which we were treated to a presentation of this year’s sponsored outward bound course in Wales.

We saw how 9 service users in the recovery phase of their illness benefited from a wide variety of challenging activities which stretched them from their comfort zones and involved introducing them to new experiences, relying upon each other, teamwork, independence and judging by the smiles, a whole lot of fun.

The Trustees of Grippers thank all our supporters over the past 10 years. We are delighted by the level of continuing interest and financial support the charity attracts and we look forward to the next 10 years of activity.


St John’s Methodist Church Concert

The delightful St John’s Methodist Church in Hereford provided a very attractive venue for this concert. In this dual celebration evening, Grippers was fortunate to celebrate its 10th year with the Hereford MIND team who were celebrating the opening of Hereford’s purpose built 14-bedroom mental health recovery facility, Miller Court.

With nicely resonant acoustic, spacious dais and good lighting in the Church, the Quartet was able to enjoy a receptive audience. The concert started with the strong rhythmic Boyce Sinfonia from the Baroque period and continued with Engelbert Humperdinck’s only complete string quartet. Spanning the Romantic and early 20th century periods, and known best for his charming opera Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck’s string writing is mostly tuneful and comfortable to play, though sometimes a little testing harmonically and rhythmically. Borodin’s famous Nocturne, with yearning lyrical melodies contrasted. Last was Haydn’s Op. 50, no.2 quartet. In firm Classical style, developed by Haydn himself, innovative syncopation and part-writing typified the composer’s masterful intellect.

The interval gave members of both charities time to mingle over cups of coffee and tea and to examine details of building works on Miller Court and photos and reports from the Grippers archives up to the present day.


‘Singing for Fun’ Choir

The entertainment by the ‘Singing for Fun’ choir and associates in South Cerney, on Saturday 9th July, was a clever combination of commemorative songs, readings and verse from World War I and Shakespeare.

South Cerney Village Hall was converted into a theatre and bar. Raffle prizes were drawn during the interval, providing suspense, fun and some lovely presents. It is with great gratitude that GRIPPERS received the gift of £900 funds rais


The Strictly Ball

The Strictly Ball was a sparkling evening – as close as you can get to the real ‘Strictly’! The Centaur Building at Cheltenham Race Course looked splendid with marbled staging. Bill Turnbull, from the BBC ONE BREAKFAST programme, brought professionalism and wit as master of ceremonies.

Professional dancers and adjudicators did not spare the competitors detailed, if fair, criticism. This was after their own wonderful show when they demonstrated just how to dance! Welcome cocktails set the 190 guests off to a good start and dinner was both delicious and relaxing as there were demonstrations of the Jive and the Cha-cha-cha throughout.

Our grateful thanks go to all organisers and participants for their generosity in supporting the following charities: Grippers for psychosis, Home-Start for family support, The Nelson Trust for treatment of addiction, St Michael and All Angel’s, Poulton and Diocese of Gloucester outreach work to foster a sense of community.



Becca and Oein Half Marathon

Becca and Oein completed a half marathon in support of Grippers. Well done and thank you to them. They did a wonderful job raising so much money for Grippers – a huge £837.50.

We know this was only possible with hard graft and therefore has a parallel with the determination needed for ‘Recovery’ in psychosis.

Becca says,“The run was on Sunday and went pretty well – we both made it across the finish line in good time, injury free and feeling pretty satisfied/relieved/exhausted! Here’s a photo of us afterwards.”


Grippers Sponsored Walk

Mid-June and drizzle for the Grippers Sponsored Walk! Undeterred, 19 stalwarts strode out at 10am on a truly beautiful walk of 8 miles across the countryside to the north of the Garniche-Puesdown Inn (just off the A40 road, ten miles south-east of Cheltenham).

The route, through the villages of Hazleton and Turkdean, took the walkers across hills and dales amid stunning farmland; sometimes testing fitness and agility. The welcome by the Garniche-Puesdown Inn will be remembered with gratitude. The delicious lunch round the large table provided a good forum for discussion and sharing anecdotes and stories of recovery.


China, North America and Cuba Talk

On 21st April, Grippers supporter par-excellence, Rob Gardiner, gave an entertaining talk with beautiful slides on his cycling adventures through China, North America and Cuba. Rob’s talk highlighted adventures, and sometimes scrapes, which most of us would prefer not to think about!

For instance, sliding down a precipice at the side of the road in mountains in British Columbia. It was interesting being drawn into Rob’s thoughts on the solitariness of travelling in unfrequented places abroad. His affirmation, that we humans do need each other, was seen in photos with his friends in North America. We all enjoyed lingering into the evening with a buffet meal to hand and with lots to talk about… The evening raised £465, which will go towards outward-bound projects in the near future.


‘Joy of Song’ Concert

The eight voices in the ‘Joy of Song’ concert given by OCTAVO delighted the audience in Poulton Church from start to finish. Smiling throughout, the choir entertained with both sacred and humorous songs dating from 16th century to 20th century.

The encore ‘I’m a chucka train’ by Albert Hammond gave us a good fast vehicle in which to travel home after the song ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ and previous gems such as ‘Bogoroditsye Dyevo’ from the vespers by Rachmaninov and ‘Sing Joyfully’ by William Byrd.

Grippers is very grateful both to Octavo and Poulton Church for allowing us to collect a handsome figure to help the charity fund activities for those recovering from psychosis.


Grippers Sponsored Walk

Beautiful weather on this Saturday afternoon in mid-June enabled the Grippers walkers to enjoy another highly successful walk, once again choosing the River Severn as an inspiring view to accompany the walkers throughout.

We started at The Red Lion pub at Arlingham, Gloucester, GL2 7JN – highly recommended for those who do not know it already and who like riverside walking. The visible ‘goose-neck’ loop of the river is attractive and beckons: and so it is that all eleven walkers finished this walk by lunch-time. The manager and staff of The Red Lion were very welcoming, taking food orders before the walk. Beers and hot food were ready for us and they joined in the spirit of our day with their generous donation. Sponsorship came to a grand total of £610.


Registered charity no. 1117290